SPIGHT, Thomas, (1841 - 1924)


”Around the Capital” (detail), engraving, Thomas Fleming, 1902, Collection of U.S. House of Representatives

SPIGHT, Thomas, a Representative from Mississippi; born near Ripley, Tippah County, Miss., October 25, 1841; attended the common schools, Ripley Academy, Purdy (Tenn.) College, and the La Grange (Tenn.) Synodical College; enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private in 1861; promoted to the rank of lieutenant the same year; in 1862 became captain of Company B, Thirty-fourth Regiment, Mississippi Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the war; taught school and also engaged in agricultural pursuits; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1875 and commenced practice in Ripley, Miss.; member of the State house of representatives 1874-1880; established the Southern Sentinel in 1879, retiring from the newspaper business five years later; prosecuting attorney of the third judicial district 1884-1892; elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-fifth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William V. Sullivan; reelected to the Fifty-sixth and to the five succeeding Congresses and served from July 5, 1898, to March 3, 1911; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1910; again resumed the practice of his profession and also engaged in religious work until his death in Ripley, Miss., January 5, 1924; interment in Ripley Cemetery.