Historical Account of Tryon County
Tryon was formed in 1768 from Mecklenburg. the act was to become effective April 10, 1769. It was named in honor of William Tryon, governor of North Carolina, 1765-1771. The act establishing the county named commissioners to select a place "whereon to erect court house, prison and stocks."
Boundaries were the Catawba River on the east, Granville's line to the North, and the Cherokee boundary to the west. The southern boundary was not well defined since the bored between North and South Carolina was not well established.
In 1771 Governor Tryon called out 5 militiamen of Tryon County to help put down the Regulator movement, a protest against corrupt county officials and excessive taxes, centered in counties to the northeast of Tryon.
Although the colony was officially at peace with the Indians from 1763 to 1776, the Tryon County frontier was the target of occasional raids, usually by Cherokees but sometimes by Shawnees and other faraway tribes. Settlers constructed several stockade forts to protect themselves and their neighbors. Fort McGaughey was near Brittain Church. Fort McFadden on Mountain Creek near Rutherfordton, and Potts' Fort in Montford's Cove above Whitehouse, now just across the McDowell County Line.
Coming of the Revolution
As Tryon County leaders pondered everyday matters of government, they also faced the approaching conflict between the colonies and Great Britain. The county sent two representatives to the First Provincial Congress in 1774; in 1775, as instructed by the Provincial Congress, Tryon County freeholders chose a Committee of Safety which soon came to exercise most of the powers of government. On August 14, 1775 the Committee drafted an "Association" to be signed by the people of the county. These resolutions deplored the fighting that had already begun in Massachusetts and declared that the time had come "to take up arms and risk our lives and fortunes, in maintaining the freedom of our country." This was not a declaration of independence, however; the goal was "a reconciliation. between Great Britain and America on Constitutional principles."
Cherokee war parties, encouraged by British agents, attacked several Tryon County settlements in July 1776. Most Tories joined their Whig neighbors in fighting off the raiders and marching with General Griffith Rutherford to devastate the Cherokee towns across the Blue Ridge. Crippled by this destruction, the Cherokees never again posed a major threat to the county, but small raids continued, and the militia had to patrol the frontier and man the forts almost constantly.
Tryon was abolished in 1779, and Lincoln and Rutherford were formed from it.
The boundary line between Tryon and Mecklenburg was established in 1774.
Lincoln and Rutherford were formed in 1779 from Tryon.
The Formation of the North Carolina Counties, 1663-1943. By David Leroy Corbitt
Raleigh, Division of Archives and History, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources 1950.
Ulrichsburg, North Carolina (established 1789).
An article by Mills Yoder Bridges
Approximate Boundaries of Tryon County, NC 1768 - Maps, Links to Historical Articles
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