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Mathew Carey

Carey, Mathew, 1760–1839, American publisher, bookseller, and economist, b. Dublin. In his Dublin journal he violently attacked English rule of Ireland, was imprisoned for a month, fled to France, where he worked in Benjamin Franklin's printing shop at Passy, returned to Ireland, and finally emigrated (1784) to Philadelphia. There a gift from Lafayette enabled him to establish (1785) the Pennsylvania Herald. From 1787 to 1792 he edited and published the American Museum, making it the leading American magazine of the period. In 1790, Carey began his career as bookseller and publisher on a large scale. In this double capacity he stimulated the growth of American letters. Although many of his own political pamphlets were controversial, the most famous, The Olive Branch (1814), was written during the War of 1812 in an effort to unite the Democratic and Federalist parties in support of the war. His copious writings advocating the American protective system are interesting documents for the study of American economic history. The economist Henry Charles Carey was his son.

See biography by E. L. Bradsher (1912, repr. 1968).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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