The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Shea, John Dawson Gilmary
SHEA, shā, John Dawson Gilmary, American historian: b. New York, 22 July 1824; d. Elizabeth, N. J., 22 Feb. 1892. His father was principal of the Columbia College Grammar School where he gained his education, and subsequently he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1846. He soon turned to literature, was connected in an editorial capacity with Frank Leslie's publishing house and later edited the Catholic News. But for many years his attention was given to historical research in preparation of his ‘History of the Catholic Church in the United States,’ the fourth volume of which was in process of publication at the time of his death. He was connected with many historical societies in America and Europe and was the first president of the Catholic Historical Society of the United States. His published works include ‘The Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi Valley’ (1853); ‘History of the French and Spanish Missions among the Indian Tribes of the United States’ (1854); ‘The Catholic Church in Colonial Days’ (1883); ‘The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the United States’ (1886); ‘Early Voyages Up and Down the Mississippi’ (1862); ‘Novum Belgium, An Account of the New Netherlands in 1643-44’ (1862); ‘The Operations of the French Fleet under Count de Grasse’ (1864); ‘Life of Pius IX’ (1875); ‘Story of a Great Nation’ (1891), besides many translations and other works.