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Mathew Carey

CAREY, Mathew, publisher, born in Ireland, 28 January, 1760; died in Philadelphia, Pc., 16 September, 1839. He received a liberal education, and when he was fifteen years old his father gave him a list of twenty-five trades from which to make the choice of his life-work. He selected the business of printer and bookseller, and two years afterward brought out his first pamphlet, a treatise on duelling, followed by an address to Irish Catholics, so inflammatory that young Carey was obliged to avoid prosecution by flight to Paris. During his stay there he became acquainted with Benjamin Franklin, then representing the United States at the court of Versailles, who gave him employment. Returning to Ireland after a year's stay, he established a new paper called the "Volunteer's Journal," which, by its bold and able opposition to the government, became a power in politics, and eventually brought about the legislative independence of Ireland. A too violent attack upon parliament and the ministry led to his arraignment before the house of commons for libel in 1784, and he was imprisoned until the dissolution of parliament. After his liberation he sailed for America, reaching Philadelphia, 15 November, 1784, and two months afterward began to publish "The Pennsylvania Herald," the first newspaper in the United States that furnished accurate reports of legislative debates, Carey acting as his own reporter. He fought a duel with Col. Oswald, editor of a rival journal, and received a wound that confined him to his house for more than sixteen months. Soon after this he began the publication of "The American Museum," which he conducted for six years. In 1791 he married, and opened a small bookselling shop. During the yellow-fever epidemic two years later he was a member of the committee of health, and tireless in his efforts for the relief of sufferers. The results of his extensive observation were collected and published in his "History of the Yellow Fever of 17932' In the same year he founded the Hibernian society. In 1796 he was one of a few citizens who, under the direction of Bishop White, formed the first American Sunday-school society. With characteristic vigor he engaged in the discussions concerning the United States bank, writing articles for newspapers and publishing pamphlets, which he distributed at his own expense. In 1814 appeared his "Olive Branch, or Faults on Both Sides, Federal and Democratic," designed to harmonize the antagonistic parties of the country pending the war with Great Britain. It passed through ten editions, and is still a recognized authority in regard to the political history of the period. In 1819 he published his "Vindi-ciae Hibernicae," an examination and refutation of the charges against his countrymen in reference to the butcheries alleged to have been committed by them in the rebellion of 1641. From this time he devoted himself almost exclusively to politico-commercial pursuits, publishing in 1820 the "New Olive Branch," in which he endeavored to show how harmonious were the real interests of the various classes of society, and in 1822 "Essays on Political Economy." His was followed by a series of tracts extending to more than 2,000 pages. The object of all these was to demonstrate the necessity of the protective system as the only means of advancing the real interests of all classes in the community, He was active in the promotion of all the public works of the City and state, and advocated the system of internal improvements that led to the construction of the Pennsylvania canals. He interested himself in forwarding education and in establishing the charitable institutions for which Philadelphia is now famous. In 1833-'4 he contributed his autobiography to the "New England Magazine."--His son, Henry Charles, political economist, born in Philadelphia, 15 December, 1793; died there, 13 October, 1879. He was educated as a bookseller, entering his father's store at the age of eight, and remaining there, pursuing his elementary studies in literature and learning the business, till 1814, when he became a partner. This association continued till his father retired in 1821. He then became the leading partner in the firm of Carey & Lea, and subsequently in that of Carey, Lea & Carey, in their time the largest publishing-house in the country. In 1824 he established the system of trade sales, as a medium of exchange between booksellers. In 1835, after a successful career, he withdrew from business, to devote himself to political economy. He was originally a zealous advocate of free- trade, but became convinced that real free -trade with foreign countries was impossible in the existing state of American industry, and that a period of protection must precede it. In this view, free-trade is the ideal toward which we ought to tend, and protection the indispensable means of reaching it. He is recognized as the founder of a new school of political economy, opposed to the rent doctrine of Ricardo and the Malthusian theory of population. The leading principles of his system are, briefly, that in the weakness of savage isolation man is subject to nature, and that his moral and social progress are dependent on his subjecting nature to himself; that the land, worthless in itself, gains all its value from human labor; that the primitive man, without tools and without science, of necessity begins his cultivation upon the light, salubrious, and easy soils of sandy elevations, and gradually advances to the subjugation of more ferthe and difficult regions; that the real interests of classes and individuals are essentially harmonious; that there is in the normal condition of things a constant tendency to increase in the wages of labor, and to diminution in the rate of profit for capital, this last, however, being balanced by an increase in its aggregate profits ; that the well-being and advancement of society correspond to the existing degrees of association and of liberty. His eminence as a writer on political economy was fully recognized the world over; and while his views have not been generally accepted, they have exerted a marked influence on modern thought, and have commanded respectful consideration even from his most strenuous opponents. His first book was an "Essay on the Rate of Wages, with an Examination of the Causes of the Difference of the Condition of the Laboring Population throughout the World" (Philadelphia, 1835). This work was reproduced and expanded in "The Principles of Political Economy" (3 vols., 1837-'40). His succeeding works are "The Credit System in France, Great Britaain, and the United States" (1838); "Answers to the Questions, What constitutes Currency? What are the Causes of its Unsteadiness? and What is the Remedy a pamphlet (1840); "The Past, the Present, and the Future" (1848); "The Harmony of Interests" (New York, 1852); "The Slave-Trade, Domestic and Foreign: Why it Exists, and How it may be Extinguished"; "Letters on International Copyright" (Philadelphia, 1853; new ed., 1868); "Letters to the President on the Foreign and Domestic Policy of the Union, and its Effects, as exhibited in the Condition of the People and the States " (1858); "Principles of Socia1 Science" (3 vols., 1858-'9); "A Series of Letters on Political Economy" (1860; another series, 1865); "The Way to Outdo England without Fighting her" (1865); "Review of the Decade 1857-'67" (1867); "Review of Wells's Report" (1868); "Shall we have Peace?" (1869). For several years he also contributed the leading papers in "The Plough, Loom, and Anvil," a monthly periodical published in New York, some of which were afterward collected in his "Hat- mony of Interests." He wrote also frequently for the principal newspapers of the country, on sub-jeers connected with his special study. His "Mis-celianeons Works " were published in one volume in 1869. His latest book is "The Unity of Law" (1872). The most important of these works have been translated into German. French, Italian, Russian, and Spanish (the "Principles of Socia1 Science" into Germaan by Adler, Berlin, 1863-'4; others by Dhhring, 1865).

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