From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Shipp, Ellen

(born: 1830) Ellen Shipp was born around 1830 in Kentucky and is listed in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census as a free mulatto living in Cincinnati, OH. She was the wife of Thomas Shipp, born around 1821 in South Carolina, who is also listed as free. They were the parents of two boys, Thomas Shipp and Jesse A. Shipp Sr. (1863-1934).

Jesse wrote the book for In Dahomey, one of the first successful Negro musicals on Broadway. (His name is sometimes spelled Jessie.) He was a playwright, vaudeville performer, manager, director, and lyricist. His son, Jesse (or Jessie) A. Shipp, Jr., founded Shipp Association, a booking agency in Harlem, NY.

For more on Jesse Shipp, Sr., see his entry in the Internet Broadway Database.

[Dahomey was a country located in West Africa that is today southern Benin. The history of Dahomey dates between 1600 and 1900. See Dahomey in Encyclopaedia Britannica online.]

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NKAA Source: In Dahomey : a Negro musical comedy

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Tisdale, Clarence

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“Shipp, Ellen,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 26, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-08-26 16:59:00