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Thomas Shipp

Death 7 Aug 1930 (aged 19)
Burial Weaver, Grant County, Indiana, USA
Memorial ID 24745869 · View Source
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Thomas Shipp, 19 was lynched along with Abram Smith 18, in Marion, Indiana on August 7, 1930. They were friends of James Cameron, who was 16 at the time, and miraculously spared the same fate. Their story was told in Cameron's book "A Time of Terror".

The crime they were accused of was the murder of Claude Deeter, and the rape of Mary Ball.

A famous photograph of the lynching inspired Abel Meeropol (under the pen name Lewis Allen) to write the poem "Strange Fruit" which was sung by Billie Holiday.

Strange Fruit

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

According to the book -- "A Lynching in the Heartland" by James H. Madison - he was buried at a cemetery in Weaver, Indiana.

Family Members


  • Created by: Donna
  • Added: 19 Feb 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 24745869
  • eobfindagrave
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Shipp (1 Mar 1911–7 Aug 1930), Find A Grave Memorial no. 24745869, citing Weaver Cemetery, Weaver, Grant County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Donna (contributor 46910450) .