Thomas William Jackson
(or Thos. W. Jackson
as he styled his name in his publications) (1867-1934) was the author
and publisher of a series of popular joke
books published between, approximately, 1904 and 1955.
The first and most famous was entitled On a Slow Train Through Arkansaw [sic]. Despite their titles, the books have no narrative thread. Their content consists simply of a stream of jokes, clustered roughly by similarity of topic. Women, Jews, Negroes/Colored people/Niggers (all three terms were used), Irishmen, Chinamen, and Mexicans were the butt of many of the jokes.
Some samples of their content (all from I'm From Texas; You Can't Steer Me) give a fair representation of the quality of the humor:
- Well, we can't go fishing any more. The Germans have taken all the Poles.
- Women today want their alimony in advance.
- We will never have a woman president,—for the candidate must be over thirty-five years of age.
- If we had women firemen the men would run every time the fire bell rang just to see the women arrange their hose.
- Just imagine old maid cops. If they did arrest a man, do you think they would take him to the police station?
- Where was Solomon's temple?
On the side of his head.
- There was a Jew on the train. An Irishman grabbed him by the nose. The Jew said "Let go my nose." The Irishman said, "I won't until we get around this curve."
List of Thos. W. Jackson's humorous books, in order of publication:
- On a Slow Train Through Arkansaw ISBN 0-86574-001-1
- Through Missouri on a Mule
- I'm from Texas; You Can't Steer Me
- Don't Miss It! Thos. W. Jackson Telling All the Late Ones
- Thos. W. Jackson Catches a Fish and Tells the Story
- From Rhode Island to Texas
- Oh, You Auto See the United States with Jackson
- You Can't Beat It! Thos. W. Jackson Getting Off the Good Ones
- See America First
- Thos. W. Jackson Coming with Good Stuff
- Thos. W. Jackson with all the 'Funny Ones'
- Take a Joy Ride with Thos. W. Jackson to the Land of Smiles
- On a Fast Streamliner (by Harry W. Jackson)