Copyright © the Estate of Ross F. Lockridge, Jr., 1998, All rights reserved


Poem by William B. Shockley

Ross Lockridge, Jr.'s great-grandfather William B. Shockley (1801-76), doctor, preacher, farmer, also began the family tradition of versifying. W.B. Shockley becomes the source for the character in Raintree County, T.D. Shawnessy, who "got continual requests from other parts of the State for his poems, especially the one about the Evils of Tobacco, which Johnny had heard so many times that he knew it by heart, including the two celebrated lines:

Some do it chew and some it smoke
whilst some it up their nose do poke."
(RC, p 50)

From W.B. Shockley parchments (3 pp., 80 lines)--one of W.B.'s two lengthy "pomes" on tobacco:


A weed among the plants we find
That hurts the body and the mind,
Yet in the way of self-abuse,
We see it constantly in use.
Unpleasant to the smell and taste,
Yet men for it their money waste;
The reason why I scarce can tell
For none at first do like it well.
Some do it chew and some it smoke
Whilst others in their nose it poke....

Facsimile page 1 -- (2 & 3):

....continue to p. 2 (of 3).

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