The Tryon Resolves
The Text of the Tryon Resolves
"In Tryon County there were many loyal subjects of the king, and there was likewise a gallant band of patriots who as early as August, 1775, adopted and signed the following bold declaration:
"The unprecedented, barbarous and bloody actions committed by British troops on our American brethren near Boston, on 19th April and 20th of May last, together with the hostile operations and treacherous designs now carrying on, by the tools of ministerial vengeance, for the subjugation of all British America, suggest to us the painful necessity of having recourse to arms in defense of our National freedom and constitutional rights, against all invasions; and at the same time do solemnly engage to take up arms and risk our lives and our fortunes in maintaining the freedom of our country whenever the wisdom and counsel of the Continental Congress or our Provincial Convention shall declare it necessary; and this engagement we will continue in for the preservation of those rights and liberties which the principals of our Constitution and the laws of God, nature and nations have made it our duty to defend. We therefore, the subscribers, freeholders and inhabitants of Tryon County, do hereby faithfully unite ourselves under the most solemn ties of religion, honor and love to our county, firmly to resist force by force, and hold sacred till a reconciliation shall take place between Great Britain and America on Constitutional principals, which we most ardently desire, and do firmly agree to hold all such persons as inimical to the liberties of America who shall refuse to sign this association.
"(Signed) John Walker, Charles McLean, Andrew Neel, Thomas Beatty, James Coburn, Frederick Hambright, Andrew Hampton, Benjamin Hardin, George Paris, William Graham, Robt. Alexander, David Jenkins, Thomas Espey, Perrygreen Mackness, James McAfee, William Thompson, Jacob Forney, Davis Whiteside, John Beeman, John Morris, Joseph Harden, John Robison, James McIntyre, Valentine Mauney, George Black, Jas. Logan, Jas. Baird, Christian Carpenter, Abel Beatty, Joab Turner, Jonathan Price, Jas. Miller, John Dellinger, Peter Sides, William Whiteside, Geo. Dellinger, Samuel Carpenter, Jacob Mauney, Jun., John Wells, Jacob Costner, Robert Hulclip, James Buchanan, Moses Moore, Joseph Kuykendall, Adam Simms, Richard Waffer, Samuel Smith, Joseph Neel, Samuel Loftin."
(Source: Nixon's History of Lincoln County: The Revolutionary War Period)
Other Resolves of the Era and Area
April 12th, 1776, commemorates the adoption of the Halifax Resolves (this was the first official recorded action by a colony calling for independence from Britain).
Revolutionary dig saving local history
Tripp Mickle Freedom News Service GASTONIA — Date: July 29, 2002
The rhythmic swishing of red clay over archaeologists’ steel sifters vibrates through the trees of the 2-acre forest off N.C. 274 — the last tangible piece of property connected to the colonial Tryon Courthouse. One day, a digger uncovers a nail, and four archaeologists from the Schiele Museum scurry to see the first discovery in the quest to unearth the old courthouse.
“During colonial times, this was where people came to resolve disputes, where men and boys trained for the colonial militia, where the Tryon Resolves were signed and where Cornwallis camped as he moved through the Carolinas,” said John Russell, a member of the Gaston County Historic Preservation Commission. “This is one, if not the most important historical site in the Western Piedmont.” The property was subject to foreclosure a year ago because of unpaid taxes.
The Historic Preservation Commission intervened in order to salvage the last physical connection to the Tryon Courthouse. “This is a way to connect the present population with the history of the area,” said Alan May, curator of archaeology at the Schiele Museum. County commissioners agreed to postpone the sale to allow for a historical exploration of the property. The Historic Preservation Commission scoured deeds, maps and court records to identify locations on Christian Mauney’s property, which served as the site of the courthouse. Mauney, who once ran a tavern on the property, was a settler from Germany. “The work with the deeds has helped us to see that Christian Mauney provided his wife with a parcel of land with the original homesite on it,” May said. “That was important because instead of having 350 acres to look at we now have it narrowed down to four.”
Several weeks ago, archaeologists started digging in search of artifacts dating from the mid-18th century. “We’re looking for any debris left over from the original house,” project director Tracy Martin said. “Nails, ceramics, flat glass from windows, anything.” The team expects to continue work on the project through August. However, dry soil as a result of the drought may postpone the project until fall. “We have a better-than-average chance of uncovering artifacts,” May said. “However, there are all kinds of factors that can preclude us finding anything.”
The Carolina Colonial Assembly formed Tryon County in 1768, eight years before this country’s founders signed the Declaration of Independence, to meet the needs of the state’s swelling frontier population. The county sat south of Granville County’s current boundary line and stretched west from Mecklenburg and the Catawba River into the mountains. During Tryon County’s early years, court was held in various commissioners’ homes. In July 1774, commissioners chose Christian Mauney’s land between present day Bessemer City and Cherryville for a permanent courthouse. Mauney’s log home became the nucleus for local political activism, as revolution gripped the colonies.
There, in August 1775, commissioners signed what’s now known as the Tryon Resolves. “They declared themselves free and independent, which was innovative and many years ahead of its time,” said Darrell Harkey, historical coordinator for Lincoln County. “The Resolves really show the revolutionary spirit of these people who were in search of a new government.” The North Carolina General Assembly divided Tryon County in two in 1778, creating Lincoln and Rutherford counties. Gaston County was formed from Lincoln in 1846.
The newly formed Lincoln County continued to hold court at Mauney’s home, but the home was no longer at the county’s geographic center. Court was held there in 1784 for the final time. It is unclear when and how Tryon Courthouse disappeared. A dense forest now stands in the place where passionate revolutionaries once decried British tyranny.
“The revolution was a mindset,” Harkey said. “It was not in the guns, but in the hearts and minds of the people.” Note: Some of the historical information for this article taken from a historical sketch written by Forestview High Principal Robert Carpenter. You can reach Tripp Mickle at (704) 869-1820.