The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVIII. Later National Literature, Part III.

XXIV. Economists

§ 6. Albert Gallatin

The only other American statesman who can even remotely be compared to Hamilton is Gallatin, who even proved himself the superior of Hamilton as a technical financier. His principal contribution to fiscal science was the proof, long before it was recognized by the British economists, of the fallacy underlying the sinking fund. The chief of his earlier writings was the Sketch of the Finances of the United States (1796) and the most important of his later contributions were his Considerations on the Currency and Banking System of the United States (1831) and the Memorial of the Committee of the Free Trade Convention (1831). Worthy of note also is Secretary Wolcott’s Report on Direct Taxes (1796).

The last decade of the eighteenth century witnessed an increasing attention paid to commercial and financial questions. In 1791 there appeared A Brief Examination of Lord Sheffield’s Observations on the Commerce of the United States and in 1795 a translation of Brissot de Warville’s The Commerce of America with Europe. Prominent in the financial discussion were Governor James Sullivan’s The Path to Riches. An Inquiry into the Origin and the Use of Money (Boston, 1792); The Shepherd’s Contemplation, or an Essay on Ways and Means to Pay the Public Debt (Philadelphia, 1794); and William Findley’s Review of the Revenue System Adopted by the First Congress (Philadelphia, 1794). Works on agronomy now multiplied. The field had up to that time largely been occupied by the two-volume work on American Husbandry. By an American (1775). Now there appeared in rapid succession Samuel Deane’s The New England Farmer (Worcester, 1790); the Sketches on Rotations of Crops (Philadelphia, 1792); John Spurrier’s The Practical Farmer (Wilmington, 1793); and J. B. Bordley’s Essays and Notes on Husbandry (Philadelphia, 1799). This period also witnessed the beginnings of statistical investigation, as notably Jedidiah Morse’s The American Geographer (Elizabethtown, 1789); and A View of the United States (Philadelphia, 1794) by Tench Coxe, who was also responsible for a number of other memoirs on economic topics.