Josh Billings was the pen name of humorist born Henry Wheeler Shaw (12 April 1818 - 14 October 1885).
He was perhaps the second most famous humor writer and lecturer in the United States in the 2nd half of the 19th century after Mark Twain, although his reputation has not fared so well with later generations.
Shaw was born in Lanesboro, Massachusetts, and worked as a farmer, coal miner, explorer, and auctioneer before he began making a living as a journalist and writer in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1858. Under his pseudonym "Josh Billings" he wrote in an informal voice full of the slang of the day, with often eccentric phonetic spelling, dispensing wit and folksy common-sense wisdom.
He toured giving lectures of his writings which were very popular with the audiences of the day.
Billings died in Monterey, California.
"Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute."
"Flattery is like cologne water, to be smelt of, not swallowed."
"As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand."
"There's a great power in words, if you don't hitch too many of them together."