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Collection open for research. Original manuscripts are restricted for preservation reasons; please use transcripts in Box 1, Folders 3 and 5.
To browse this collection's digital content visit Pearl.
Materials marked "Digital" in the Collection Inventory may not be available on Pearl or in their entirety.
Benjamin Rush was born in the countryside surrounding Philadelphia. He was baptized by an Episcopal minister and during childhood attended the Presbyterian services of Gilbert Tennent. During adulthood he occasionally attended Presbyterian services.
He earned an AB degree at the College of New Jersey in 1760 and went on to study medicine for five years with Drs. John Redman, William Shippen and John Morgan in the College of Philadelphia. In 1766 Rush sailed for Edinburgh, where he completed his medical studies and earned an MD degree. In 1769 he returned to America as professor of chemistry at the College of Philadelphia.Dr. Rush took a prominent role in the debate over the future of the American colonies, writing a number of articles and pamphlets. In 1780 he began to deliver lectures at the newly established University of Pennsylvania, and in 1783 joined the staff of the Pennsylvania Hospital. He was a notable figure in the establishment of a school system in the United States, and was instrumental in persuading the Presbyterians to establish Dickinson College.Dr. Rush published works on current politics, on medicine and its history, and on education, making important and lasting contributions to all three fields. One of his most notable accomplishments was his success at negotiating the healing of the breach between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. He died in 1813.
This collections contains two manuscripts. One is a 1767 letter to John Witherspoon, concerning Witherspoon's imminent presidency of the College of New Jersey; the other is a 1783 letter to Dr. John King, regarding the founding of a college in Carlisle, PA (Dickinson College).
The transcript of the 1767 letter preserves Rush's spelling and capitalization. Most of his abbreviations were for words such as "the," "that" "or "what" and these have been spelled out. The paper is torn and one corner of the letter is missing--the transcriber has made no guess at the lost words. The 1783 letter was transcribed some time previously and no information is available for it.
To browse this collection's digitized content visit Pearl.
Materials marked "Digital" in the Collection Inventory may not have been digitized in their entirety.
Finding Aid to Record Group 324
Letter to Witherspoon, 1767 [restricted for preservation reasons, use transcript in Box 1, Folder 3]
Transcript of 1767 letter
Letter to King, 1783 [restricted for preservation reasons, use digital reproduction and transcript in Box 1, Folder 5]
Transcript of 1783 letter