Richard Dobbs Spaight, Sr., the first native-born governor
of North Carolina, was born in New Bern on March 25, 1758, to
Richard and Elizabeth Wilson Spaight. He studied abroad, finishing
his education at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. After
returning to America, Spaight served briefly in the Revolution
as military Aide-de-Camp to Major General Richard Caswell.
Spaight returned to the NC General Assembly in 1785, representing
Craven County in the House of Commons, where he was elected Speaker.
He continued his legislative service in the assemblies of 1786-87
and 1787. He was elected as one of North Carolinas representatives
to the federal convention in Philadelphia, arriving there on
May 15, 1787. He was the first North Carolina delegate to arrive,
staying long enough to be one of the signers of the Constitution.
After the Philadelphia meeting he returned to North Carolina
and attended the state convention
In 1798, Spaight was elected to the 5th United States Congress
as a member of the House of Representatives following the death
of Congressman Nathan Bryan on June 4. He was elected to the
6th Congress, but was defeated for re-election to a third term
by John Stanly.
Immediately above comes from Pages 854-855 of the 2005-2006 North Carolina Manual, with minor edits.