Thomas Smith Deed for 240 Acres, Bladen County, NC, 25 Sept. 1799

Thomas Smith Deed for 240 Acres of Land p. 1Thomas Smith Deed for 240 Acres of Land

Source:  Ralph C. Deal Collection (ECU Manuscript Collections #0027)

Staff Person:  Jonathan Dembo

Description:

This deed, survey and plat seen above, dated 25 September 1799, granting 240 acres of land in Bladen County, North Carolina to Thomas Smith, was signed by North Carolina Governor Richard Dobbs Spaight, who also signed the U. S. Constitution. Spaight (1758 – 1802) was North Carolina’s 8th governor after American independence. The first native-born American to be elected Governor, he served three one-year terms, 1792 – 1795.  Born in New Bern to the son of a colonial official, Spaight was educated in Ireland and Scotland.  He returned to America to serve as an aide to American General Richard Caswell, during the Revolutionary War, 1778 – 1781.

After the Revolution, Spaight served as a representative from North Carolina in the Continental Congress, 1782 – 1785, and in the North Carolina House of Commons, 1785 – 1788, where he became Speaker of the House.  In 1787 he became a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.  He was only 29 when he signed the document.

During his term as Governor, Raleigh was chosen as the site for the new State Capitol and Chapel Hill was chosen as the site for the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. As governor, Spaight was also the chair of the first UNC Board of Trustees.  Spaight died in 1802 as the result of an wound sustained in a duel at New Bern with his bitter political rival, Federalist John Stanly.  Spaight’s son, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr. (1796 – 1850) served as both congressman, 1823 – 1825, and governor, 1835 – 1836;  his grandson, Richard Spaight Donnell (1820 – 1867) served as a congressman from North Carolina, 1847 – 1849.

Dueling in New Bern, N.C. 1822-1872

Source: Guide to the Stephen F. Miller Memoir, 1872, East Carolina Manuscript Collection, #371

Recollections of New Bern, N.C. Fifty Years Ago

Recollections of New Bern, N.C. Fifty Years Ago

Staff Person: Nanette Hardison

Description:

The images shown below are of the front cover and two pages of a memoir written by Stephen F. Miller entitled, “Recollections of New Bern, N.C. Fifty Years Ago,” which describes life in New Bern in the early 1800s, particularly the historical incidents that took place during that period. Included are descriptions of two incidences of dueling, which was common during that time. Duels were fought by men from all walks of life in America, but by the start of the Civil War, dueling was in decline because the public objected to this violent activity.

Source: http:www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/duel/sfeature/dueling.html

Recollections of New Bern, N.C. Fifty Years Ago

Recollections of New Bern, N.C. Fifty Years Ago

Recollections of New Bern, N.C. Fifty Years Ago

Recollections of New Bern, N.C. Fifty Years Ago