John D. Gilmary Shea, an American author, born in New York, July 22, 1824. He was educated at the grammar school of Columbia college, and was admitted to the bar, but devoted himself to literature. He is chiefly known for works on American history, the most important of which are: "The Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi Valley" (New York, 1853); "History of the Catholic Missions among the Indian Tribes of the United States" (1854; German translation, Würzburg, 1856); "The Fallen Brave" (1861); "Early Voyages up and down the Mississippi" (Albany, 1862); "Novum Belgium, an Account of New Netherland in 1643-'4" (New York, 1862); "The Operations of the French Fleet under Count de Grasse" (1864); "The Lincoln Memorial" (1865); and a translation of Charlevoix's "History and General Description of New France," with extensive notes (6 vols. 8vo, 1866-72). He is also the joint author and the translator of De Courcy's "Catholic Church in the United States" (1856). He has edited the Cramoisy series of "Relations" and documents bearing on the early history of the French American colonies (24 vols., 1857-'68); "Washington's Private Diary" (1861); Colden's "History of the Five Indian Nations," edition of 1727 (1866); Alsop's "Maryland" (1869); and a series of grammars and dictionaries of the Indian languages (15 vols. 8vo, 1860-'74). He has also published "Bibliography of American Catholic Bibles and Testaments" (1859), corrected several of the very erroneous Catholic Bibles, and revised by the Vulgate Challoner's original Bible of 1750 (1871; 2d ed., with a translation of Allioli's commentary, 1875); and has issued several prayer books, school histories, and translations.
He edited for eight years the "Historical Magazine," and has contributed largely to periodicals and publications of historical societies.