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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Tryon to Wills Hill, Marquis of Downshire
Tryon, William, 1729-1788
January 31, 1771
Volume 08, Pages 494-495

[From Tryon's Letter Book.]
Letter from Governor Tryon to Earl Hillsborough,

Newbern 31st January 1771.

Since my letter of the 20th of October last I have been discouraged from communicating the occurrences of this government so frequently as your Lordship probably might expect occasioned by the vast uncertainty of the issue of events depending from the opening of the last session of Assembly on the 5th of December to the proroguing of the same on the 26th instant, to the 10th of May next. I here transmit my speech and the addresses of both Houses, and can with satisfaction assure your Lordship, that the principal matters recommended to the Assembly have been duly considered, and every step taken that the circumstances of the country would admit of, towards the reformation of the abuses in the government, and the restoration of the public tranquility. Six Bills I rejected and passed forty four; these will be copied and transmitted with all expedition, as well as the Journals of both Houses and the Minutes of the Council, in order to lay before the King. From these materials the justest view of the present state of this country may be collected.

Herman Husband the late representative of Orange County, after having his conduct fully examined into before the House of Assembly was voted a disturber of the public peace, and expelled the House the 20th of December accordingly, as by Resolves inclosed. The evening of the same day I proposed to his Majestys Council the expediency of preventing him from returning into the back settlements to inflame anew the insurgents by his seditious practices. The Chief Justice issued his warrant to apprehend him for publishing a libel against one of the Associate Judges (no testimony then being present to prove him an accessory to the riots at Hillsborough) and he was that night put into Newbern gaol, and has been confined there ever since under a guard, no bail and security for his behavior having been offered for his enlargement. It seems yet doubtful what are the determinations of the insurgents and in

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what manner they will execute them. An attempt to rescue Husband is yet expected.

The returns I required from the commanding officers of the several regiments of militia, of such men as were willing to turn out in defence of their King and country, were in many counties unanimous in support of that glorious cause and through the whole country very favorable on the side of government. As soon as the many beneficial laws that were enacted last session are published through the province they will tend much to quiet the general discontents of the inhabitants and probably make it less difficult for administration to suppress the insurgents in the back frontiers, who have been greatly upheld by the seditious reports industriously spread through the whole country.

I herewith transmit to your Lordship a copy of the Bill to prevent riots and tumults, being a Bill of the first importance. A special Court of Oyer and Terminer is to be held next week in this town under this law, where some of the principal rioters will be indicted. This I apprehend will bring the distractions of this country to a crisis, as the parties must either take their tryals or be in a state of outlawry. Thus you see, my Lord, the situation of this country is very unsettled and as yet it is uncertain what turn the public affairs will take, consequently no positive conclusions can be drawn from the present posture of affairs, they however carry a much more favorable aspect than before this session, government being much strengthened by the Acts of the Legislature then ratified.

That I may be enabled on my return to England to make his Majesty a fair report of a happy termination of the disorders of this his province, is the sanguine wish and earnest endeavours of, my Lord,

Your Lordships &c.