Desultory Reflections upon the Ruinous Consequences of a Non-Renewal of the Charter of the Bank of the United States

Philadelphia: Printed for the Author by Fry and Kammerer, 1810. 8vo. Second Edition. [1–3], 4, [5–7], 8–23, [1]pp. Pamphlet. 8 x 51 2 inches. Disbound, wrappers absent, minor wear to first leaf; toning; good. The ready availability of commercial credit and the allied phenomenon of investment speculation is not new. In 1810, economist and publisher, Mathew Carey, began an effort to publicly promote the re- chartering of what would eventually become the Second Bank of the United States. He did so because, as a businessman, he understood the need for credit as a source of capital even if others feared the “irrational exuberance” of wild, speculative investments. Carey first published his Desultory Reflections in April 1810 in Washington, D. C. as he notes in the preface of this second, expanded edition published several days later in Philadelphia: These pages were printed at Washington to be delivered to the Members of Congress, in hopes of their being instrumental in removing some of the errors prevailing on the subject of almost inexpressible magnitude, not merely to the trading and commercial world, bus to the whole community. Some passages, in which I have expressed myself perhaps with too much freedom, produced a refusal on the part of the House of Representatives to let them be laid on the desks of the members. (p(5)) Despite the present effort of Carey to promote national unity via a central bank and his arguments for the upholding of its charter, the Bank of the United Staes was dissolved in early 1811. An economic depression, complicated by the War of 1812, soon followed. Not a desirable vindication for Carey. This second edition of Carey’s Desultory Reflections contains an appendix which reprints a newspaper article that first appeared in the Philadelphia Gazette. The appendix is signed “P. B.” It has been argued that it was presumably written by former South Carolina Senator, Pierce Butler, then-living in Philadelphia and himself an investor in the Bank of the United States. This second, expanded edition of Carey’s argument in favor of establishing what would be the Second Bank of the United States demonstrates an evolving argument, reacting to real-time political circumstances—a free press, used by free citizens to petition their government. Both editions were published in 1810. The second edition has a 1-page preface that appears following the preface for the first edition. The Second Bank of the United States was eventually chartered in 1816. Clarkin 632. Shaw and Shoemaker 19718. See Sabin 10889. Griffin, A List of Works Relating to the First and Second Banks of the United States... (Washington, 1908) p7. Ref. Bell, Major Butler’s Legacy (University of Georgia, 2004). Green, Mathew Carey, Publisher and Patriot (Philadelphia, 1985). Item #61092

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