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Benjamin Rush | by kwatson0013
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Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Rush was a Continental Congressman from Philadelphia, Pa who signed the Declaration of Independence.


When the Revolutionary War broke out, Rush was a well know doctor in Pennsylvania and selected as the Surgeon General of the Continental Army. He would hold this honor throughout the war. During the war, he wrote letters to congress asking for the removal of George Washington as commanding general. He felt Washington was not doing a good job holding the army together and asked for his removal. He felt Horatio Gates would be a better fit and give the army a better chance of winning against the British. He would later regret his writing and say the only reason we won the war was because the leadership and patrism of Washington.


In 1775, Rush would attend the Pennsylvania Convention. He would be selected to serve as a delegate from Pennsylvania in the 2nd Continental Congress. Along with long time frien Benjamin Franklin, Rush would sign the Declaration of Independence.


After the war, Rush would become know as one of the best doctors in the area. He would serve on the staff of the Pennsylvania Hospital and be a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. When President Thomas Jefferson picked Meriwether Lewis to accompany William Clark on a journey west, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, he sent Lewis to Benjamin Rush to learn medicine just in case illness or sickness fall upon some of the travelers.


It was also Rush who was know for bringing back the friendship of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams and Jefferson became great friends at the continental convention. But with politics and both seeking the Presidency, this friendship grew to bitter rivalry between the two men. This bitterness lasted for over 20 years. It was Rush who got the 2 men to start talking again by writing letters back and forth. Adams and Jefferson would write each other once a week for the rest of the life.


Benjamin Rush is buried at the Christ Church Burial Ground in downtown Philadelphia, Pa.

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Taken on March 11, 2011