Prosperity from WarWhen North Carolina became the last state to secede from the Union in May 1861, Washington Duke's small farm and homestead here consisted of more than 300 acres. He grew typical crops such as corn, wheat, oats, and sweet potatoes, and had raised cotton as a cash crop until it failed in the 1850s, when he began cultivating bright-leaf tobacco. Drafted into the Confederate Navy in September 1863, Duke was soon captured and imprisoned in Richmond, Va. He was released after the war and sent to New Bern, N.C. He then walked 134 miles back to his homestead. Duke discovered that the soldiers encamped here had consumed most of his stored tobacco while Gens. Joseph E. Johnston and William T. Sherman negotiated the Confederate surrender at James and Nancy Bennett's farm, now Bennett Place State Historic Site. Fortunately, the soldiers left enough tobacco for Duke and his family to produce "Pro Bono Publico" ("for the public good") brand smoking tobacco. Its popularity encouraged the Dukes to manufacture other, equally popular brands, largely purchased by soldiers who introduced bright-leaf tobacco to their communities. The Duke family soon prospered, and W. Duke, Sons and Company eventually grew into one of the largest trusts in the world, the American Tobacco Company.
|Series||This marker is part of the North Carolina Civil War Trails series|
|Placed By||North Carolina Civil War Trials|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Monday, October 6th, 2014 at 4:58am PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||17S E 687274 N 3989947|
|Decimal Degrees||36.03606667, -78.92131667|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 36° 2.164', W 78° 55.279'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||36° 2' 9.84" N, 78° 55' 16.74" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Area Code(s)||434, 919|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 2828 Duke Homestead Rd, Durham NC 27705, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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