Sunday, 23 September 2012

Bemjamin Rush

For the past several weeks I have been finishing up a journal article. In writing the article, I did some research on Benjamin Rush, soon discovering that there is not much scholarship on him.

I was surprised to see so few books on Rush. Besides being a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and the person who helped reconcile John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, he had an interesting career as a physician and patriot. He was instrumental in securing John Witherspoon as the president of the College of New Jersey and Charles Nisbet as the principal of Dickinson College. David Barton and Alyn Brodsky,  have written books about Rush, but the standard biography is by David F. Hawke.

In terms of his religion, Rush at first associated with the evangelicals. He was the nephew of Samuel Finley and seemed to have been influenced by the preaching of revivalists during the Great Awakening. Later in life, however, Rush adhered to a more liberal faith, at one time claiming to be a Unitarian.

I hope that Rush receives the scholarly attention that he deserves in the near future. It would be great if someone thoroughly analyzes his faith.

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