Shasta, a N. county of California, bounded W. by the Coast mountains, and intersected by the Sacramento river; area, 4,500 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 4,173, of whom 574 were Chinese. The surface is greatly diversified. Lassen's peak is 10,557 ft. high. The climate of the valleys is warm in summer, but mild and equable during the rest of the year, and many of them have a fertile soil. The N. and W. portions are covered with forests of conifers, while the E. part abounds in hot and boiling springs. The county contains gold, silver, and copper. It is traversed by the Oregon division of the Central Pacific railroad. The chief productions in 1870 were 29,569 bushels of wheat, 54,636 of barley, 9,748 of potatoes, 19,287 gallons of wine, 15,820 lbs. of wool, 30,150 of butter, and 5,034 tons of hay. There were 1,473 horses, 1,207 milch cows, 2,545 other cattle, 3,520 sheep, and 11,155 swine; 2 flour mills, 7 saw mills, and 3 quartz mills. Capital, Shasta.
Shawano, a N. E. county of Wisconsin, intersected by the Oconto, Wolf, Embarras, and Red rivers; area, about 1,500 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 3,166. The surface is generally level and the soil fertile. Lake Shawano is in the central part, and fine streams of water abound. The chief productions in 1870 were 27,272 bushels of wheat, 3,144 of rye, 7,996 of Indian corn, 27,631 of oats, 20,273 of potatoes, and 1,964 lbs. of wool. Capital, Shawano.
Shdionoseki, a seaport of Japan, in the province of Nagato (Choshiu), on the S. W. point of the main island; pop. about 10,000. It commands the strait of Shimonoseki, which connects the Inland sea and the sea of Japan. The town consists chiefly of one long street. A famous naval battle between the fleets of the Taira and Minamoto families, in which 1,200 junks were engaged, was fought near it in 1185. In 1864 the forts near Shimonoseki were bombarded and destroyed by a combined fleet of one United States, five British, three French, and four Dutch men-of-war, in retaliation for the act of the daimio of Choshiu in firing on the vessels of those nations while they were passing through the strait. Besides $420,000 demanded as a compensation for injuries, the Japanese government was obliged to pay an indemnity of $3,000,000, of which the United States received $750,000. In 1873 Shimonoseki was nearly destroyed by fire.
See Buckingham, or Buckinghamshire, Duke of.
Shefford, a S. W. county of Quebec, Canada; area, 559 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 19,077, of whom 12,683 were of French, 3,020 of English, 2,510 of Irish, and 610 of Scotch origin. It is drained by the Yamaska river, and is traversed by the Stanstead, Shefford, and Chambly railway. Capital, Waterloo.
Shekel (Heb., weight), the Hebrew unit of weight, and hence, as payments were originally made by weight, also of money. It was equal to 220 grains troy, or about 1/2 oz. avoirdupois, which is the weight of the earliest coin of the name known, the silver shekel of Simon Maccabaeus. Its value, as differently stated, was from 50. to 62 1/2 cts. The golden shekel was of a little more than half this weight, and worth about $4. Both as weight and money it was divided in reckoning into the beka, reba, and gerah, respectively 1/2, 1/4, and 1/20 of a shekel. The Scriptures mention the sacred and the royal shekel, which are supposed by some to be two standards of weight; the relative value was supposed by Michaelis to have been as 5 to 3.