Edward Hyde and Turmoil in Early Carolina

Gov. Edward Hyde. Image from the N.C. Museum of History.On September 8, 1712, Governor Edward Hyde died of yellow fever at his home on the Albemarle Sound.

Born in 1667 in England, Hyde inherited several properties and had ties to royalty. He attended Oxford University but didn’t complete a degree. Despite his connections and inheritance, Hyde faced financial ruin and sold much of his property.

In 1708, Hyde petitioned the queen for a governorship in Carolina, specifically the deputy governorship of northern Carolina, which was then available. He received the commission in early 1709 and arrived in Virginia to find a great deal political upheaval. He remained in Virginia until there was agreement in the colony that Hyde was indeed the commissioned leader.

Hyde assumed his duties as royal governor in 1711 but was in a politically precarious position during the uprising known as Cary’s Rebellion. That year the colony also suffered from a yellow fever epidemic and the outbreak of the Tuscarora War after an attack near Bath.

In 1712, Hyde became the first governor of the separate and distinct colony of North Carolina. Yellow fever struck again that year, claiming the governor as one of its victims.

Hyde was likely buried on the plantation grounds in Chowan County.

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