Lot 79: 1796 Declaration Signer BENJAMIN RUSH Twice Signed Medical Receipt Document
October 29, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
1796 "Signer" Benjamin Rush Twice Signed Document
BENJAMIN RUSH (1745-1813), Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Surgeon General of the Continental Army; President of the American Society for the Abolition of Slavery; President of the Philadelphia Medical Society, Treasurer of the United States Mint, Founder of Dickinson College, Known as "The Father of American Psychiatry," etc.
1796-Dated Federal Period, Autograph Document Receipt Signed, "Benjn Rush" Twice, 1 page, measures 6.25" x 4", Fine. Written in brown ink on laid period paper with two separate notations, written in different darkness of the ink. Some wrinkling at the vertical folds, two small fiber paper reinforcements strengthen the top edge folds on the blank reverse. This invoice document reads, in full:
"1796 Miss Betsy Cadwallider Dr to / Benjn Rush / Novr 1797 January February} medicines, and / attendance to herself. 11:5:0 / (written darker) - June 7th 1797 Recd in full / Benjn Rush"
Dr. Rush's bill and payment receipt, each Signed being nicely on this same sheet, to Miss Betsy Cadwallider for medicines and house calls in November 1796 and January and February 1797. Paid in full on June 7, 1797. Includes a vintage Engraved Portrait Printed image of Doctor Rush, with his signature in facsimile below. (2 items)
Benjamin Rush was graduated from Princeton University in 1760 at the age of 14 and, in 1768, received his medical degree from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He practiced medicine in Philadelphia from 1769 and served as professor of chemistry and medicine at the College of Philadelphia.
As a member of the Continental Congress in 1776 and 1777, he signed the Declaration of Independence. Dr. Rush entered the Revolutionary Army as Surgeon General in April 1777, was made Physician General in July 1777, and resigned in February 1778, to resume his practice of medicine. Rush was also physician to the Pennsylvania Hospital (which he helped found) from 1783 to 1813, where he introduced clinical instruction. In 1786, he established the first free clinic in the United States, the Philadelphia Dispensary.
Dr. Rush was prominent in fighting the yellow fever epidemic of Philadelphia in 1793. From 1799 until his death in 1813, Dr. Benjamin Rush was Treasurer of the United States Mint at Philadelphia.