One of the largest and most ornate buildings in colonial North Carolina, the Tryon Palace was built in the late 1760s at the behest of its namesake, Royal Governor William Tryon. John Hawks was the architect, and the government assembly chambers and the house were dedicated on December 5, 1770. Increased taxes to pay for the palace’s construction angered many Piedmont colonists. After the American Revolution, the palace burnt down in a fire in 1798. In 1959, after efforts to restore the site, Tryon Palace opened as the state’s first historic site.
Subject: Colonial North Carolina
Josiah Martin, the last royal governor of North Carolina, was born in Ireland in 1737. Due to his family’s connection to the British crown, Martin replaced Governor Tryon in 1771 as royal governor of North Carolina. Martin assumed a difficult position because Patriot colonists in North Carolina had long resented overwhelming British taxation and the War of Regulation remained fresh in the colonist’s minds. In May 1775, Martin fled the Tryon Palace in New Bern, and he joined Lord Cornwallis in his efforts to regain control of the North Carolina colony.
The Tuscarora, one of the most prominent tribes of eastern North Carolina at the time of European settlement, were a well-developed tribe that spoke a derivative of the Iroquoian language. The tribe established communities on the Roanoke, Tar, and Neuse Rivers, growing crops such as corn, picked berries and nuts. They also hunted big game such as deer and bears. Despite the tribe’s size and numerous warriors, the Tuscarora War (1711-1713) led to the migration of the tribe to New York and the near vanishing of the tribe from North Carolina.
William Tryon, one of the most notorious royal governors of North Carolina, was born in England in 1729. Although he did not receive a formal education, Tryon’s family was well-esteemed, and his wife’s friendship with Lord Hillsborough led to his appointment as lieutenant governor of North Carolina in 1764. Tryon encountered heavy rebellion during the Regulator Movement and he was later relocated to serve as governor of the New York colony. He died on January 27, 1788, in England.
America’s difficult economic situation has generated often contradictory reactions and proposed solutions. One part of America blames the big banks. Another points to the government. Still others, with a more subtle insight, find fault with the combination of big government and big corporations. All this reminded me of the protests during the 1760s and early 1770s in Piedmont North Carolina called the Regulator Rebellion.
First, there was the Halifax Resolves. Then there was the Declaration of Independence.
Though the American army under Baron DeKalb camped for weeks at Buffalo Ford in the summer of 1780 on its way to Camden, and Lord Cornwallis in 1781 spent several days after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse at Bell’s Mill on Deep River, by and large the official history of the Revolutionary War bypassed Randolph County. But far more active and far more destructive was the guerrilla war which took place in the county between neighbors of opposite political persuasions.
The home of Revolutionary War general William Lenoir, Fort Defiance was built in 1792 in what is now Caldwell County. Prior to Lenoir’s ownership, the house was built on a fort site that was used by British colonists.
Wife of the fourth president of the United States, Dolley Madison was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, on May 20, 1768. A Southern belle and a charming social host, Dolley earned the distinction as one of the First Ladies to open up the White House to Washington politicians and foreign diplomats. One of the most intriguing tales of the First Lady remains her escape from the White House during the War of 1812, when she managed to save Gilbert Stuart’s famous portrait of George Washington.
Governor of North Carolina from 1699-1703, when North Carolina was still under proprietary rule, Henderson Walker is known for being the executive during a time of economic growth and overall peace. However, his efforts to have the Anglican denomination become the official church of the colony angered a few and contributed greatly, some argue, to the later Cary Rebellion.