University of Virginia Library University of Virginia
Early American Fiction Collection

EAF Author: Henry Wheeler Shaw (1818-1885)

Works in the Collection      Manuscript Materials      Biographies

Henry Wheeler Shaw was born in Massachusetts, but did not stay there. He traveled widely in his youth, eventually settling in New York. Shaw held jobs including realtor and auctioneer, but achieved some fame as a humorist. Adopting the pseudonym "Josh Billings," he began generating pithy and humorous (though terribly misspelled) sayings. These were collected in lectures and a number of print volumes, such as Josh Billings, Hiz Sayings--with, of course, the famously bad spelling.


Works in the EAF Collection

Josh Billings, Hiz Sayings (1866)

Josh Billings on Ice, and Other Things (1868) (Restricted)

Contemporary Biographies

From Oscar Fay Adams, A Dictionary of American Authors (1901)

From Samuel Austin Allibone, A Critical Dictionary of English Literature (1900)