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Tryon’s Message

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

March 16. –This day, Governor Tryon, now on board the ship Duchess of Gordon, lying in the North River, sent the following message to the inhabitants of the colony of New York: –“Notwithstanding prejudice, delusion, and faction, have hitherto, among too many, usurped the seat of reason and reflection, and every exhortation I have offered to the inhabitants of this province (in whose affection I have been taught to be happy) has been reviled and treated with neglect, yet as my wishes for their prosperity, and feelings for their calamities, cannot easily be suppressed even towards the disobedient, I cannot but repeat my endeavors to recall those who have revolted from their allegiance to a sense of their duty, and to comfort those who have been the objects of oppression, for their zealous attachment to our happy constitution, and their steady obedience to the sovereignty of the British empire.

“It is in the clemency and authority of Great Britain only, under God, that we can look for happiness, peace, and protection, and I have it in command, from the king, to encourage by every means in my power, the expectations in his Majesty’s well-disposed subjects in this government, of every assistance and protection the state of Great Britain will enable his Majesty to afford them, and to cherish every appearance of a disposition, on their part, to withstand the tyranny and misrule which accompany the acts of those who have but too well hitherto succeeded in the total subversion of legal government. Under such assurances, therefore, I exhort all the friends to good order and our justly admired constitution, still to preserve that constancy of mind, which is inherent in the breasts of virtuous and loyal citizens, and I trust a very few months will relieve them from their present oppressed, injured, and insulted condition.

“England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales have united to place their whole strength, power, and confidence in his Majesty’s hands. The numerous addresses from all parts of the king’s dominions in Europe, speak the loyalty and zeal with which his subjects there engage to support his Majesty, in asserting and maintaining the just sovereignty of the British empire over all its members.

“The British state moves not by sudden and violent sallies, nor wantonly oppresses. She has lenity for her basis, and is distinguished for moderation and forbearance; but when her just indignation is roused, the experience of other nations can testify her weight and force. It cannot be sufficiently lamented, that the conduct of this country has called for so severe a rod. May a timely and dutiful submission avert its stroke.

“I have the satisfaction to inform you, that a door is still open to such honest, but deluded, people as will avail themselves of the justice and benevolence which the supreme legislature has held out to them, of being restored to the king’s grace and peace, and that proper steps have been taken for passing a commission for that purpose, under the great seal of Great Britain, in conformity to a provision in a late act of Parliament, the Commissioners, thereby to be appointed, having also power to inquire into the state and condition of the colonies for effecting a restoration of the public tranquillity.” 1


1 Constitutional Gazette, March 20.

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