« AnteriorContinuar »
In the latter office he continued for about four years at the close of which period he retired from public life. He was again elected to Congress, but it does not appear that he ever after took his seat in that body. A cancer, which had afflicted him for some time, and which had greatly disfigured his face, now increased its ravages, and, in the early part of the year 1783, brought him to the grave. Mr. Rodney was distinguished for a remarkable degree of good humor and vivacity; and in generosity of character, was an ornament to human nature.
GEORGE ROSS. GEORGE Ross was born at Newcastle, Delaware, in the
year 1730. At the age of eighteen, he entered upon the study of the law, and when admitted to the bar established himself at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Here he married, and devoted himself with great zeal to the duties of his profession.
Mr. Ross commenced his political career in 1768, when he was sent a representative to the Assembly of his adopted State. Of this body he continued a member until the year 1774, when he was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress. To this office he was annually re-elected till January, 1777, when he retired. The high sense entertained by his constituents, of his public services and patriotism, was expressed, not merely by thanks, but by a present of one hundred and fifty pounds. This offer was respectfully but firmly declined.
Mr. Ross was an active and influential member of the Provincial Legislature. He was also a member of the Convention which assembled to prepare a declaration of rights on behalf of the State, and to define what should be considered high treason against it. In 1779, he was appointed a Judge of the Court of Admiralty, for the State of Pennsylvania. In July of the same year he died of a sudden attack of the gout, in the fiftieth year of his age. He left behind him the reputation of a thorougi: and skilful lawyer a consistent politician, and on estima ble man.
BENJAMIN RUSH. BENJAMIN Rush was born in Byberry, Fennsy vania, on the 24th of December, 1745. His father died when he was only six years of age, and the care of his education devolved upon his mother, whose prudent management of her son may be learned from the result.
After completing his preparatory studies, he was entered, in 1759, a student in the College of Princeton. On leaving college, he commenced the study of medicine, under the superintendence of Dr. Redman, of Philadel. phia. In 1766, he went to Edinburgh, where he spent two years at the university in that city, and from which he received the degree of M. D., in 1768. The next winter after his graduation he passed in London, and having visited France, he returned, in the autumn of the same year, to Philadelphia, and commenced the practice of medicine. In 1769, he was elected professor of chemistry in the College of Philadelphia ; and was afterwards appointed professor of the institutes and practice of medicine, and of clinical practice, in the same university.
In the year 1793, Philadelphia was visited by that horrible scourge, the yellow fever. For some time after its commencement, no successful system of management was resorted to. Dr. Rush afterwards met with a manuscript, which contained an account of the yellow fever, as it prevailed in Virginia, in 1741, and which was given to him by Dr. Franklin, and had been written by Dr. Mitchell, of Virginia. In this manuscript the efficacy of powerful evacuants was urged, even in cases of extreme debility. This plan Dr. Rush adopted, and imparted the prescription to the college of physicians. An immense accession of business was the consequence, and his mode of treatment was wonderfully successful. The following entry, dạted September 10th, is found in his note-book : “ Thank God, oui of one hundred patients, whom I vis. ited or prescribed for this day, I have lost none.”
Between the 8th and 15th of September, Dr. Rush visited and prescribed for a hundred and a hundred and Twenty patients a day. In the short intervals of business
which he spent at his meals, his house was filled with patients, chiefly the poor, waiting for his gratuitous advice. For many weeks he seldom ate without prescri. bing for many as he sat at table. While thus endangering his health and his life by excess of practice, Dr. Rush received repeated letters from his friends in the country, entreating him to leave the city. To one of these letters he replied, “that he had resolved to stick to his principles, his practice, and his patients, to the last extremity.”
The incessant labors of Dr. Rush, during this awful visitation, nearly prostrated his constitution, but he was finally so far restored as to resume the duties of his profession. His mode of treatment was also called into question by many of his contemporaries, notwithstanding the success which had attended it. At length the prejudices against him infected not only physicians, but a considerable part of the community. The public journals were enlisted against him, and in numerous pamphlets his system was attacked with great severity. He was even called a murderer, and was at length threatened to be prosecuted and expelled the city.
Notwithstanding the great labors of Dr. Rush as a lecturer and practitioner, he was a voluminous writer. His printed works consist of seven volumes, six of which treat of medical subjects, and the other is a collection of essays, literary, moral, and philosophical. He was a constant and indefatigable scholar. He extracted so largely from the magazine of information accumulated in the mind of Benjamin Franklin, that he once mentioned to a friend his intention of writing a book with the title of Frankliniana, in which he proposed to collect the frag. ments of wisdom, which he had treasured in his memory. as they fell in conversation from the lips of that grear man.
Doctor Rush was a member of the celebrated Congress of 1776, which deelared these States free and independ. ent. The impulse given to learning and science by this event he used to estimate of incalculable value. In 1777. he was appointed Physician-General of the military hospital in the middle department. In 1787, he became a member of the Convention of Pennsylvania, for the adop
tion of the Federal Constitution. This instrument re. ceived his warmest approbation. For the last fourteen years of his life, he was treasurer for the United States Mint, by appointment of President Adams.
Doctor Rush tok a deep interest in the many private associations, for the advancement of human happiness, with which Pennsylvania abounds. He led the way in the establishment of the Philadelphia Dispensary, and was the principal agent in founding Dickinson College, in Carlisle. For some years he was president of the Society for the Abolition of Slavery, and also of the Philadelphia Medical Society. He was a founder of the Philadelphia Bible Society, and vice-president of the American Philosophical Society. He was an honorary member of many of the literary institutions, both of this country and of Europe. In 1805, he was honored by the King of Prussia, with a medal, for his replies to certain questions on the yellow fever. On a similar account, he was presented with a gold medal in 1807, from the Queen of Etruria; and in 1811, the Emperor of Russia sent him a diamond ring, as a testimony of his respect for his medical character.
The pen of Doctor Rush was powerfully employed against some of the vices and habits of mankind. His “ Inquiry into the Effects of Ardent Spirits upon the Human Body and Mind,” has been more read than any
of his works. He was a brilliant and eloquent lecturer; and he possessed in a high degree those talents which engage the heart.
The life of Doctor Rush was terminated on the 19th of April, 1813, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. During his illness, which was but of few days' continuance, his house was beset by crowds of citizens, such was the gen. eral anxiety in respect to this excellent man. When at ength he died, the news of his decease spread a deep Eloom over the city, and expressions of profound sympathy Frere received from all parts of the country.
EDWARD Rutledge was born in Charleston, South Carolina, November, 1749. After receiving a respectable education in the learned languages, he commenced the study of the law with his elder brother, who, at that time, was becoming the most eminent advocate at the Charles lon bar.
When arrived at the age of twenty-one years, Edward Rutledge sailed for England, to complete his legal edu. cation. In 1773, he returned to his native country, and began the practice of his profession. He soon became distinguished for his quickness of apprehension, fluency of speech, and graceful delivery. The general estimation in which his talents were held, was evinced in 1774, by his appointment to the General Congress, as delegate from South Carolina. He was at this time but twenty-five years
age. In the Congress of 1776, Mr. Rutledge took a conspicuous part in the discussions which preceded the Declaration of Independence. At a subsequent date, he was appointed, with Doctor Franklin and John Adams, a commissioner to wait upon Lord Howe, who had requested Congress to appoint such a committee to enter with him into negotiations for peace. Mr. Rutledge was again elected to Congress in 1779; but in consequence of ill health, he was unable to reach the seat of government, and returned home. In 1780, during the investment of Charleston by the British, he was taken prisoner by the enemy, and sent to St. Augustine, where he was detained nearly a year before he was exchanged.
On the evacuation of Charleston by the British, he returned to the place of his nativity, and, for the space of seventeen years, was successfully engaged in the practice of his profession ; rendering from time to time important services to the State, as a member of her Legislature. In 1798, he relinquished his station at the bar, and was elected Chief Magistrate of South Carolina. He continued to perform the duties of this office until within a short time before his death, which took place on the 230