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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Durham in Durham County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Duke Homestead

Prosperity from War

 
 
Duke Homestead Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, May 11, 2010
1. Duke Homestead Marker
Inscription. 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
Duke Homestead Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish, May 11, 2010
2. Duke Homestead Marker
Located in front of the Duke Homestead visitor center and Tobacco Museum, the marker (left) stands next the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker.
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.
 
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trials.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 2.164′ N, 78° 55.279′ W. Marker is in Durham, North Carolina, in Durham County. Marker can be reached from Duke Homestead Road. Click for map. The marker is located in the visitor parking lot of the Duke Homestead North Carolina Historic Site, adjacent to the walkway to Tobacco Museum and visitor center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham NC 27705, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. North Carolina (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Duke Homestead (approx. 0.9 miles away); West Point Truce Line (approx. 2.4 miles away); Royal Ice Cream Sit-In
Duke Homestead (1852) image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish
3. Duke Homestead (1852)
Looking across a newly planted tobacco field toward the Duke Homestead. In foreground is a reconstruction of the corn crib used as the first tobacco factory, where Washington Duke began manufacturing smoking tobacco in 1865. With the Washington Duke House, the birthplace of B.N. and J.B. Duke, in the background at the North Carolina Duke Homestead Historic Site.
(approx. 2.9 miles away); Bennett Place (approx. 3 miles away); Rotary Bandstand (approx. 3 miles away); a different marker also named North Carolina (approx. 3 miles away); a different marker also named Bennett Place (approx. 3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Durham.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study the marker shown.
 
Also see . . .  NC Historic Sites - Duke Homestead. (Submitted on November 11, 2010, by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.)
 
Categories. AgricultureIndustry & CommerceWar, US Civil
 
Duke Homestead (1852) image. Click for full size.
By Paul Crumlish
4. Duke Homestead (1852)
The Washington Duke House, the birthplace of B.N. and J.B. Duke, at the North Carolina Duke Homestead Historic Site.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. This page has been viewed 618 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia.   3, 4. submitted on , by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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