With editorial comment on biography and achievements, here is a selection of the writings of Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) in which can be found the roots of the humor of Will Rogers, Will Cuppy, Bob Burns, Herb Shriner, etc. A self-confessed lazy boy, he went West on $10.00, indulged his love of pranks, was in and out of jobs, and returned home to get married and raise a family. They moved from Massachusetts to New York, where real estate and auctioneering led into writing, first letters in dialect signed Efren Billings, then books, and finally into lecturing. His take-offs on The Farmer's Almanac, the Allminax became nationally famous and his name and writings made a happy Atlantic crossing. There are sections of his cracker barrel humor on his boyhood, marriage, children, on his fictitious family in Pordunk, on horse racing, the animal world, New Year's resolutions, cooking, grandchildren, etc. There's a nice imagination, a feeling for expressive phrases and a friendly approach that provide a real pleasure for the modern reader of this 19th century folk humorist.