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George Washington DUKE

George Washington DUKE

Male 1820 - 1905  (84 years)

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  • Name George Washington DUKE 
    Nickname Wash 
    Born 28 Dec 1820  Orange County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 8 May 1905  Durham, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Biography

      George Washington Duke (December 18, 1820 ? May 8, 1905) was famous as an American tobacco industrialist and philanthropist who fought in the American Civil War.

      Born 28 Dec 1820 in Orange County, North Carolina, USA

      Son of John Taylor Duke and Dicey Jones

      Brother of William James Duke, Mary Polly Duke, Reany Duke, Amelia Duke, Kirkland R Duke, Malinda Duke, John T Duke, Doctor B Duke and Robert F Duke

      Husband of Mary Caroline (Clinton) Duke ? married 9 Aug 1842

      Husband of Artelia (Roney) Duke ? married 9 Dec 1852

      Father of Sidney Taylor Duke, Brodie Leonidas Duke, Mary Elizabeth (Duke) Lyon, Benjamin Newton Duke and James Buchanan Duke

      Died 8 May 1905 in Durham, North Carolina, USA

      From Wikipedia[1]:

      "Duke was born in Orange County, North Carolina (present day Durham County, North Carolina), to Taylor Duke (c1770?1849) and Dicey Jones (c1780?1860). On August 9, 1842, he married Mary Caroline Clinton (1825?1847) with whom he had two children: Sidney Taylor Duke (1844?1858) and Brodie Leonidas Duke (1846?1919)."

      "After Mary Duke's death at age twenty-two, he married Artelia Roney (1829?1858) on December 9, 1852. Both Mary and Artelia died of typhoid fever. With Artelia Duke, he had three children: Mary Elizabeth Duke (1853?1893) who married Robert E. Lyon; Benjamin Newton Duke (1855?1929) and James Buchanan Duke (1856?1925)."

      "Washington Duke served in the Confederate Navy (1863?1865) during the American Civil War against his will. He was vigorously opposed to slavery though some have mistakenly concluded that he owned slaves because he once purchased a slave. In reality he was purchasing the slave's freedom and he set her free immediately after the purchase as is shown by the census records shortly thereafter when she was living on his land as a free woman. It is also alleged that he was once recorded selling slaves but this is not correct either. He mentioned that slaves might be sold at the same time as a sale of his property. He did not say they were his slaves and, in fact, the 1860 census, just prior to this "recorded" event shows that he did not own slaves. The third reason some claim that he owned slaves is that he once hired a slave from a slave owner to work for him on a temporary basis during which that slave escaped. It has been reported that he actually assisted the slave in the escape and he hired him so that the slave would have time to get to a northern state before Washington reported him missing."

      "After the war, he grew tobacco, but in 1874, he sold his rural home and moved to the city of Durham, where he began his tobacco business. His workers hand processed tobacco into a form that could be sold by the bag for pipe smokers or hand rolled into cigarettes. In 1881, the W. Duke Sons and Company was established as a tobacco manufacturer and was soon a marketer of pre-rolled cigarettes. In 1884 he was nominated by the Republican Party for North Carolina State Treasurer, an elected position, and lost."

      "After a "tobacco war" among the five large manufacturers, Washington's son James Duke became president of the dominant American Tobacco Company and son Benjamin its vice-president. They would build the company into a multi-national corporation and a monopoly. In 1880 the Dukes were residing in Durham, and Washington was living with his son James and two sisters-in-law: Bettie Roney (born c.1830) and Annie Roney (born c.1846). Also in the household were Jennie Procter (born c.1862) as "house assistant" and two servants: Louisa Sparkman (born c.1867); and Laura Hopkins (born c.1869)."

      "Duke used his influence to have Trinity College moved to Durham. The institution opened its new campus in 1892 with him and son Benjamin as its principal benefactors. In 1896, Duke gifted the college with $100,000 (about $2,200,000 in 2005 dollars) on the condition that it open its doors to women. Trinity College was renamed in honor of Duke in 1924, becoming Duke University."

      "Washington Duke was interred in Memorial Chapel in the Duke University Chapel on the campus of Duke University. He is memorialized by a statue at the entrance to Duke's East Campus."


      The following is from the Find A Grave website:

      Birth: Dec. 18, 1820 Orange County North Carolina, USA Death: May 8, 1905 Durham Durham County North Carolina, USA

      Washington Duke (1820-1905) aka George Washington Duke I, was a manufacturer. (b. December 18, 1820; Durham County, North Carolina, USA - d. May 08, 1905; Durham, Durham County, North Carolina, USA)

      Parents: Washington was born in 1820 to Taylor Duke (c1770-1830) and Dicey Jones (c1780-?).

      Birth: He was born on December 18, 1820 in Durham County, North Carolina.

      First marriage: He married Mary Caroline Clinton (1825-1847) on August 09, 1842. Mary died of typhoid fever in 1847.

      Children: Sidney Taylor Duke (1844-1858) and Brodie Leonidas Duke (1846-1919).

      Second marriage: After her death he married Artelia Romey (1829-1858) on December 9, 1852. Artelia died of typhoid fever in 1858.

      Children: With Artelia he had three children: Mary Elizabeth Duke (1853-1893) who married Robert E. Lyon; Benjamin Newton Duke (1855-1929) who married Sarah Pearson Angier on February 21, 1877; and James Taylor Duke (1856-1925) who married Lillian McCreedy and later married Nanaline Holt (1869-1961) on July 23, 1907 in Brooklyn, New York.

      Civil War: Washington served in the Confederate Navy from 1863 to 1865, in the American Civil War.

      Tobacco: After the war he grew tobacco and started a manufacturing business which consisted of hand processing tobacco to make it into a form that could be sold by the bag for people to smoke in pipes or to hand roll their own cigarettes. The family would travel throughout the United States to market their products then return to their farm. By 1880, James B. Duke turned the firm of W. Duke Sons & Co. into a manufacturer and marketer of pre-rolled cigarettes.


      Durham, North Carolina: In the 1880 US Census the Dukes are residing in Durham, North Carolina and Washington is living with his son James and two sister-in-laws: Bettie Romey (1830-?) and Annie Romey (1846-?). Also in the household are Jennie Procter (1862-?) as "house assistant" and two servants: Louisa Sparkman (1867-?); and Laura Hopkins (1869-?).

      American Tobacco: After a "tobacco war" among the five large manufacturers, James Duke emerged as president of the dominant American Tobacco company, which became a multinational corporation and a monopoly.

      Relationships: He was the grandfather of Doris Duke (1912-1993).

      Family links: Spouses: Mary Caroline Clinton Duke (1825 - 1847) Artelia Roney Duke (1829 - 1858)

      Children: Brodie Leonidas Duke (1846 - 1919)* Mary Elizabeth Duke Lyon (1853 - 1893)* Benjamin Newton Duke (1855 - 1929)* James Buchanan Duke (1856 - 1925)*

      Burial: Duke University Chapel Durham Durham County North Carolina, USA
      The following is text excerpted from "The Dukes of Durham,"

      +On 04 Apr 1864, he signed a receipt for a private's uniform at Camp Holmes in Raleigh, Wake, North Carolina. He was in duty in the Confederate Navy. He was aboard the ship Indian Chief in the port of Charleston, South Carolina in June 1864. His duty at Charleston was cut short, however, by needs that grew out of the desperate situation of the Confederate forces near Richmond, Virginia. The James River Squadron of the Confederate Navy finally had to man artillery batteries on the banks of the river, and in Sep 1864, Washington Duke, together with additional members from Charleston, was transferred to Virginia. There he became an able artillerist, was promoted to the rank of orderly sergeant, and survived the rain, mud, and flood waters that harassed the men at Battery Brooke on the James. In the confusion surrounding the Confederate evacuation on April 01-02, 1864, Washington Duke was captured by Union troops. He was imprisoned in Richmond only a week before General Robert E Lee's surrender on April 09 at Appomattox Court House. Gaining his parole later in the spring or early summer, Washington Duke was sent by ship to New Bern, NC. From there he walked home to his reunion with his children--Brodie, Mary, Ben, and Buck.

      When General William T Sherman accepted the surrender of General Joseph E Johnston and the last major Confederate force east of the Mississippi at a nearby farmhouse (The Bennett Place Homestead), Durham gained its first claim to the world's attention. Consisting of fewer than a hundred people at the end of the war, the hamlet lay some four miles to the south of Washington Duke's farm.


      In addition to the coming of the railroad, the development of a new variety of tobacco, bright leaf, had a great deal to do with the rise of Durham and the postwar career of Washington Duke.


      FROM TRINITY TO DUKE

      a brief history from DukeHomestead.org website: "Tell them every man to think for himself."

      After retiring from the tobacco business in1880, Washington Duke began working to bring a small Methodist college to Durham. Trinity College, located in Randolph County, was adopted by the Methodists of North Carolina in 1856. By the late 1880s, the school barely had enough money to operate. The Methodist Church in North Carolina did not have the funds to support the institution, and the school lacked the leadership of a strong president. With the appointment of Pres. John Crowell in 1887, things began looking up for Trinity. Ben Duke gave the struggling institution $1,000 that year, beginning the family's association with Trinity.

      The new president aimed to grow the struggling school to compete with top universities in the nation. Part of this vision involved a move from rural Randolph County to a city.

      Durham, the quickly-growing factory town, sought a college. Durham bid against Raleigh for a Baptist Female Seminary (what became Meredith College), and he lost. Washington Duke felt Durham?s embarrassment at this loss, and turned his focus to Trinity College. He offered to match Raleigh?s bid of $35,000 and provide an additional endowment of $50,000. Julian Shakespeare Carr, another prominent Durham businessman, provided fifty acres of land as a site for the school. The college accepted Durham?s bid. Work on the new
      campus began in 1890, and it opened to students in 1892.


      The Duke family continued to support Trinity in its early Durham years, with Washington serving on the building committee and Ben and Buck Duke lending monetary support. Trinity was not the only institution to receive the support of the Duke family in the late 19th century. The family regularly gave to the Oxford Orphan Asylum and Kittrell College for African Americans. Long before the existence of Duke Hospital, the family became heavily involved with both Watts and Lincoln Hospitals.

      As for Trinity, Washington Duke endowed the school with $100,000 in 1896. Though he refused to have the school renamed as "Duke College," Washington informed Trinity that the money did come with the condition that the college "open its doors to women, placing them on equal footing with men."

      The Duke family?s support helped Trinity to grow its student body and campus, as well as the quality of the faculty and fields of study. In addition to funding, the family supported the academic freedom of Trinity College?s professors. Members of the Duke family also began to attend Trinity, with both Ben Duke's son and daughter graduating in the early 1900s.

      Through the 1910s, members of the Duke family planted the seeds of what would become "The Duke Endowment." However, it was not until 1924 that James B. Duke signed the indenture for the endowment, handing over $40,000,000 to its trustees. With the endowment, Trinity College became Duke University. Today visitors to Duke?s East Campus will see a sculpture of Washington Duke, sitting in a chair and watching over the school he and his family helped to build.


    Person ID I11467  Johnson & Hanson
    Last Modified 12 May 2018 

    Father John Taylor DUKE,   b. 1770, Brunswick, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1850, Chapel Hill, Orange, North Carolina, United Statesmap Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Mother Dicey JONES,   b. 1780, Orange Co. NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1850, Orange, NC, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years) 
    Married 14 Aug 1801 
    Family ID F1270  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Mary Caroline CLINTON,   b. 28 Sep 1825,   d. 1847, Durham, North Carolina, USAmap Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 21 years) 
    Last Modified 12 May 2018 
    Family ID F4139  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Artelia RONEY,   b. 28 Jun 1829, Alamance, North Carolina, USAmap Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Aug 1858  (Age 29 years) 
    Married 9 Dec 1852 
    Children 
     1. Mary Elizabeth DUKE,   b. 1853, Orange County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1893  (Age 40 years)
    +2. Benjamin Newton DUKE,   b. 25 Aug 1855, Orange County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Jan 1929, New York, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)
    +3. James Buchanan DUKE,   b. 23 Dec 1856, Orange County, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Oct 1925, New York, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
    Last Modified 12 May 2018 
    Family ID F4140  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    George Washington Duke
    George Washington Duke

    Headstones
    George Washinton Duke
    George Washinton Duke
    Statue of Washington Duke at Duke University's East Campus Durham Durham North Carolina USA