Discussing a variety of economic issues in a series of autograph letters, signed 20 February 1835 - 30 June 1840, from Columbia College, New York, to the British economist Nassau William Senior.

4to and 8vo. 12 pages, approximately 1000 words. Folded; two with traces of mounting on blank verso of integral leaf. Very good. Item #48334

Among the subjects discussed by McVickar are a meeting with Harriet Martineau; one of Senior's books ("may I venture in passing to suggest your definitions sometimes struck me as transmitted with too many conditions for the power of ordinary minds"); Senior's Political Economy ("Mr. Carey of Philadelphia has written & probably sent you a copy of a rather absurd book on the same subject - I have reviewed it"); the relationship between American and England ("It I almost time or rather past time that you should have been among us -not however to earn but to teach - the fates of England and America hang on each other"); and free trade ("Capitalists look to microscopically at the question of American credit - the Economist will view it as extra and see its higher results - the Crisis of a glut of bread stuffs is expected - our coming crops would feed 11 millions - kept within us, this is wasted - freely exchanged - mutual wealth - peace, order & contentment in Europe …"). McVickar was elected to a professorship of moral philosophy at Columbia College in 1817 and taught there for almost half a century, "giving instruction in rhetoric, belles-lettres, ancient history, and the history of philosophy. He was one of the earliest teachers of political economy in the United States, teaching the subject as a branch of moral philosophy … [among his writings] Hints on Banking (1827) is an important tract, reputed to have been responsible of the 'Free Banking System' established in New York and elsewhere a decade later" (DAB). Nassau William Senior (1790-1864), McVickar's correspondent, "deserves the first place among the English economists between Ricardo and J.S. Mill. He wrote much that was valuable upon the distribution of the precious metals, and the causes which determine the rate of wages. He is often noticed for the introduction of the phrase 'abstinence,' to describe the motive for the accumulation of capital" (DNB). Apparently unpublished. For McVickar's role in the development of economic theory in the United State, cf. Dorfman The Economic Mind in American civilization, 1606-1865 (NY, 1946), pp. 516-522: "Political economy, [McVickar] declared, is the preacher of righteousness and an eminently practical science. True public not private wealth is the object of inquiry, but the principles of public wealth are thos of private wealth, for the public wealth is the sum of individual wealth. Furthermore, a knowledge of the principles will make men not only sounder legislators, but also better merchants and businessmen."

Price: $6,500.00