Welcome to Lisa's Cemetery Site
lisa@southerncemeteries.org




The following information courtesy of Dennis Duke

dend@alltel.net




John Taylor Duke, Sr.
was born in Virginia circa 1710.  He arrived in Georgia in the late 1770s/1780s following the path of his son Henry Duke of Wilkes County, through the Carolinas and eventually to Georgia.  He, three of his sons, and no fewer than three of his grandsons, served in Elijah Clarke's Battalion of Minute Men during the revolution.  While his specific rank is unknown, he received 3 bounty grants totaling 862 acres in Washington County indicating more than passive service.  The Story of Washington-Wilkes, published in 1941 by the University of Georgia Press, documents that Carr's Fort, one of several blockhouses in Wilkes County and a refuge for women and children, was initially defended by "several old Patriots" prior to a skirmish at the site which left 9 British and 5 Americans killed. 

 

One of John Taylor Duke, Sr.'s sons, John Taylor Duke, Jr., remained in the Carolinas.  His descendants would eventually establish Duke University.  John Taylor Duke Sr.'s last recorded business transaction, the selling of his Washington County Bounty Grants in present day Greene County, indicates he was still a "planter of Wilkes County" in 1787.  He is listed on the "Certified List of Georgia Troops" signed by Georgia Secretary of State, Philip Cook on January 24, 1901.  John Taylor Duke, Sr. died between 1787 and 1789.

 

Capt. Henry Duke of Wilkes County was among the first settlers of the "ceded lands" north of Augusta.  He arrived in Wilkes County on November 16, 1773.  Capt. Henry Duke played an active role in the early civic life of Wilkes County.  On July 5, 1777, Henry and several other members of the community demonstrated one of the pillars of freedom which make the United States the greatest nation in the history of the world, the freedom of speech.  He and several Wilkes County civic leaders signed a letter to the Continental Congress requesting that General Lachlan McIntosh be removed from command of the State's forces.  More importantly, these men demonstrated the responsibility that goes hand in hand with freedom of expression.  When their request was denied, Henry and these men continued active service without question.  This demonstration, and subsequent response by all parties, is a credit to them and General McIntosh, and an example to all Americans, especially in the 21st Century. 

 

On August 27, 1779, Henry was appointed a juror in the first court proceedings of Wilkes County.  During the first day's proceedings, three Tories were brought trial.  Henry’s jury acquitted one, but Joshua Rials and John Benefield were found guilty.  Though Henry was dismissed from jury duty "for sundry good reasons," before these men were sentenced, Joshua Rials was hanged for his crimes.  On May 9, 1780, Henry and Alexander Ottery were appointed "Commissioners" by the Executive Council of Georgia, to protect the property of Mary Sizemore from plundering following her husband William's departure to join the British forces. 

 

The climax of Capt. Henry Duke's service occurs on September 18, 1780 during the first effort to retake Augusta from British control.  Under the command of Elijah Clarke, the Minute Men had established a position near the MacKay Trading Post, now known as the Ezekiel Harris House, where the commander of British forces in Augusta, Col. Browne had established his headquarters.  Twenty-eight Patriots were seriously wounded when British reinforcements came to Browne's aid.  Knowing he was out numbered, Clarke ordered a tactical retreat to regroup.  Believing the men would be treated as prisoners of war and given medical aid, he ordered the wounded to be left behind.  But Browne, an Augusta native, was a bitter Tory, who had been violently expelled from the city, literally tarred and feathered in 1777, for his loyalist views.  When he returned to Augusta as a British Colonel, his motivation was as much vengeance as political conviction.  While none of the Wilkes County prisoners were among those who expelled Browne, he ordered that 13 be immediately executed, one for each colony, as an example.  Henry was the first or second hung from the balcony of the Ezekiel Harris House.  The remaining Patriots where turned over to the British's Indian allies and tortured to death.  The bodies of all 28 men were disposed of in the Savannah River.

 

Henry Duke’s rank is documented by Col. Clarke four years after Henry’s death.  On September 8, 1784, a certificate was issued certifying Henry Duke was commissioned a captain in the Battalion of Minutemen.  Four members of his company are known through DAR records.  Henry’s nephew, Lt. William Duke and Private Henry Anglin from Georgia, and Simon Salter and Abraham Gaines of South Carolina all state they served under Capt Henry Duke and Col John Stewart.  Capt Henry Duke is on the "Certified List of Georgia Troops" signed by Georgia Secretary of State Philip Cook on January 24, 1901 for the National Society DAR and "The Harvey List" which was produced around the same time.

 

Capt. Henry Duke left quite a legacy.  One of his sons, Charles, would fight in the Revolution and Frontier Wars of 1790-96.  Two others would fight in both the Frontier Wars and War of 1812.  His descendants are eligible for membership in the DAR.

 

Lieutenant William Duke was born in North Carolina in 1754 and arrived in Georgia at St. Mary's Parish in 1774.  According to his Revolutionary Pension Application, he entered service in the later part of 1776 under Col. John Stewart, Lt. Col. Elijah Clarke, and Capt. Henry Duke, who was his uncle.  A certificate from Col. Clarke dated 3 April 1784 documents his commission.  His service "was confined exclusively to the State of Georgia" and nothing is known of his specific actions in the Revolution.  He continued his service in the Georgia Militia during the Frontier Wars of 1790-96.  From 1793-1794, he was Captain of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Regiment, 1st Brigade, Georgia Militia.  In 1798, he was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Jackson County.  He died in Upson County around 1834.  He is on the "Certified List of Georgia Troops." and "The Harvey List."  His descendants are eligible for membership in the DAR.

 

James Duke is the son of John Taylor Duke, Sr., brother of Capt. Henry Duke (of Wilkes), and father of Lt. William Duke.  Little is known about his service during the Revolution.  He received a bounty grant signed by Clarke specifically stating he "served with the Battalion of Minutemen, though not a resident of the State."  Henry Duke's will, signed in 1780, puts James near enough to Georgia to be named as an executor, along with his brother Thomas Duke, and neighbor, Stephen Heard, an acting Governor of Georgia during the Revolution.  All of the Duke men came into Georgia from the Carolinas.  Apparently, James arrived after the war started and died shortly after receiving his bounty grant in 1784.  He is on the "Certified List of Georgia Troops."

 

Private Thomas Duke is also a son of John Taylor Duke, Sr.  I have not found a document to record whether he received a bounty immediately following the War.  However, the book Georgia Revolutionary Soldiers & Sailors, Patriots and Pioneers document his rank and membership in the Wilkes County Militia.  His widow, Nancy Duke, is listed as a Widow Rev. Soldier for Morgan County on an 1832 land lottery.  Thomas, like his brother Henry, was also an active civic participant in early Wilkes County affairs.  In 1793, Thomas became a Justice of the Peace for Wilkes County and was still serving in that capacity in Wilkes County in July of 1802.  His descendants are DAR eligible.

 

Taylor Duke is the son of James Duke and Grandson of John Taylor Duke, Sr.  It is reported that he was born in North Carolina in 1755.  His bounty certificate, signed by Col. Clarke April 24, 1784 does not mention specific service or rank.  He did however receive a bounty for 460 acres indicating more than passive service.  His brother, Lt. William Duke, only received 287.5 acres.  On May 1, 1784, Taylor and William appraise the estate of the Tory William Sizemore.  He is on the "Certified List of Georgia Troops."

 

Buckner Duke is a close relative of these men, though his specific relationship is unknown to me.  Col. Clarke signed his certificate on February 2, 1784 without stating specific service or rank.  He received a 287.5 acre bounty later that year and is on the "Certified List of Georgia Troops."

 

Private Charles (Charlie) Duke is a son of Capt. Henry Duke.  He was born October 1765 in either Georgia or South Carolina.  He was 15 when his father was executed by the British in Augusta.  In 1793, he served as a Private in the 1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment, 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, Georgia Militia.  In 1804, "Charlie" Duke is listed on an Oglethorpe County, Georgia land lottery as a Revolutionary Soldier.  If his Revolutionary service began immediately following Henry's death, he would have served at the battle of Kings Mountain, NC less than a month later.  He died in Floyd County, GA in 1850.  His descendants are eligible for membership in the DAR under his father's name.  Charles’ father-in-law, Thomas Elliott, received a pension for Revolutionary Service that is documented by the National Archives.

 

Lt Andrew Duke was born in North Carolina circa 1730.  He was a Soldier of the Continental Line in that state.  Though he was not a member of the Georgia Militia, he moved to Georgia following the War.  He is reported to have died in Hancock County, which was originally part of Washington and Greene Counties, in 1798.  Parts of Greene and Washington Counties were created from Wilkes County, and his widow, Keziah Anderson Duke owned land in Wilkes County at the time.  She later married Buckner Duke.  Andrew Duke’s descendants are eligible for membership in the DAR.



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