Mathew Carey Research Paper

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A large majority of Irish settlers in the 18th century were Scotch-Irish. There was also a small percentage of Irish Catholics. However, one of the most interesting connections of 18th century Philadelphia was between the Irish, the Quakers, and William Penn. An additional thought-provoking connection transpired between Benjamin Franklin and the Irish immigrant Mathew Carey. There is a long and consequential history between America, Philadelphia, and the Irish who came here. Not least of which being that the first copies of the declaration of Independence were printed by John Dunlap, a local Irish immigrant originally from the county Tyrone, in his shop that was on 2nd and Market Streets (Deignan and Kindig). Since William Penn’s father owned…show more content…
This specifically interested me, because of reading Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography for my The City in Literature class. Mathew Carey originally from Dublin immigrated to Philadelphia in 1784. He fled from Ireland dressed up as a woman, because he was going to be imprisoned by the British. The government was arresting Carey for articles and pamphlets that he printed in his newspaper, concerning discriminations against Irish Catholics by the English Crown and Protestants ("Carey, Mathew (1760-1839)"). Prior to this Carey published a pamphlet called Urgent Necessity in 1781. This also caused Carey problems with the British Government, because the pamphlet likewise was related to discrimination against Catholics. Carey avoided likely prosecution by escaping to France. While in Passy, France Carey made the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin. Upon this meeting Carey started working in Franklin’s printing shop in Paris (Green). However, this only lasted a matter of months and within a year Carey went back to Ireland. According to Burke, there was a “difference of personality” and “the differences and the distance between the dispassionate Franklin and the disputatious Carey would remain”…show more content…
There were occurrences in which Carey sent gifts (a copy of his first printed book) to Franklin. As well as numerous occasions where he wrote Franklin letters asking him for his support by writing excerpts and the like for his paper and magazine, including asking for an excerpt of Franklin’s autobiography. Franklin, in each of his replies, writes “it would be of little or no use to you”, even though Washington had already endorsed Carey’s magazine (Green). Specifically concerning the Franklin autobiography, Franklin stated that “They were written to my Son, and intended only as Information to my Family” and told Carey he could have excerpts from two other scripts he was working on for his companions in Paris (Green). What was specifically disconcerting about these other texts was that one of them was called “The Deformed and Handsome Leg”; although this couldn’t have been a testimonial to Carey because of when it was composed, it was still unmistakably suggesting that it should somehow be interpreted as him (Green). Especially, considering that the end of the text stated “I therefore advise these critical, querulous, discontented, unhappy People, that if they wish to be loved & respected and beloved by others and happy in themselves they should leave off looking at the ugly
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