Stanly-Spaight Duel Reenactment Set for Labor Day Weekend

Duel, Fife and Drum Concert to be held on Tryon Palace South Lawn Saturday, Sept. 5 

Tryon Palace’s South Lawn will echo with gunfire and drumrolls during a live reenactment of the Stanly-Spaight Duel, held Labor Day weekend on Saturday, Sept. 5, at 4 p.m.

More than two centuries ago, on Sept. 5, 1802, prominent New Bern lawyer John Stanly, Jr. met his political rival, Richard Dobbs Spaight, for a lethal duel on the streets of New Bern. Spaight, who had served as North Carolina’s first native-born governor, was mortally wounded after four rounds and Stanly was forced to flee the city. Stanly was eventually able to return to New Bern when his friend, Judge William Gaston, who convinced the governor to grant North Carolina’s first gubernatorial pardon to Stanly.

Beginning with a performance by the Tryon Palace Fife and Drum Corps at 4 p.m. on the South Lawn, visitors are invited to watch the drama unfold. In the event of rain, performances will be moved into the North Carolina History Center’s Cullman Performance Hall.

Admission to the Stanly-Spaight Duel is $6 for adults, $3 for students and includes admission to Tryon Palace gardens. A One Day Pass to Tryon Palace includes the duel at no additional cost, as well as admission to the Stanly House and the Regional History Museum, which includes an exhibit of dueling pistols from the early 1800s and a portrait of the man who helped Stanly get his pardon, Judge Gaston. 

For more information call 252-639-3500.