Henry Charles Carey Biography

Henry Charles Carey Life and Biography

Henry Charles Carey was born in Philadelphia in 1793. His father was Matthew Carey, an Irishman who had emigrated from Dublin on account of political persecution, and had founded a publishing house in Philadelphia. Henry C. Carey was well educated, and became partner in his father's business in 1814, taking upon himself the entire manage­ment of it in 1821. He established the auctions of the publica­tion houses which have become so important in the book trade in this country. Having acquired a fortune, he retired from business in 1835, and devoted the remainder of his life, upwards of forty years, to study and literature, in particular to the de­velopment of his system of social and political science. He endeavored to employ his resources in such a manner as to benefit mankind. He died in 1879 at the advanced age of eighty-six.

The following are his principal writings: An Essay on the Rate of Wages, with an Examination of the Causes of the Difference in the Condition of the Labouring Population throughout the World, published in 1835; Principles of Political Economy, in three volumes, published between 1837 and 1840 (an enlargement of the work first named, and containing the most important part of his system); The Credit System of France, Great Britain and the United States published in 1838; An Answer to the Questions: What constitutes Currency? What are the causes of its Unsteadi­ness? and What is the Remedy? in 1840; The Past, the Present, and the Future, in 1848; and the Harmony of Interests, Agricultural, Manufacturing, and Commercial, in 1851. In this last work Carey establishes his theory of protection. Two years later, i.e., in 1853, he published The Slave Trade, Domestic and Foreign: how it exists and how it may be extinguished, and also Letters on In­ternational Copyright. Carey's most important work, however, was his Principles of Social Science, published in three volumes, in the years 1857-1860. In this work he has given us his com­plete system and repeated all the ideas and doctrines in his previous works which he considered new and important. The Principles was condensed into one volume by Kate McKean, and was published in 1864, with the author's approval.