The largest Civil War surrender took Durham at what is now known as Bennett Place for no other reason that it was a convenient place for Generals Sherman and Johnston to meet. Can only imagine how ‘convenient’ that felt to the Bennett family. The surrender took three tries and eleven days. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of idle soldiers. Uh-oh. Naturally, they went about ransacking the local tobacco factories, clearing them out of all their goods.
Washington Duke returned to what looked and truly felt like complete ruin. That is until orders for Durham’s very distinct, sweet, high-addictive Brightleaf tobacco began flooding through Durham Station. Duke’s tobacco company would go onto heights no one thought possiBULL. His original name for his tobacco company was “Pro Bono Publico” meaning For the Public Good until George W. Watts bought into the company & it was renamed “W. Duke Sons & Company.”
You'll notice 'Pro Bono Publico' made a very special appearance in "The Bulls of Durham" living history book.
Business was booming, but there was one Duke who was NOT smiling, the notorious carouser Brodie Duke. Brodie was NOT keen on Watts. When he purchased and created the Trinity Park area he named the streets Watts, Hated, Washington. So that going one way it read “Watts hated Washington” and from the other direction would read, “Washington hated Watts.” Dang. That's petty.
The name was changed to Gregson at some point, possiBULLy because no one wanted to live or work on Hated Street or perhaps Washington Duke gave Brodie another infusion of the Duke wealth to sway him.
If you head over to West Corporation Street today, near the old Durham Bulls ballpark (aka Durham Athletic Park, aka El Toro Park), you can see Brodie Duke’s building. Look closely friends & you’ll see brickwork that is as haphazard as Brodie was said to have been. He far preferred to spend his time with the ladies and liquor than being a tobacco baron. It’s incrediBULL how fitting the building is to his character and in his defense both ladies and liquor are quite lovely.
More incrediBULL bits of Durham history can be found in "The Bulls of Durham" living history book.
This Bull City History Bit was made possiBULL by our Community Partner Brian Bonomo Photography.
The Bulls of Durham 1st Edition *Special Reserve
$50.00 - $60.00
Only a few left!
Signed, first print copy of "The Bulls of Durham" living history book. Projected book launch is April 10th, 2019, Durham's 150th Anniversary. This purchase includes your book and support for the project.
"The Bulls of Durham" living history book blends Durham's rich history with stories and perspectives of our city's greats that are continuing to build upon that history. And in this way, this is the story of Durham, North Carolina through the bulls' eyes.
Learn how a city that literally started from a tobacco seed in the ashes of the Civil War grew into the best city on earth. Discover how a stolen bull brought about a history shifting, global tobacco empire; and how 150 years later that relates to a British mustard company having beef with Sheila. #NotSorry
Find out the backstory to how the now hippest, foodiest, tech-hub of the South also gave rise to the bullpen, billboards, branding and baseball cards. Delve into our city's strong Black history that proves "Do It Like Durham" isn't a passing trend and will give you a profound sense of reverence walking down Parrish Street.
Best of all, see the common thread that runs through the stories of teachers, politicians, business owners, hip-hop artists, painters, activists, historians, architects and the real Bull City OG's. Hint: it's the BULLief that in Durham anything is possiBULL.
Welcome to Durham the incrediBULL place where grit meets grace. Here all you have to have is a dream and faith the size of a tobacco seed, because well, tobacco seeds build global empires, not mustard seeds.
Project book launch date: April 10, 2019 - Durham's 150th Anniversary.
Cover Art by DeCario Allen.
Bull City Storytime
Have something special coming up in Durham and want to get the world out to an entire herd of Bull City loving folks? This affordaBULL Community Partnership Opportunity is PERFECT for you.
Promote your event, sale, product line, big news via @TheBullsOfDurham stories. Our HIGHLY engaged audience loves what we love, so let us love you in our stories.
Speaking from experience, Durham and most humans in general, need several reminders. Recommend to purchase 3 or more stories building up to your event, sale, etc. for best results. Pricing is per story slide. If your promotion needs more than 1 story slide purchase that number of story slides.
*Terms and conditions apply. The Bulls Of Durham LLC reserves the right to choose what will and will not be promoted via their avenues. No *risky* business as we have Young Bulls who read our content too - meaning while we practice non-judgment, kiddos don't need to be exposed to content about sexy time.
Bits of Bull City History
Sponsorship of a Durham History post on social media as well as a microblog on TheBullsOfDurham.com. These are mega-hits reaching 1000s of Durhamites. Durham LOVES its history.
*Subject to approval to and enrollment in The Bulls of Durham Community Partnership Program.