Benjamin Rush - Princeton University, Timeline and Facts

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Benjamin Rush's Personal Details

Benjamin Rush, a physician and educator, was one of the founding fathers of the United States of America

InformationDetail
BirthdayJanuary 4, 1746
Died onApril 19, 1813
NationalityAmerican
FamousPrinceton University, University Of Edinburgh, Leaders, Political Leaders, Physicians
SpousesJulia Stockton
Known asBenjamin Rush
Childrens James Rush, Richard Rush
Universities
  • Princeton University,University Of Edinburgh
  • Princeton University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • West Nottingham Academy
Notable Alumnis
  • Princeton University
  • University Of Edinburgh
Founder / Co-Founder
  • American psychiatry
  • Dickinson College
Birth PlacePhiladelphia
GenderMale
FatherJohn Rush
MotherSusanna Rush
Sun SignCapricorn
Born inPhiladelphia
Died at Age67

// Famous Political Leaders

Benjamin Rush's photo

Who is Benjamin Rush?

Benjamin Rush was one of the major political leaders who participated in the American Revolution and signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence in 1776. A physician by profession, he was also an educator and writer. He was one of the leading figures of the intellectual American Enlightenment period along with Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. He believed in freedom for all and was a vocal advocate of abolishment of slavery and a supporter of women’s right to higher education. As a physician, he was very well respected and he worked towards bringing better health and hygiene facilities to the common people. He was the first doctor of his era to conduct pioneering work in the field of psychiatry, thereby earning the title, ‘"Father of American Psychiatry". Having a deep interest in political affairs, he actively participated in Sons of Liberty in Philadelphia. He was elected a delegate of the Continental congress as a representative of Pennsylvania and he signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence on 2 August 1776. He also helped Thomas Paine in writing the much celebrated ‘Common Sense’ which was a pamphlet in support of an independent America. Along with his contribution to medicine, he is also known for the social reforms he campaigned for.

// Famous Leaders

Childhood & Early Life

Benjamin Rush was born in Philadelphia to to John Rush and Susanna Harvey. His father was a farmer turned gunsmith who died when Benjamin was just five or six years of age.

His mother moved with her children to Philadelphia in 1751 and operated a grocery store to support the family.

Young Benjamin and his brother were sent to live with his uncle, Rev. Dr. Samuel Finley, so that they could get a proper education. Under his uncle’s guidance he attended the Nottingham Academy.

He enrolled at the College of New Jersey in 1759 and graduated with an arts degree in 1760 when he was hardly 15.

In 1761, he became an apprentice of Dr. John Redman and studied under him till 1766. During this period he also got the opportunity to meet eminent physicians like John Morgan and William Shippen, Jr.

He went to Scotland in 1766 to pursue his medical degree from the University of Edinburgh and earned his Doctor of Medicine in 1768. He spent the rest of the year traveling to hospitals in London and Paris.

Career

He returned to Philadelphia in 1769 and opened a medical practice. He also got appointed as professor of chemistry at the College of Philadelphia.

While holding his teaching job, he wrote several articles on medical issues and published his first textbook on chemistry ‘A Syllabus of a Course of Lectures on Chemistry’. Being a nationalist, he also wrote numerous essays on patriotic issues.

During the early 1770’s he enthusiastically participated in the activities of Sons of Liberty, a group of American patriots.

He helped Thomas Paine in editing and publishing his seminal pamphlet ‘Common Sense’ which was published anonymously in January 1776. The pamphlet was published during the beginning of the American Revolution and presented a case for seeking freedom form the colonial rule.

In July 1776, he was elected as a delegate of the Continental Congress to represent Pennsylvania and he signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence on 2 August 1776.

In 1777, he accepted a position as a Surgeon General of the Continental Army and tended to wounded soldiers in the battles. But he grew increasingly dissatisfied with the management of the Army Medical service under Dr. William Shippen which led to a slew of political issues between the two. Disillusioned, he resigned in 1778.

He resumed his teaching career by lecturing at the University of the State of Pennsylvania in 1780.

He founded the Dickinson College in Pennsylvania in 1783, and Franklin College in Lancaster in 1787.

He became a surgeon at the Pennsylvania Hospital in 1784 and served there till his death. He treated patients with psychiatric disorders and campaigned for a more humane treatment of mental patients.

He was chosen as the president of the Philadelphia medical society and in 1786 he established the Philadelphia Dispensary to provide free medical care to poor patients.

He continued his medical and teaching career till his death in 1813.

Major Works

His book ‘A Syllabus of a Course of Lectures on Chemistry’ (1770) was the first American chemistry textbook.

He published another very significant book, ‘Medical Inquiries and Observations upon the Diseases of the Mind’ in 1812 which established him as the "father of American psychiatry".

He was one of the 56 signers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. He represented Pennsylvania and signed on 2 August 1776.

He was an active social reformist who provided free medical care to poor patients, advocated for women’s rights, and founded many colleges to further the cause of higher education.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Julia Stockton, the daughter of lawyer Richard Stockton, in 1776. The couple had 13 children of whom four died in their infancy.

He contracted typhus fever and died in 1813 at the age of 68.

The American Medical Association erected his bronze statue, known as the Rush Monument, on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Museum of Hygiene and Medical School in Washington in 1904 in a gesture to honour his memory.

The Dickinson College, Pennsylvania, which he had founded, presents The Benjamin Rush Award to honour outstanding achievement by a member of the business or government community. The first award was given in 1985.

Trivia

He was fluent in many languages like English, Spanish, French and Italian.

His father-in-law was also a signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

He was strongly opposed to capital punishment.

He was deeply religious and helped found the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

// Famous Alumni of Princeton University

Benjamin Rush biography timelines

  • // 4th Jan 1746
    Benjamin Rush was born in Philadelphia to to John Rush and Susanna Harvey. His father was a farmer turned gunsmith who died when Benjamin was just five or six years of age.
  • // 1751
    His mother moved with her children to Philadelphia in 1751 and operated a grocery store to support the family.
  • // 1759 To 1760
    He enrolled at the College of New Jersey in 1759 and graduated with an arts degree in 1760 when he was hardly 15.
  • // 1761 To 1766
    In 1761, he became an apprentice of Dr. John Redman and studied under him till 1766. During this period he also got the opportunity to meet eminent physicians like John Morgan and William Shippen, Jr.
  • // 1766 To 1768
    He went to Scotland in 1766 to pursue his medical degree from the University of Edinburgh and earned his Doctor of Medicine in 1768. He spent the rest of the year traveling to hospitals in London and Paris.
  • // 1769
    He returned to Philadelphia in 1769 and opened a medical practice. He also got appointed as professor of chemistry at the College of Philadelphia.
  • // 1770
    His book ‘A Syllabus of a Course of Lectures on Chemistry’ (1770) was the first American chemistry textbook.
  • // 1776
    He married Julia Stockton, the daughter of lawyer Richard Stockton, in 1776. The couple had 13 children of whom four died in their infancy.
  • // Jan 1776
    He helped Thomas Paine in editing and publishing his seminal pamphlet ‘Common Sense’ which was published anonymously in January 1776. The pamphlet was published during the beginning of the American Revolution and presented a case for seeking freedom form the colonial rule.
  • // 2nd Aug 1776
    In July 1776, he was elected as a delegate of the Continental Congress to represent Pennsylvania and he signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence on 2 August 1776.
  • // 1777 To 1778
    In 1777, he accepted a position as a Surgeon General of the Continental Army and tended to wounded soldiers in the battles. But he grew increasingly dissatisfied with the management of the Army Medical service under Dr. William Shippen which led to a slew of political issues between the two. Disillusioned, he resigned in 1778.
  • // 1780
    He resumed his teaching career by lecturing at the University of the State of Pennsylvania in 1780.
  • // 1784
    He became a surgeon at the Pennsylvania Hospital in 1784 and served there till his death. He treated patients with psychiatric disorders and campaigned for a more humane treatment of mental patients.
  • // 1786
    He was chosen as the president of the Philadelphia medical society and in 1786 he established the Philadelphia Dispensary to provide free medical care to poor patients.
  • // 1812
    He published another very significant book, ‘Medical Inquiries and Observations upon the Diseases of the Mind’ in 1812 which established him as the "father of American psychiatry".
  • // 19th Apr 1813
    He contracted typhus fever and died in 1813 at the age of 68.

// Famous Alumni of University Of Edinburgh

Benjamin Rush's FAQ

  • What is Benjamin Rush birthday?

    Benjamin Rush was born at 1746-01-04

  • When was Benjamin Rush died?

    Benjamin Rush was died at 1813-04-19

  • Where was Benjamin Rush died?

    Benjamin Rush was died in Philadelphia

  • Which age was Benjamin Rush died?

    Benjamin Rush was died at age 67

  • Where is Benjamin Rush's birth place?

    Benjamin Rush was born in Philadelphia

  • What is Benjamin Rush nationalities?

    Benjamin Rush's nationalities is American

  • Who is Benjamin Rush spouses?

    Benjamin Rush's spouses is Julia Stockton

  • Who is Benjamin Rush childrens?

    Benjamin Rush's childrens is James Rush, Richard Rush

  • What was Benjamin Rush universities?

    Benjamin Rush studied at Princeton University,University Of Edinburgh, Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, West Nottingham Academy

  • What was Benjamin Rush notable alumnis?

    Benjamin Rush's notable alumnis is Princeton University, University Of Edinburgh

  • Which company or organization was founded by Benjamin Rush?

    Benjamin Rush was the founder/co-founder of American psychiatry, Dickinson College

  • Who is Benjamin Rush's father?

    Benjamin Rush's father is John Rush

  • Who is Benjamin Rush's mother?

    Benjamin Rush's mother is Susanna Rush

  • What is Benjamin Rush's sun sign?

    Benjamin Rush is Capricorn