Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MURRAY, John 0'Kane, historian, born in Glenariffe, County Antrim, Ireland, 12 December, 1847; died in Chicago, Illinois, 30 July, 1885. He came to the United States with his parents in June, 1856, and graduated at St. John's college, Fordham, New York He also studied medicine in the University of the city of New York, and, until his health failed, practised in Brooklyn, New York He contributed largely to Roman Catholic periodicals, and seldom allowed a public attack upon his church or her institutions to go unanswered. He did much to have objectionable references to the Roman Catholic church expunged from many popular text-books. For years he devoted from twelve to sixteen hours a day in study and writing, and this was more than he could endure. The last five years of his life were spent in vain endeavors to rid himself of consumption, which he had contracted from severe study and confinement. He was conversant with six languages, and possessed scientific, historical, and literary knowledge. His books have had an extensive sale. His principal work was a " Popular History of the Catholic Church in the United States" (1876), which was received with great favor. Pope Pills IX. sent him a medal and a personal letter. This was followed by "The Prose and Poetry of Ireland" (1877); "The Catholic Heroes and Heroines of America" (1878): " Little Lives of the Great Saints" (1879) ;" The Catholic Pioneers of America" (1881); and " Lessons in English Literature" (1883). He revised Kerney's " General History" and brought it down to date, and he was engaged in doing the same for Lingard's " History of England" when he died.
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