Palace architect John Hawks’ 1767 architectural plans show that the first floor of the Kitchen Office included the kitchen itself, a scullery for the cleaning and storage of dishes, a wash house, and workspace for the governor’s secretary. In a letter, Governor Tryon mentioned that the second-floor rooms were “intended for Servants Chambers, and a Laundry.”
When you visit the Kitchen Office, keep in mind that while it may appear primitive by today’s standards, it represented the very latest in “modern” conveniences of 1770. The sights, sounds and smells of an 18th-century kitchen await you here.
There are early maps of North Carolina on the walls of the office of the governor’s secretary, and upstairs, rooms are laid out as they might have been when they were used as living quarters for the servants.
Piecing together a list of the servants who worked for the Tryons in the Palace (1770-1771) is a historical scavenger hunt that spans across time and distance.
In 1765, before arriving at the Palace, Governor Tryon wrote a letter that mentioned seven servants at his home in Brunswick, North Carolina:
my trusty servant George
Pierre LeBlanc, cusinier [cook]
the lad we took from Norfolk
a sailor I have made my groom
a little French boy I got here
the girl we took from my farm
Turner, the farmer
However, Tryon did not mention two employees who had traveled across the Atlantic with him and his family. Patty Hatch, who kept house for the Tryons, and lady’s maid Ann Patterson are cited in period documents as having been staff since 1764.
By 1769 the Tryon household in Brunswick County included eight male and two female African American slaves. We know the names of only two slaves: Tom and Surry. Surry is listed in a 1777 runaway ad in a New Bern newspaper as being “formerly the Property of Governor Tryon, now belongs to the Estate of Isaac Edwards, deceased.”
Gov. Tryon bought Tom from James Murray in 1766. Murray wrote to the governor on May 5, 1766, stating that he had received payment for “the negro man Tom which I sold your Excellency.” On May 31, Murray sent a “Bill of Sale for Tom, who I rejoice to hear makes a good servant to so good a master.”
The Tryons left North Carolina in 1771, when Governor Tryon was appointed Governor of the Colony of New York. Their New York home at Fort George was destroyed by fire in 1773, and from documentation following the fire we know of twelve people then in their employ.
Housekeeper: Mrs. Patty Hatch
Steward: Malcolm McIsaac
Secretary: Colonel Fanning
Two servants of Colonel Fanning
Maids: Elizabeth Garrett, Elizabeth Laycock, Elizabeth Dudley
Lady’s maid: Mrs. Ann Patterson
Footman: Moses Marden
Servant: Isaac Dupuy
Colonel Edmund Fanning (1739-1818) was a Loyalist and New York native who, as a civil servant in Hillsborough, had ignited the ire of the Regulators, who accused him of extortion. After Governor Tryon put down the Regulator rebellion, Fanning served as his personal secretary until the Revolution. The slave Tom may be the same Tom mentioned in Murray’s 1766 letter. There is no further record of a Tom working for the Tryons after 1773.