Benjamin Rush

January 4, 1746–April 19, 1813

Benjamin Rush was a Founding Father, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Member of the Continental Army, and advocate for the ratification of the United States Constitution. Rush was also a prominent physician, educator, and proponent of women's rights and the abolition of slavery.

Benjamin Rush, Illustration

Quick Facts

  • Born January 4, 1746, in Byberry, Pennsylvania.
  • Graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) in 1760.
  • Received MD degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1768.
  • Elected to the Continental Congress from Pennsylvania in 1776.
  • Signed Declaration of Independence in 1776.
  • Appointed Surgeon-general to the armies of the middle department of the Continental Army in 1777.
  • Member of the Convention of Pennsylvania for Adoption of the Federal Constitution, 1787.
  • Founder and trustee of Dickenson College, 1793-1813.
  • Treasurer of the U.S. Mint, 1797-1813.
  • Professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 1791-1813.
  • Named president of the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery, 1803.
  • Died April 19, 1813, in Philadelphia.
  • Buried at Christ’s Church in Philadelphia.
  • Posthumously named as the “Father of American Psychiatry” by The American Psychiatric Association in 1965.

Famous Quotes

Dreams are nothing but incoherent ideas, occasioned by partial or imperfect sleep

Mirth, and even cheerfulness, when employed as remedies in low spirits, are like hot water to a frozen limb.

Controversy is only dreaded by the advocates of error.

Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us.

Scandal dies sooner of itself, than we could kill it.

Freedom can exist only in the society of knowledge.

Without learning, men are incapable of knowing their rights.