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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Tryon to the Board of Trade of Great Britain
Tryon, William, 1729-1788
April 30, 1766
Volume 07, Pages 200-202

[From Tryon's Letter Book.]
Letter from Governor Tryon to the Board of Trade

Brunswick 30th April 1766.

The first of February was the date of the last letter I had the honor to send to your Lordships board. As the occurrences since that period in this province, have been of a turbulent and extraordinary nature, I sent the particulars of them to Mr Conway one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State. The inhabitants have remained quiet since they assembled themselves in arms at Brunswick in February last upon the pretence of redressing grievances, on account of some sloops, Capt Lobb of his Majesty's sloop the Viper had seized.

I have the satisfaction to inform your Lordships, Mr James Hasell, whom I appointed Chief Justice in the room of Mr Berry deceased, has conducted himself with particular prudence and discretion in his attendance at the Superior Courts of Halifax, Salisbury and Wilmington, a Circuit of seven hundred miles. No causes but those

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of the Crown have been tried either in the superior or inferior Courts of Judicature since the first of November. The causes upon the civil dockets are at present very numerous. The Chief Justice told me there were on the civil docket at Halifax Superior Court near one thousand suits depending. Mr Hasell left me last week, to proceed to the Superior Courts of Newbern and Edenton to be held next month. His journey to those two Circuits including his return will be upwards of four hundred miles; this makes the Circuit of the five Superior Courts eleven hundred miles; and as these Courts are held twice a year each, an attendance on the whole would be two thousand two hundred miles annually. By an Act of Assembly an assistant Judge is appointed for the district of Salisbury (on account of the great distance it lays from the other Courts) with a salary of two hundred pounds Proclamation money per annum. This provision saves the Chief Justice six hundred miles in his circuit, but in the present critical times, Mr Hasell was solicitous to be present himself at all the Courts: His appearance was necessary; he preserved peace, and good order at the three first Courts, and I have no reason but to believe he will be able to do the same at Newbern and Edenton: His moderate and prudent conduct has recommended him much to my regard and esteem.

I am to acquaint your Lordship I have suspended Mr Maurice Moore from the office of Assistant Judge for the district of Salisbury for his intemperate zeal and behaviour in his opposition to the Act of Parliament imposing Stamp duties in America.

I have appointed Mr. Edmund Fanning Assistant Judge for the above district. He is an active spirited man, of good character, and ability in the law; His commission is dated the 7th of March last.

Mr. Hasell informed me there was but very little specie circulating in the back counties: there is scarcely any in the maritime parts of the colony.

Lumber a considerable staple in this port, exported to the West Indies is returned in sugars, rum and molasses, tar turpentine and pitch is purchased by Bills of Exchange or returned for goods imported; and if a ship brings in dollars to purchase a cargo, (a circumstance very uncommon) the merchant does not suffer it to circulate in the province but either sends it to a foreign market, or remits it to Great Britain; Of the lumber exported, plank and scantling are sawed in the mills, There are but few of these in the province, but what are on the creeks on the north east, and north west

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branches of Cape Fear River: On these creeks, there are fifty saw mills now in repair and more building, each with two saws; These mills will saw upon a medium two hundred thousand feet apiece per annum. I sent some pine plank that was sawed by hand (being of too great a length for the carriages of the mills, the carriages not exceeding thirty feet) to Mr. Hughes Commissioner of the dock yard at Portsmouth. The inclosed is his answer. I have heard nothing since on the subject. I enclose your Lordships the minutes of the Council since I have been in the administration of this government.

The General Assembly I have prorogued to the 30th of October next; in Council this was thought the best expedient, as the country was not esteemed in a temper to do business in a manner that was likely either to be agreeable to his Majesty, or beneficial to the colony; This prorogation will also give time for the information of the positive and determined resolutions of the British Legislature, on the subject of the disturbances of the colonies; If the inhabitants should be so weak, in the vain imagination of their strength as to make their case desperate two of his Majesty's sloops with their full compliment of men, and two tenders with 30 or 35 men in each would be sufficient in my estimation to give law to the commercial interest of this government. The sloops to remain chiefly in Cape Fear river and the tenders to cruize from Ocacock Bar, thro' the sounds and up the rivers that lead to Bath, Newbern and Edenton. Two companies of regulars under these circumstances might be thought requisite to secure his Majesty's stores and artillery at Fort Johnston; I am of opinion that North Carolina station should not at any time be without one sloop and two tenders towards the protection of the commerce and the improvement of his majesty's revenues by curbing illicit trade The several ports in this province continue open and clearances are made out by his Majesty's officers of the customs without Stampt Papers.

I have the honor to be &c.

P. S.—The original of the inclosed copy of a letter from Mr. Houston came to my hands after the foregoing dispatches were wrote It was the first authentic account I received of his commission being lodged in the hands of Mr Moses De Rosset Mayor of Wilmington.