Currie was born at Kirkpatrick Fleming, Dumfriesshire, on 31 May 1756, and died of heart disease at Sidmouth, Devon on 31 August 1805. He was educated at parish schools in Dumfriesshire, where his father was a Church of Scotland minister, and then Dumfries grammar school. In 1771, aged fifteen, he emigrated to Virginia, where he worked for a mercantile concern at the town of Cabin Point; however, he suffered from ill health and the outbreak of the revolution in 1775 damaged his business. He decided to leave commerce and study medicine, and took passage to Britain in the spring of 1776. It took him a year to make the journey: several attempts to leave the colony were thwarted by rebels, and he was twice drafted to serve in the rebel army, but was able to buy himself out. Eventually he reached the Bahamas and finally Antigua where he found a passage to England, having endured fever and hurricanes and nearly been shipwrecked on several occasions.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.