Governor William Tryon


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Tryon, WILLIAM, royal governor; born in Ireland about 1725; became an officer in the British army, and married Miss Wake, a beautiful and accomplished kinswoman of the Earl of Hillsborough, the secretary of state for the colonies, Through him Tryon procured the office of lieutenant-governor of North Carolina in 1764, and on the death of Governor Dobbs, in 1765, he was appointed governor. He was fond of ostentatious display, and built a palace at Newberne at an expense to the colony of $25,000. To gain this appropriation, Lady Tryon and her beautiful sister, Esther Wake, gave brilliant balls and dinner-parties to the members of the legislature, and used every blandishment they possessed. The taxes on account of this palace added greatly to the burdens of the people, and brought about the "Regulator" movement in the western counties. The history of Tryon's administration in North Carolina is a record of folly, extortion, and crime, and he gained the name of "The Wolf of North Carolina." He was governor of New York when the Revolutionary War broke out, and he was the last governor of that province appointed by the crown. Compelled to take refuge from the Sons of Liberty on board a vessel in New York Harbor, it proved to be a permanent abdication. He entered the British military service, and engaged in several disreputable marauding expeditions. His property it North Carolina was confiscated. He went to England in 1780, and became lieutenant-general in 1782. He died in London England, February 27, 1788.



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