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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Henry Seymour Conway to William Tryon
Conway, Henry Seymour, 1721-1795
March 31, 1766
Volume 07, Pages 193-195

[B. P. R. O. Am: & W. Ind: Vol: 269.]
Letter from Secretary Conway to Governor Tryon

St James's 31st March 1766.


Herewith I have the pleasure of transmitting to you Copies of two Acts of Parliament just passed the first for securing the Dependency of the Colonies on the Mother Country the second for the repeal of the Act of last Session granting certain Stamp Duties in America and I expect shortly to send you a third for the Indemnity of such persons as have incurred the Penalties imposed by the Act just repealed as such a Bill is now depending and has made a considerable progress in the House of Commons.

The Moderation the Forbearance the unexampled Lenity and Tenderness of Parliament towards the Colonies which are so signally displayed in those Acts cannot but dispose the province committed to your care to that return of chearful Obedience to the Laws and legislative Authority of G. Britain and to those sentiments of respectful gratitude to the Mother Country which are the natural and I trust will be the certain effect of so much grace and condecension so remarkably manifested on the part of his Majesty and of the Parliament and the future happiness and prosperity of the Colonies will very much depend on the Testimonies they shall now give of these Dispositions

For as a dutiful and affectionate return to such peculiar proofs of indulgence and affection may now at this great Cricis be a means of fixing the mutual Interest and Inclinations of G. Britain and her Colonies on the most firm and solid foundation so it cannot but appear visible that the least coldness or unthankfulness the least murmuring or dissatisfaction on any ground whatever or former

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heat or too much prevailing prejudice may fatally endanger that union and give the most severe and affecting blow to the future Interests of both Countries.

You will think it scarce possible I imagine that the paternal care of his Majesty for his Colonies or the Lenity and Indulgence of the Parliament should go farther than I have already mentioned. Yet so full of true magnanimity are the Sentiments of both and so free from the smallest colour of passion or prejudice that they seem disposed not only to forget those most unjustifiable marks of an undutiful disposition too frequent in the late Transactions of the Colonies and which for the honor of those Colonies it were to be wished had been more discountenanced and discouraged by those who had knowledge to conduct themselves otherwise.

A Revision of the late American Trade Laws is going to be the immediate Object of Parliament Nor will the late Transactions there however provoking prevent I dare say the full operation of that kind and indulgent disposition prevailing both in his Majesty and his Parliament to give to the Trade and Interests of America every relief which the true State of their circumstances demands or admits.

Nothing will tend more effectually to every conciliating purpose and there is nothing therefore I have it in command more earnestly to require of you than that you should exert yourself in recommending it strongly to the Assembly that full and ample compensation be made to those who from the madness of the people have suffered for their deference to Acts of the British Legislature and you will be particularly attentive that such persons be effectually secured from any farther insult And that as far as in you lies you will take care by your example and influence that they may be treated with that respect to their persons and that justice in regard to all their pretensions which their merits and their sufferings undoubtedly claim The resolutions of the House of Commons which by his Majesty's commands I transmit to you to be laid before the Assembly will shew you the sense of that House on those points And I am persuaded it will as it certainly ought be the Glory of that Assembly to adopt and imitate those sentiments of the British Parliament founded on the clearest principles of humanity and justice. I must mention one circumstance in particular which ought to recommend those unhappy people whom the outrage of the populace has driven from America to the affection of all that country which is that unprovoked by the injuries they had suffered to a forgetfulness

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of what they owed to Truth and their Country they gave their Testimonies with knowledge and without passion or prejudice and those testimonies had I believe great weight in persuading the repeal of the Stamp Act.

Your Situation which has made you a Witness of the distraction of that Country will enable you to form the best judgment of the behaviour which your province ought to use upon this occasion and of the arguments which you ought to employ to enforce the necessity of such a behaviour as is suitable to their present circumstances

I am &ca