On July 4th, 1776, representatives in a small courthouse in Pennsylvania signed the Declaration of Independence. The men that signed that paper would come to be known as the founding fathers (1 Kindig, Thomas). Everyone has heard of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, but who has heard of Benjamin Rush?
Benjamin Rush was born December 24, 1745 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the fourth child of John and Susanna Rush’s seven children. He was raised Presbyterian and was greatly influenced by the minister Gilbert Tennent (2 Vinci, John). Tennent was a powerful speaker and rose during the Great Awakening. Rush attended West Nottingham Academy as a young lad and learned Calvinistic beliefs. He never fully embraced the Calvinistic doctrine however (2 Vinci, John). He graduated and soon attended the College of New Jersey.
After earning an A.B. in 1760 from the College of New Jersey, he studied under Dr. John Redman in Philadelphia from 1761-1766 (3 Encyclopedia Dickinsonia). Redman recommended Edinburgh University to Benjamin and he soon continued his studies there. He graduated from the University in 1768 with an A.D. He found a job at St. Thomas’ hospital in London and worked there from 1768-1769. He learned new medicinal teachings from Dr. William Cullen. Rush believed that bloodletting was
essential in lowering a pulse; this was a new idea at the time (4 Brodsky, Alan pg 42). After this year of work, he decided to come back to America. In 1776, he married Julia Stockton and they had thirteen children. He also became close friends with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. They invited him on to the Continental Congress and soon he found himself signing the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from Philadelphia. After this, Rush joined the faculty at the College of Philadelphia as a Chemistry professor. In 1789, he was promoted to Professor of the theory...