1745 – Benjamin Rush was born to John and Susanna Harvey Rush on December 24th in Byberry, near Philadelphia.
1760 – He went on to study at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) and received his bachelor’s degree from that institution.
1761-1766 – Upon returning to Philadelphia, Rush studied medicine under Dr. John Redman, when he departed for Scotland to finish his studies at the University of Edinburgh.
1768 – Receiving his medical degree in June, Rush traveled on to London to further his training at St. Thomas’s Hospital.
1769 – Rush returned to Philadelphia and started practicing medicine while also serving as the professor of chemistry at the College of Philadelphia.
– He wrote treatises on medical procedure, politics, and abolition, and he helped establish the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery. His writings on the crisis brewing between the colonies and Britain brought him into associations with such leaders as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine.
– At the outbreak of war, Rush joined the continental army as a surgeon and physician.
1776 – Rush was appointed to the Provincial Conference, and then to the Continental Congress a month later, and thus he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
– On January 11th, Rush married Julia Stockton, the eldest daughter of Richard Stockton of Princeton. The couple had thirteen children, nine of whom would survive their father.
1777 – Rush was appointed Surgeon-General of the continental army in April.
1778 – Rush returned to his practice in Philadelphia. Two years later he began to lecture at the new University of the State of Pennsylvania.
1783 – Rush joined the staff of the Pennsylvania Hospital and actively served there.
– While teaching at the University and serving at the Hospital, Rush furthered his republican ideas regarding universal education and health care. He advocated prison reform, the abolition of slavery and capital punishment, temperance, and better treatment of mental illness.
1787 – Rush had briefly reentered the realm of politics to advocate the ratification of the federal constitution. His actions led to an appointment to the ratifying convention for the state.
1793 – Rush gained a reputation as one of the leading physicians and medical theorists in the new nation. He was a pioneer in physiology and psychiatry. Rush solidified this reputation through his role in the terrible yellow fever epidemic that swept Philadelphia.
1797 – He was the treasurer of United States Mint.
1813 – Benjamin Rush died rather suddenly at his home on April 19th at the age of 67 and was buried at Christ’s Church in Philadelphia.