Duke Homestead

Duke Homestead (HMPB9)

Location: Durham, NC 27705 Durham County
Country: United States of America

N 36° 2.164', W 78° 55.279'

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Prosperity from War

When 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.
Within a decade of the end of the war, Duke and other local entrepreneurs, such as Julian S. Carr and Brodie L. Duke (Washington's eldest son) established the Durham tobacco factories and textile mills that fueled the recovery of war-stricken North Carolina. Now renovated into shops, restaurants, and offices, the red brickwork and architectural details of the century-old facilities contribute to Durham's unique sense of place.
HM NumberHMPB9
Series This marker is part of the North Carolina Civil War Trails series
Placed ByNorth Carolina Civil War Trials
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 6th, 2014 at 4:58am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 687274 N 3989947
Decimal Degrees36.03606667, -78.92131667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 2.164', W 78° 55.279'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 2' 9.84" N, 78° 55' 16.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)434, 919
Closest Postal AddressAt 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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