Rush criticized General George Washington in two handwritten but unsigned letters while still serving under the Surgeon General.One, to Virginia Governor Patrick Henry dated October 12, 1778, quoted General Thomas Conway saying that if not for God's grace the ongoing war would have been lost by Washington and his weak counselors.He became a professor of medical theory and clinical practice at the University of Pennsylvania in 1791, though the quality of his medicine was quite primitive even for the time: he advocated bloodletting for almost any illness, long after its practice had declined.Tags: How To Write Conclusion In EssayEssay About Islam And TerrorismAn Essay About Myself For UniversityParents Essay WritingEssays Against Standardized TestingPhotojournalism AssignmentSolve Any Math Problems
Rush's ideas on Yellow Fever treatments differed from those of many experienced French doctors, who came from the West Indies where they had Yellow Fever outbreaks every year.
Rush was a founding member of the Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons (known today as the Pennsylvania Prison Society In 1803, Thomas Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis to Philadelphia to prepare for the Lewis and Clark Expedition under the tutelage of Rush, who taught Lewis about frontier illnesses and the performance of bloodletting.
While teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, one of his students was future president William Henry Harrison, who took a chemistry class from Rush.
He was also founder of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
In a letter to John Adams in 1812, Rush wrote, "He [Washington] was the highly favored instrument whose patriotism and name contributed greatly to the establishment of the independence of the United States." Rush also successfully pleaded with Washington's biographers Justice Bushrod Washington and Chief Justice John Marshall to delete his association with those stinging words.
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The Philadelphia physician and patriot Benjamin Rush, a staunch admirer, observed that Washington “has so much martial dignity in his deportment that you would distinguish him to be a general and a soldier from among 10,000 people.Benjamin Rush and General George Washington enter from the background, with Captain William Leslie, shown on the right, mortally wounded While Rush was representing Pennsylvania in the Continental Congress (and serving on its Medical Committee), he also used his medical skills in the field.Rush accompanied the Philadelphia militia during the battles after which the British occupied Philadelphia and most of New Jersey.In 1794, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.In the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia, Rush treated patients with bleeding, calomel, and other early medicinal techniques that often were ineffective and actually brought many patients closer to their deathbeds.He was depicted serving in the Battle of Princeton in the painting The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777 by the American artist John Trumbull.The Army Medical Service was in disarray, between the military casualties, extremely high losses due to typhoid, yellow fever and other camp illnesses, political conflicts between Dr. William Shippen, Jr., and inadequate supplies and guidance from the Medical Committee.There is not a king in Europe that would not look like a valet de chambre by his side." In 1783, he was appointed to the staff of Pennsylvania Hospital, and he remained a member until his death.He was elected to the Pennsylvania convention which adopted the Federal constitution and was appointed treasurer of the United States Mint, serving from 1797–1813.As an Enlightenment intellectual, he was committed to organizing all medical knowledge around explanatory theories, rather than rely on empirical methods.Rush argued that illness was the result of imbalances in the body's physical system and was caused by malfunctions in the brain.