Tryon Palace Reenacts Stanly-Spaight Duel

NEW BERN, NC – Sept. 2, 2017

The scene of the last legal duel in North Carolina will be reenacted at the New Bern Academy Museum, Saturday, Sept. 2, at 4 p.m.

More than two centuries ago, on Sept. 5, 1802, political foes John Stanly, Jr. and Richard Dobbs Spaight brought their dispute to a dramatic conclusion. Stanly, a prominent New Bern lawyer, and Spaight, a former North Carolina Governor, met for a lethal duel on the streets of New Bern. Spaight 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, convinced the governor to grant North Carolina’s first gubernatorial pardon to Stanly.

Visitors are invited to watch the drama unfold outside on the New Bern Academy Green, located on the corner of New and Hancock streets. Admission to the Stanly-Spaight Duel is free. In the event of rain, the duel will be cancelled.

For more information call 252-639-3500 or visit

Upcoming events at Tryon Palace include:

September 5: Behind the Scenes: Costume Shop

September 9: Teacher Appreciation Day

September 13: Palace Pours: Oktoberfest

September 15: Lunch and Learn: From Receipt Book to Cookbook