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Benjamin Rush Portal: Home

Explore Dr. Rush: Founding Father, Declaration of Independence signer, Revolutionary War Surgeon General, mental health & addiction innovator, founder of Dickinson & Penn Medicine & savior of the friendship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. This portal provides easy access to almost everything Rush wrote in its original form.

Menu of the site in images

portrait of Benjamin Rush as a young man

Rush's Life

Rush's timeline of events plus links to all his publications.
Letter from Benjamin Rush to Julia Stockton Rush

Yellow Fever

Explore Rush's 1793 battle to save Philadelphia from Yellow Fever.
Title / first page: Address to the Inhabitants of the British Settlements in America upon Slave-Keeping

On Abolition & Race

One of the first major antislavery writings by a founder.
Sketch of John Rush

Rush & Mental Health

Rush's work on mental health, addiction, and treatment. 
Preparing to scan an 18th century medical dissertation in Penn Libraries

Rush & Penn Medicine

Links to the extensive record of Rush's lectures and writings.
Stephen Fried visits the statue of Benjamin Rush at Dickinson College

About this Project

Stephen Fried and the biography of America's founding physician.

A doctor, a political activist, a founding father

Navigate this virtual Benjamin Rush portal, inspired by Stephen Fried’s biography, RUSH: Revolution, Madness & the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father and see the world through the eyes of America’s Founding Physician. Dive into Dr. Rush’s life from his decision to study medicine to his work at Penn revolutionizing the education of doctors and the care of mental health and addiction.

Featured in the portal are the most complete set of links available to Rush’s publications and letters—including the new digitizations of his lecture notes—as well as excerpts from Rush and videos with the author offering a deeper perspective on Rush's life.

Follow Rush’s journey through the earliest days of modern medicine, and join him as an eyewitness the American Revolution, so you’ll meet the world’s founding physicians as well as the country’s Founding Fathers, and explore Rush’s unique friendships with Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Witness Rush’s life during the Revolutionary War as a physician and his relationship with George Washington. Learn about Rush’s heroic efforts to help cure the people of Philadelphia during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793. Discover Rush’s passion for understanding and destigmatizing mental health as a staff member at the Pennsylvania Hospital, and the leading teacher at the University of Pennsylvania medical school.



Letters of Benjamin Rush

All of Benjamin Rush’s letters published and annotated letters are now available online at the UVA/Rotunda Letters of Benjamin Rush Digital Edition. It brings together all the volumes of Rush letters annotated by Lyman Butterfield, with a new essay by Stephen Fried

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