Mary Jones Spaight

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Mary Jones Spaight (Leech)

Also Known As: "Polly"
Death: Died
Place of Burial: New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Joseph Leech and Mary Dorothy Leech
Wife of Richard D.Spaight, Signer of the US Constitution
Mother of Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr., Governor; William Wilson Spaight; Margaret Elizabeth Donnell and Charles George Spaight

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Mary Jones Spaight

Wife of Richard Dobbs Spraight, Sr., signer of the U.S. Constitution. Mary had the distinction of being the first lady to dance with George Washington at a ball in his honor at Tryon Palace in New Bern, North Carolina in 1791.

Richard Spaight met defeat in bids for the governorship in 1787 and the U.S. Senate 2 years later. From then until 1792, illness forced his retirement from public life, during which time he visited the West Indies, but he captured the governorship in the latter year (1792-95). In 1793 he served as Presidential elector. Two years later, he wed Mary Leach, who bore four children.

Though they could not enroll, some women became ardent supporters of the University of North Carolina. Governor Richard Dobbs Spaight's wife, Mary Leach Spaight, attended the first public examination of students. In 1802, the women of Raleigh donated a pair of globes and a compass to the university. In 1803, the women of New Bern gave a quadrant. North Carolina's women also joined the university's public occasions, including balls and commencement. At the 1849 commencement, women were seated together to prevent interaction with the male students.


Additional info can be found at these sites:

Women of the Constitution: Wives of the Signers

By Janice E. McKenney, Daughters of the American Revolution. District of Columbia, pg. 189.

New Bern History 101

By Edward Barnes Ellis, pg 82.
  • Has info about her response to her husband’s duel and resulting death.
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Mary Jones Spaight's Timeline

Age 29
Age 31
New Bern, North Carolina
Age 33
Age 35
Age 45
New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina, United States