Rush, Benjamin, an American physician; born in Philadelphia, Dec. 24, 1745; he was graduated at Princeton in 1760; studied medicine in Philadelphia, Edinburgh, London, and Paris; and in 1769 was made Professor of Chemistry in the Philadelphia Medical College. Elected a member of the Continental Congress, he signed the Declaration of Independence (1776). In April, 1777, he was appointed surgeon-general, and in July physician-general, of the Continental army. In 1778 he resigned his post in the army because he could not prevent frauds on soldiers in the hospital stores, and returned to his professorship. He was a founder of the Philadelphia dispensary, the first in the United States. He next became Professor of, the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Philadelphia, to which chair he added those of the Institutes and Practice of Medicine and Clinical Practice (1791); and of the Practice of Physic (1797); and during the epidemic of 1793 he was as successful as devoted in the treatment of yellow fever. In 1799 Rush was appointed treasurer of the United States Mint, which post he held until his death. He was called "the Sydenham of America" and his medical works brought him honors from several European sovereigns. He wrote "Medical Inquiries and Observations" (5 vols. 1789-1793); "Essays" (1798), and "Diseases of the Mind" (1821). He died in Philadelphia, April 19, 1813.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

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