1745: Born on Christmas Eve in Byberry, Philadelphia
1760: Graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University)
1761: Became an apprentice to Dr. John Redman
1766: Studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh
1768: Met Benjamin Franklin in London; Franklin opened doors for him there--with medical, literacy and political figures
1769: Returned to Philadelphia, and was officially named the first professor of chemistry at the College of Philadelphia
1773: Co-wrote, with other members of the Philadelphia "Sons of Liberty," the anti-tea tax broadside that inspires the Boston Tea Party
1774: Met John Adams who became his lifelong friend; he also met Samuel Adams, George Washington, Patrick Henry, and other future founders at the 1st Continental Congress
1775: Met Thomas Paine whom he convinced to write "Common Sense"
1776: Married Julia Stockton, daughter of Richard Stockton, another signer of the Declaration of Independence
1777: Appointed Surgeon General of the Middle Department of the Continental Army
1778: Resigned from his post by Congress
1782: Established Dickinson College
1783: Joined the staff at the Pennsylvania Hospital
1787: Helped establish the first American medical society, the College of Physicians
1791: Taught at the new University of Pennsylvania after the old College of Philadelphia was closed; Penn was merged with the University of the State of Pennsylvania
1793: Remained in Philadelphia to cure his patients from yellow fever
1803: Was a medical consultant to Meriwether Lewis for his expedition with William Clark
1810: Devised his most famous-- and in some corners infamous-- treatment device, the Tranquilizer Chair
1813: Died on April 13 from typhus
"Benjamin Rush was a bestselling author, and one of the first writers from the United States whose books and pamphlets were read in Europe. Instead of giving his medical books different titles, he published his voluminous writings on 'physic' under the umbrella title 'Medical Inquiries and Observations'—and reissued that collection five different times between 1789 and his death in 1813.
This has caused some confusion among scholars and footnoters, especially since, as his opinions on certain things changed, parts of the books changed—which can’t be captured or analyzed by relying on the volumes published after his death. Until someone undertakes a critical edition of Medical Inquiries (as has been done with his autobiography), keep in mind which edition was in print during different periods of his life.
Only his very last (and most important book) has a somewhat different title: Medical Inquires and Observations Upon Diseases of the Mind."