Tryon’s Stamp Act Assembly

Written By North Carolina History Project

Many North Carolinians resisted the implementation of the Stamp Act.   Therefore, William Tryon, the royal governor, worked cunningly to enforce the law.  For one, he refused to allow the North Carolina Assembly to convene.  (He had earlier prevented any delegates from attending the Stamp Act Congress in Philadelphia; there were only three colonies without representation at the congress: Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina.)  He also called fifty leading North Carolinians to Tryon Palace and tried unsuccessfully to convince them to stop resisting the Stamp Act.  Even though the tax seemed to slow the rapidly growing American economy, he promised the leading planters and merchants profit, for he assured them that he would write a letter to the Crown requesting special trade privileges for North Carolina.  He also promised to reimburse each one for stamps on documents that he issued.  Despite Tryon’s shrewd attempt, the North Carolina leaders rejected his offer and refused to submit to what they considered to be an unconstitutional Stamp Act.