Rush, Benjamin, Md, Lld
Rush, Benjamin, M.D., LL.D.
a distinguished American physician, was born near Bristol, in the vicinity of Philadelphia, Jan. 5, 1745. At nine years of age he was placed under the tuition of Dr. Samuel Finley, who was subsequently president of Princeton College. By him he was prepared for college, and entered the above-named institution under the presidency of Dr. Davies, and graduated in 1760. The following six years he devoted to the study of medicine under the preceptorship of Dr. John Rodman, of Philadelphia. To perfect himself in the science of medicine, he went to Europe, and attended medical lectures at the University of Edinburgh for two years, and afterwards spent some time in the London hospitals. In 1769 he returned to Philadelphia, with qualifications seldom surpassed, to enter upon the practice of his profession, and was not long in obtaining an extensive and lucrative practice. He was appointed professor of chemistry in the University of Pennsylvania in 1789, and in 1791 professor of the theory and practice of medicine, and subsequently of the institutes of medicine and clinics, which he held during life. He was elected member of Congress in 1776, and signed the Declaration of Independence. He was appointed surgeon- general of the Middle Department of the army, and also physician-general. He resigned this post in 1778; and, after serving as delegate to the state convention which ratified the Constitution of the United States, he retired from political life and resumed the practice of his profession. His writings are mostly on medical subjects, and were published in five volumes. That on mental diseases, published in 1812, is especially valuable as to its bearing on medical jurisprudence. He was an enlightened and practical Christian, abounding in every good word and work. Dr. Rush died April 18, 1813. He published numerous pamphlets on moral, scientific, and social topics, for which and other literature, see Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v. (W. P.S.)