Posted by: Kat | May 4, 2015

Governor Richard Dobbs Spaight Correspondence Digitized, Available at North Carolina Digital Collections

Select correspondence of Richard Dobbs Spaight have been digitized and are now available as part of the historical Governors’ Papers at North Carolina Digital Collections. Spaight served as North Carolina’s 8th governor from 1792-1795. Notably, he was the first native-born governor of North Carolina, and the first to convene the General Assembly in Raleigh.

Proclamation delivered by Richard Dobbs Spaight at New Bern, NC, May 25, 1793. Call no. GP Box 20, Richard Spaight.

Proclamation delivered by Richard Dobbs Spaight at New Bern, NC, May 25, 1793. Call no. GP Box 20, Richard Spaight.

His collected correspondence cover the period of his governance, which was punctuated by war in Europe between American allies France and England. Although President George Washington had declared the United States a neutral party to the conflict, strong support for France manifested in North Carolina’s seaport towns, particularly Wilmington, which caused considerable frustration for North Carolina’s government and militias. Spaight’s correspondence also reflect other issues of the time including: ongoing negotiations over repayment of Revolutionary War debts owed to the federal government by the state; continuing border disputes with South Carolina; efforts to quell Cherokee uprisings in the western regions of North Carolina; and state laws pertaining to stolen slaves. The finding aid to our Spaight collection can be found here.

Additional information about Richard Spaight can be found at NCpedia:
http://ncpedia.org/biography/governors/spaight
http://ncpedia.org/biography/spaight-richard-dobbs

Spaight famously died from injuries sustained in a dual with John Stanley. Some consider it “the most notorious affair of honor in North Carolina history.” Read about it here:
http://ncpedia.org/history/stanly-spaight-duel

Information about Spaight’s notable North Carolinian correspondents can be found in these NCpedia articles:

Henry Potter: http://ncpedia.org/biography/potter-henry
John Haywood: http://ncpedia.org/biography/haywood-john-0
Willaim Henry Hill: http://ncpedia.org/biography/hill-william-henry
Benjamin Smith: http://ncpedia.org/biography/governors/smith-benjamin
George Hooper: http://ncpedia.org/biography/hooper-george
Henry Toomer: http://ncpedia.org/biography/toomer-henry
John London: http://ncpedia.org/biography/london-john
Edward Jones: http://ncpedia.org/biography/jones-edward
William Richardson Davie: http://ncpedia.org/biography/governors/davie
Joseph Graham: http://ncpedia.org/biography/graham-joseph
Sam Ashe: http://ncpedia.org/biography/ashe-samuel
William Duffy: http://ncpedia.org/biography/duffy-william

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