Born in Byberry near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Graduate of the College of New Jersey, now Princeton, in 1760. He studied medicine in Edinburgh, London and Paris. Married Julia Stockton, daughter of Richard Stockton, January 11, 1776. They had thirteen children including James and Richard Rush.
He was a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1776 and 1777. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Rush was appointed Surgeon General of the Continental Army. Founder of the Pennsylvania Hospital. President of the Philadelphia Medical Society.
In 1793 the first of several yellow fever epidemics swept the city of Philadelphia and the employees of the mint. The disease claimed mint engraver Joseph Wright. The Philadelphia College of Physicians appointed Dr. Rush to find a cure. His first efforts to treat the disease appeared effective and patients flocked to him for a cure. Rush caught the disease as did many of his patients. Public opinion turned against him.
Rush and Boudinot were related through marriage into the family of Richard Stockton. They began to have disagreements. Rush accused Boudinot of taking mint property without proper compensation. The property in question was stable refuse Boudinot shipped to his farm.
He was appointed by President Adams as Treasurer of the United States Mint in 1797 to replace Dr. Nicholas Way, who died of yellow fever. He continued to serve until his death of pneumonia in Philadelphia. He was suceeded in office by his son James Rush who served until 1830.
Rush wrote a pamphlet on temperance and is considered the father of the temperance movement.
Rush appears on a mint medal (Julian PE-30,31). Dies were by Moritz Furst.
bio: *ApCAB; *BDC; *DAB; *Drake; *EAB; NCAB 3; TCBDA; *WAB; WWWA-H (*date as 1745)
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An account of the bilious remitting yellow fever, as it appeared in the city of Philadelphia, in the year 1793
In 1793, Philadelphia suffered a catastrophic yellow fever epidemic. Drawing from his notes made during his own medical service, Benjamin Rush describes the course and effects of the epidemic and posits possible causes and cures of the disease.