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.
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.
Images: Portrait of Benjamin Rush by Edward Savage, Permission of Lockwood Rush, photo by Jim Graham/grahamstudios.com, retouching by Anthony Morrow/PXL.House. Benjamin Rush letter to Julia Stockton Rush, 1793 August 21 (Duke University). An address to the inhabitants of the British settlements in America, upon slave-keeping, Benjamin Rush (Early American Imprints, Series I). Drawing of John Rush in uniform by Benjamin Rush (Library Company of Philadelphia). Penn Libraries staff scanning the dissertation of Penn medical student Americus Vesuvius Payne, 1820 (University Communications). Stephen Fried with statue of Benjamin Rush (Dickinson College/Carl Sokolow)