“Founding Father” status goes to men who helped found the United States. That means the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, those who led the Continental Army, and the 36 delegates who signed the Constitution. We’re talking about more than 100 men and yet, we don’t really talk about more than a handful of these “founders” as Founders.
Stephen Fried, an award-winning journalist and author of Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father, joins us to explore the life and deeds of one founder we don’t always talk about, Benjamin Rush.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Stephen Fried, an award-winning journalist, New York Times best-selling author, and author of Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father, joins us to explore the life and deeds of one founder we don’t always talk about, Benjamin Rush.
During our investigation into Benjamin Rush’s life, Stephen reveals who Benjamin Rush was and details about both his political and civilian careers; Rush’s contributions to both the political aspect of the American Revolution and the military aspect of the Revolution; And, why we haven’t heard a whole lot about Benjamin Rush until fairly recently.
What You’ll Discover
- The story behind the Rush title
- How Stephen came to study Benjamin Rush
- The early life of Benjamin Rush
- Rush’s medical training and practice
- Why Benjamin Rush became a revolutionary
- Rush’s involvement with Common Sense
- Benjamin Rush and the Declaration of Independence
- Rush’s involvement with the military side of the American Revolution
- Benjamin Rush as surgeon general of the Middle Department
- Rush’s wartime medical lessons
- Rush’s decision to leave the Continental Army medical service
- Benjamin Rush’s interest in mental health
- Rush’s relationship with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
- How Rush helped Adams and Jefferson resolve their differences
- The mental health of John Rush
- Rush’s personal papers and why access has been so limited
- Benjamin Rush’s death and legacy
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Stephen Fried
- Stephen’s Website
- Stephen on Twitter @stephen_fried
- Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father
- American Philosophical Society
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Lyman H. Butterfield
- Episode 112: Mary Beth Norton, The Tea Crisis of 1773
- Episode 169: Thomas Kidd, The Religious Life of Benjamin Franklin
- Episode 193: Partisans: The Friendship & Rivalry of Adams and Jefferson
- Episode 209: Considering Biography
- Episode 263: Sari Altschuler, The Medical Imagination
- Episode 273: Victoria Johnson, David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Early Republic
In your opinion, how might Benjamin Rush have been remembered differently by history if his family had not restricted access to his papers as long as they did?
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