Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic
biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biographyplease
submit a rewritten biography in text form.
If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century
Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor
Virtual American Biographies
Over 30,000 personalities
with thousands of 19th Century illustrations, signatures, and exceptional life
welcomes editing and additions to the
biographies. To become this site's editor or a contributor
or e-mail Virtualology here.
SHAW, Henry Wheeler, humorist, born in Lanes-borough, Massachusetts, 21 April, 1818; died in Monterey, California, 14 October, 1885. His father, Henry Shaw, was a member of the Massachusetts legislature for twenty-five years, and was also a member of congress in 1818-'21. The son was admitted to Hamilton about 1832, but, becoming captivated with stories of western life and adventure, abandoned all thoughts of college and turned his steps westward. He worked on steamboats on Ohio river, then became a farmer, and afterward an auctioneer. In 1858 he settled in Poughkeepsie, New York, as an auctioneer, and in that year he wrote his first article for the senior editor of this work, followed in 1859 by his " Essay on the Mule." No attention was paid to these or other articles written by him, and Mr. Shaw concluded that as an author he was a failure. A year later he was induced to make another effort, and decided to adopt a method of spelling that more nearly represented his style of enunciation. The essay on the mule became "An Essa on the Muel, bi Josh Billings," and was sent to a New York paper. It was reprinted in several of the comic journals, and extensively copied. His most successful literary venture was a travesty on the "Old Farmers' Almanac," published for many years by the Thomas family, "Josh Billings' Farmers Almanax" (New York, 1870). Two thousand copies were first printed, and for two months few were disposed of, but during the next three months over 90,000 were printed and sold. For the second year 127,000 copies were distributed, and for the ten years of its existence the sales were very large. He began to lecture in 1863, his lectures being a series of pithy sayings without care or order, delivered in an apparently awkward manner. Their quaintness and drollery, coupled with mannerisms peculiarly his own, made him popular on the platform. For twenty years previous to his death he contributed regularly to the "New York Weekly," and the articles appearing in the "Century" magazine under the pen-name of "Uncle Esek " are said to be his. Besides the books mentioned above, he published "Josh Billings, his Sayings" (New York, 1866); "Josh Billings on Ice" (1875); "Every Boddy's Friend" (1876) ; "Josh Billings's Complete Works," in one volume (1877); and "Josh Billings's Spice-Box" (1881). See his "Life," by Francis S. Smith (New York, 1883).
This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected,
associated with or authorized by the individual, family,
friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or
the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated
sites that are related to this subject will be hyper
linked below upon submission
and Evisum, Inc. review.
Please join us in our mission to incorporate The Congressional Evolution of the United States of America discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The
People. Click Here