Founding Fathers of America

1 BENJAMIN RUSH--Archival Information from David Barton, Wallbuilders

Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) Rush was a physician, educator, philanthropist, and statesman. He graduated from Princeton (1760) and then studied medicine in Philadelphia, Edinburgh, London, and Paris. He served in the Continental Congress (1776-77) and signed the Declaration of Independence (1776). Rush also: suggested to Thomas Paine that he write Common Sense (1776) and supplied the title for it as well as helped publish it; was Surgeon-General of the Continental Army (1777-78); and was one of the founders of Dickinson College (1783). He was an influential delegate to the State ratification convention for the federal Constitution (1787), and along with James Wilson, one of the principal coauthors of the Pennsylvania constitution (1789-90). Rush served as Treasurer of the U. S. Mint under Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison (1797-1813). He mediated a reconciliation between long time political rivals John Adams and Thomas Jefferson; was a founder of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery (1774) and its president; founder and Vice-president of the Philadelphia Bible Society (1808-13); member of the First Day Society of Philadelphia (1790); and a member of the Abolition Society (1794-97). Benjamin Rush is called the “Father of American Medicine” for his numerous medical discoveries.

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