Copy of a letter from Benjamin Franklin to Dr B Rush and Dr J Potts, made by D. Lewis
Scope and Contents
The original letter was written in London 20 December 1766 by Dr. Benjamin Franklin and was addressed to Dr. Benjamin Rush and Dr. Jonathan Potts. It refers to letters of introduction to several of Franklin's friends in Edinburgh. At the same time he states that 'you will be your own best frtiends if you apply diligently to your studies, refraining from all idle useless amusements'. The letter continues in this vein and then talks of the 'great advantages in going to study at Edinburgh at this time, where there happens to be collected a set of truly great men'.
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Biographical / Historical
Benjamin Rush was also one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was born in Philadelphia on 4 January 1746. Rush lived in the state of Pennsylvania and was a physician, writer, educator, humanitarian, as well as the founder of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He studied at Princeton and at Edinburgh University. Rush signed the Declaration of Independence and attended the Continental Congress. He served as Surgeon General in the Continental army, and was blamed for criticising George Washington. Later in life, Rush became a professor of chemistry, medical theory, and clinical practice at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Benjamin Rush died in Philadelphia on 19 April 1813.
Jonathan Potts was born in Pennsylvania in 1745. He studied at Edinburgh University (its Medical School). He had also studied at the first school of medicine in America, the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania) in 1768. He had been in the first graduating class. Dr. Potts was given command of the Fort George General Hospital, the single largest hospital in North America at the time. His efforts returned hundreds of men to the Continental Army at a critical moment in American history. He made a major and substantial contribution to American victory on Lake Champlain in 1776. Dr. Jonathan Potts died in 1781.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Franklin, Benjamin, 1706-1790 (American statesman diplomat, scientist and philosopher)
- Lewis, D., fl. 1859 (copier of letter from Franklin to Rush, and Potts)
- Potts, Jonathan, Dr., 1745-1781 (American patriot and politician; surgeon )
- Rush, Benjamin, Dr., 1746-1813 (signatory to the American Declaration of indeopendence, physician, writer, educator, humanitarian )
- Letter from Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) written in 1766, addressed to Dr. Benjamin Rush (1746-1813) and Dr. Jonathan Potts (1745-1781), and copied in 1859 by D. Lewis, and subsequently copied 1882.
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