Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Benjamin Rush - Founding Father

Benjamin Rush of Pennsylvania is one of the lesser known signers of the Declaration of Independence and Founding Fathers.  He was a crusader of political, social, and medical causes.  He was a prolific writer and founder in all three areas.  He signed the Declaration of Independence and supported the U.S. Constitution; he founded the first anti-slavery society and the first free medical clinic in America.  He wrote one of the first studies of mental illness and demonstrated his devotion to medicine by repeatedly risking his life caring for the sick during epidemics in Philadelphia.

Having studied on both sides of the Atlantic, Rush was on of the best educated physicians in America.  By the 1770s he had won a place in Philadelphia as a teacher and a patriot as well as a physician.  He was a friend of John Adams, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson, and like them, an ardent champion of independence.

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