Edward Kellogg, 1790-1858

Edward Kellogg’s Labor and Other Capital (1849) was one of the major sources, along with the works of Proudhon and William Beck’s Money and Banking (1839), from which William Batchelder Greene drew portions of his mutual bank theory. He differed from all of his sources in the measures he proposed, but, as was the case with his theological writings and the influence of Orestes Brownson, sometimes he appropriated large sections of the works he was reading, if only to turn them aside from their author’s trajectories. This was certainly the case with Kellogg, whose ideas about banking and interest were circulating in the late 1840s. Greene’s example of the “parasite city” in Mutual Banking is a close paraphrase of the chapter “Of the Wealth of Cities, and the Means of its Accumulation” in Labor and Other Capital. Kellogg’s “Remarks on the Repeal of the Usury Laws,” reflects debates that had been taking place in journals such as the Merchants Magazine and Commercial Review of New York, and was in turn reflected in Greene’s discussions of those same usury laws. Both Kellogg and Greene cite the Merchants Magazine and Commercial Review on the current wealth of Massachusetts, and both refer to, although they do not cite by name, Our First Men: a calendar of wealth, fashion and gentility : containing a list of those persons taxed in the city of Boston, credibly reported to be worth one hundred thousand dollars : with biographical notices of the principal persons (Boston: Published by all the booksellers, 1846) of which a short excerpt is available online.

Kellogg actually developed his banking ideas over a series of texts, which have a rather bewildering publishing history. In his later works, he was assisted by his daughter, Mary Kellogg Putnam, who put together a revised version of Labor and Other Capital under the name A New Monetary System after his death in 1858.

I’ll get a bibliography of Kellogg up in the Labyrinth sometime soon, but here, in narrative form, is the history of his publishing efforts:

In 1841, Remarks upon Usury and Its Effects, a 69-page tract was published by Harper and Bros., NY, under the name “Whitehook.” OCLC, NUC and Mary Kellogg Putnam attribute it to Kellogg. Joseph Dorfman, in his introduction to the 1971 reprint of Labor and Other Capital, says it was prepared by a friend, based on Kellogg’s notes and ideas. His daughter mentions in her biographical introduction to the 5th edition of A New Monetary System that Kellogg disliked writing even letters, until he became caught up in an enthusiasm about his subject, so Dorfman’s suggestion is at least plausible.

It was followed in 1843 by Usury, the Evil and the Remedy, a 4-page pamphlet, published by Burgess and Stringer, NY, and attributed to “Godek Gardwell” (an anagram of Edward Kellogg). Kellogg used the Gardwell psuedonym through at leasst 1844. On August 8, 1843, he sent a copy of the pamphlet to Orestes Brownson using that name. (This might be the earliest contact between Kellogg and William B. Greene’s circle of contacts. Brownson, of course, was already moving away from reformers such as Kellogg and Greene. His August 1843 contribution to the The United States Magazine, and Democratic Review was “The Origin and Ground of Government,” one of the series of articles that marked his break with his old comrades. Kellogg contacts him as he is embracing Calhoun and as he and Greene part ways over the social implications of the “doctrine of life” they derived from French sources such as Leroux.)

In 1844, still using the Gardwell name, Kellogg issued Currency, the Evil and the Remedy, a 43-work, apparently self-published. The numerous subsequent reprintings are a bit hard to arrange in proper order. The OCLC records may be fragmentary, but there are also clearly discrepencies in the way the various “editions” are designated. 1844 saw at least an “improved” 4th edition (and perhaps the “missing” 2nd and 3rd, though perhaps not) and an “enlarged” 5th. All of the 1844 editions appear to be self-published and used the Gardwell name. The 5th edition jumps to 48 pages in length.

In 1846, two new reprints of the 1844 5th edition appeared, published by W. H. Graham, NY, and issued under the name “Godek Goodwell.” They were, curiously, designated the 3rd and 6th editions (or, perhaps, more accurately the 6th and 3rd).

Two possible solutions to the numbering problem suggest themselves:

If there were indeed two missing printings in 1844, between the initial release and the “improved” fourth, then we might assume that the first of the 1846 printings was indeed the 6th. The 3rd, which we would assume followed it, would then be a 7th printing, but also a 3rd printing of the 3rd real edition of Currency, the Evil and the Remedy [initial, improved, enlarged].

If there are not missing printings in 1844, and the records we have represent the entire publishing record, then perhaps Kellogg retroactively considered the publications of 1841 and 1843 to be the 1st and 2nd editions, and the first 1844 Currency to be the 3rd. The 1846 stated 3rd we would have to explain as above. This would give us a single “work” with multiple titles ranging in length from 4 to 69 pages, but it is nearly as plausible a solution as the other.

In 1849, Kellogg published Labor and Other Capital, a work of nearly 300 pages. This was the work that we know William B. Greene read, cited and adapted to his own uses in the mutual banking writings. Dorfman claims that “extracts” of the work were published in the Merchants Magazine and Commercial Review in 1848. A quick search has only turned up one letter from “Godek Gardwell” announcing its impending publication, dated Dec 13, 1837 and appearing in the January 1848 issue. That letter was noticed in The Commercial Review of the South and West issue for February 1848. Perhaps some additional digging will reveal more early discussion of the work.

After Kellogg’s death in 1858, his daughter, Mary Kellogg Putnam, who had been her father’s assistant in the preparation of the previous volume, assembled a new edition of Labor and Other Capital, with “numerous additions from his manuscripts, under the title A New Monetary System. It appeared from Rudd & Carleton, NY in 1861, and was 366 pages in length. The same press issued a stated 2nd edition in 1862. In 1864, Kiggins and Kellogg, NY, published another stated 2nd edition, and the ordering problems begin anew. 1868 saw a stated 3rd edition by Kiggins, Tooker, and Co., NY.

In 1874, an edition was published by the United States Book Company, NY, and it included a new biographical preface by Mary Kellogg Putnam. The page count jumps up to 374. This is the edition that was published as the 5th in 1875 by H.C. Baird in Philadelphia. Baird then published a 7th in 1881, so we are either missing an edition in the interim, or the numbering now takes into account the 1874 edition.

We’re almost home.

A stated 8th edition was issued in New York by American Sentry. It also appears that a different edition, noted as a reprint of the 1875 H. C. Baird 5th, was published by J. W. Lovell. Lovell published a new printing in 1884, and in 1894 an edition appeared from Lovell, Gestefeld, and Co. The Lovell editions all changed the name to Labor and Capital: A New Monetary System.

There have been microform reprints of many of Kellogg’s writings, and 1971 saw modern library reprints of Labor and Other Capital, by A. M. Kelley, and the 1875 A New Monetary System, by Burt Franklin.

About Shawn P. Wilbur 2703 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.