Dr Benjamin Rush

Signer of the Declaration of Independence, education visionary and renowned physician

Founding Father Dr Benjamin Rush was signer of the Declaration of Independence, an early advocate for public education regarding our First Principles, and a famous physician.

Born in Byberry Township near Philadelphia on December 24, 1745, Rush graduated from the College of New Jersey (Princeton).  After studying medicine overseas, he became perhaps the most famous physician in America.  He published the first American textbook in chemistry, and wrote extensively regarding scientific, medical, and political matters.  He is often referred to as the “Father of American Psychiatry” because of his cutting edge views and for publishing the first textbook on the topic in America. 

During the course of the American Revolution, Rush was appointed Surgeon-General to the armies of the middle department of the Continental Army, and treated the wounded at several battles. 

He urged fellow Founding Father Thomas Paine to write a tract to encourage the independence of America, and even suggested that Paine call the book Common Sense.  More than any other work, Common Sense had a substantial effect in swaying public opinion in favor of independence and the American Revolution

Rush also served in the Pennsylvania convention which ratified the Constitution, and he was Treasurer of the U.S. Mint.

Strongly believing in the First Principle of equality, Rush became an ardent abolitionist and co-founded with fellow Founding Father Benjamin Franklin the first antislavery society in America - the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage.

Rush died on April 19, 1813.

For more about our Founding Fathers and their importance to our liberties today, buy a copy of America’s Survival Guide.

Picture:  Charles Wilson Peale, c. 1818.



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