Benjamin Rush was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a civic leader in Philadelphia, where he was a physician, social reformer and educator as well as the founder of Dickinson College. Rush signed the Declaration of Independence, his self-description there was: "He aimed right." He served as Surgeon General of the Continental Army and became a professor of chemistry, medical theory, clinical practice at the University of Pennsylvania. Rush was a leader of the American Enlightenment and an enthusiastic supporter of the American Revolution, he was a leader in Pennsylvania's ratification of the Constitution in 1788. He was prominent in many reforms in the areas of medicine and education, he opposed slavery, advocated free public schools, sought improved education for women and a more enlightened penal system. As a leading physician, Rush had a major impact on the emerging medical profession; as an Enlightenment intellectual, he was committed to organizing all medical knowledge around explanatory theories, rather than rely on empirical methods.
Rush argued that illness was the result of imbalances in the body's physical system and was caused by malfunctions in the brain. His approach prepared the way for medical research, but Rush himself undertook none of it, he promoted public health by advocating clean environment and stressing the importance of personal and military hygiene. His study of mental disorder made him one of the founders of American psychiatry. Benjamin Rush was born to John Rush and Susanna Hall on January 4, 1746; the family, of English descent, lived on a plantation in the Township of Byberry in Philadelphia County, about 14 miles outside of Philadelphia. Benjamin was the fourth of seven children. John Rush died in July 1751 at age thirty-nine, leaving his mother, who ran a country store, to care for the family. At age eight, Benjamin was sent to live with an uncle to receive an education. Benjamin and his older brother Jacob attended a school run by Reverend Samuel Finley, which became West Nottingham Academy. In 1760, after further studies at the College of New Jersey, Rush graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree at age fourteen.
From 1761 to 1766, Rush apprenticed under Dr. John Redman in Philadelphia. Redman encouraged him to further his studies at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where Rush studied from 1766 to 1768 and earned an M. D. degree. Rush became fluent in French and Spanish as a result of his studies and European tour. While at Edinburgh, he became a friend of the Earl of Leven and his family, including William Leslie. Returning to the Colonies in 1769, Rush opened a medical practice in Philadelphia and became Professor of Chemistry at the College of Philadelphia. Rush published the first American textbook on chemistry, several volumes on medical student education, wrote influential patriotic essays. Rush was active in the Sons of Liberty and was elected to attend the provincial conference to send delegates to the Continental Congress. Thomas Paine consulted Rush when writing the profoundly influential pro-independence pamphlet Common Sense. Rush signed the Declaration of Independence, he represented Philadelphia at Pennsylvania's own Constitutional Convention.
While Rush was representing Pennsylvania in the Continental Congress, he used his medical skills in the field. Rush accompanied the Philadelphia militia during the battles after which the British occupied Philadelphia and most of New Jersey, he was depicted serving in the Battle of Princeton in the painting The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777 by the American artist John Trumbull. The Army Medical Service was in disarray, between the military casualties high losses due to typhoid, yellow fever and other camp illnesses, political conflicts between Dr. John Morgan and Dr. William Shippen, Jr. and inadequate supplies and guidance from the Medical Committee. Nonetheless, Rush accepted an appointment as surgeon-general of the middle department of the Continental Army. Rush's order "Directions for preserving the health of soldiers" became one of the foundations of preventative military medicine and was republished, including as late as 1908. However, Rush's reporting of Dr. Shippen's misappropriation of food and wine supplies intended to comfort hospitalized soldiers, under-reporting of patient deaths, failure to visit the hospitals under his command led to Rush's resignation in 1778.
Rush criticized General George Washington in two handwritten but unsigned letters while still serving under the Surgeon General. One, to Virginia Governor Patrick Henry dated October 12, 1778, quoted General Thomas Conway saying that if not for God's grace the ongoing war would have been lost by Washington and his weak counselors. Henry forwarded the letter to Washington, despite Rush's request that the criticism be conveyed orally, Washington recognized the handwriting. At the time, the supposed Conway Cabal was trying to replace Washington with Horatio Gates as commander-in-chief. Rush's letter relayed General John Sullivan's criticism that forces directly under Washington were undisciplined and mob-like, contrasted Gates' army as "a well-regulated family". Ten days Rush wrote to John Adams relaying complaints inside Washington's army, including about "bad bread, no order, universal disgust" and praising Conway, appointed to Inspector General. Dr. Shippen sought Rush's resignation and received it by
Charles Willson Peale
Charles Willson Peale was an American painter, scientist, inventor and naturalist. He is best remembered for his portrait paintings of leading figures of the American Revolution, for establishing one of the first museums in the United States. Peale was born in 1741 between modern-day Queenstown and Centreville, Queen Anne's County, the son of Charles Peale and his wife Margaret, he had James Peale. Charles became an apprentice to a saddle maker. Upon reaching maturity, he joined the Sons of Liberty. However, he was unsuccessful in saddle making, he tried fixing clocks and working with metals, but both of these endeavors failed as well. He took up painting. Finding that he had a talent for painting portraiture, Peale studied for a time under John Hesselius and John Singleton Copley. John Beale Bordley and friends raised enough money for him to travel to England to take instruction from Benjamin West. Peale studied with West for three years beginning in 1767, afterward returning to America and settling in Annapolis, Maryland.
There, he taught painting to his younger brother, James Peale, who in time became a noted artist. Peale's enthusiasm for the nascent national government brought him to the capital, Philadelphia, in 1776, where he painted portraits of American notables and visitors from overseas, his estate, on the campus of La Salle University in Philadelphia, can still be visited. He raised troops for the War of Independence and gained the rank of captain in the Pennsylvania militia by 1776, having participated in several battles. While in the field, he continued to paint, doing miniature portraits of various officers in the Continental Army, he produced enlarged versions of these in years. He served in the Pennsylvania state assembly in 1779–1780, after which he returned to painting full-time. Peale was quite prolific as an artist. While he did portraits of scores of historic figures, he is best known for his portraits of George Washington; the first time Washington sat for a portrait was with Peale in 1772, they had six other sittings.
In January 2005, a full-length portrait of Washington at Princeton from 1779 sold for $21.3 million, setting a record for the highest price paid for an American portrait. One of his most celebrated paintings is The Staircase Group, a double portrait of his sons Raphaelle and Titian, painted in the trompe l'oeil style, it is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Peale had a great interest in natural history, organized the first U. S. scientific expedition in 1801. These two major interests combined in his founding of what became the Philadelphia Museum known as Peale's American Museum, it housed a diverse collection of botanical and archaeological specimens. The museum contained a large variety of birds which Peale himself acquired, in many instances mounted, having taught himself taxidermy. In 1792, Peale initiated a correspondence with Thomas Hall, of the Finsbury Museum, City Road, London proposing to purchase British stuffed items for his museum. An exchange system was established between the two, whereby Peale sent American birds to Hall in exchange for an equal number of British birds.
This arrangement continued until the end of the century. The Peale Museum was the first to display a mastodon skeleton. Peale worked with his son to mount the skeleton for display; the display of the "mammoth" bones entered Peale into a long-standing debate between Thomas Jefferson and Comte de Buffon. Buffon argued that Europe was superior to the Americas biologically, illustrated through the size of animals found there. Jefferson referenced the existence of these "mammoths" as evidence for a greater biodiversity in America. Peale's display of these bones drew attention from Europe, as did his method of re-assembling large skeletal specimens in three dimensions; the museum was among the first to adopt Linnaean taxonomy. This system drew a stark contrast between Peale's museum and his competitors who presented their artifacts as mysterious oddities of the natural world; the museum underwent several moves during its existence. At various times it was located in several prominent buildings including Independence Hall and the original home of the American Philosophical Society.
The museum would fail, in large part because Peale was unsuccessful at obtaining government funding. After his death, the museum was sold to, split up by, showmen P. T. Barnum and Moses Kimball. In 1762, Peale married Rachel Brewer, who bore him ten children, most named for Peale's favorite artists and female; the sons included Raphaelle Peale, Rembrandt Peale, another famous portrait painter and museum owner/operator in Baltimore, scientific inventor and businessman, Titian Peale I, Rubens Peale. Among the daughters: Angelica Kauffman Peale married Alexander Robinson, her daughter Priscilla Peale wed Dr. Henry Boteler, Sophonisba Angusciola Peale married Coleman Sellers. After Rachel's death in 1790, Peale married Elizabeth de Pey
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States, the United Kingdom, their respective allies from June 1812 to February 1815. Historians in Britain see it as a minor theater of the Napoleonic Wars. From the outbreak of war with Napoleonic France, Britain had enforced a naval blockade to choke off neutral trade to France, which the US contested as illegal under international law. To man the blockade, Britain impressed American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy. Incidents such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair, which happened five years before the war, inflamed anti-British sentiment in the US. In 1811, the British were in turn outraged by the Little Belt affair, in which 11 British sailors died. Britain supplied Native Americans who raided American settlers on the frontier, hindering American expansion and provoking resentment. Historians debate whether the desire to annex some or all of British North America contributed to the American decision to go to war. On June 18, 1812, US President James Madison, after heavy pressure from the War Hawks in Congress, signed the American declaration of war into law.
With most of its army in Europe fighting Napoleon, Britain adopted a defensive strategy, with offensive operations limited to the border, the western frontier. American prosecution of the war effort suffered from its unpopularity in New England, where it was derogatorily referred to as "Mr. Madison's War". American defeats at the Siege of Detroit and the Battle of Queenston Heights thwarted attempts to seize Upper Canada, improving British morale. American attempts to invade Lower Canada and capture Montreal failed. In 1813, the Americans won the Battle of Lake Erie, gaining control of the lake, at the Battle of the Thames defeated Tecumseh's Confederacy, securing a primary war goal. A final American attempt to invade Canada was fought to a draw at the Battle of Lundy's Lane during the summer of 1814. At sea, the powerful Royal Navy blockaded American ports, cutting off trade and allowing the British to raid the coast at will. In 1814, one of these raids burned the capital, but the Americans repulsed British attempts to invade New York and Maryland, ending invasions of the northern and mid-Atlantic United States from Canada.
Fighting took place overseas in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In neighbouring Spanish Florida, a two-day battle for the city of Pensacola ended in Spanish surrender. In Britain, there was mounting opposition to wartime taxation. With the abdication of Napoleon, the war with France ended and Britain ceased impressment, rendering the issue of the impressment of American sailors moot; the British were able to increase the strength of the blockade on the United States coast, annihilating American maritime trade, but attempts to invade the U. S. ended unsuccessfully. Peace negotiations began in August 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24. News of the peace did not reach America for some time. Unaware of the treaty, British forces invaded Louisiana and were defeated at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815; these late victories were viewed by Americans as having restored national honour, leading to the collapse of anti-war sentiment and the beginning of the Era of Good Feelings, a period of national unity.
News of the treaty arrived shortly thereafter. The treaty was unanimously ratified by the US Senate on February 17, 1815, ending the war with no boundary changes. Historians have long debated the relative weight of the multiple reasons underlying the origins of the War of 1812; this section summarizes several contributing factors which resulted in the declaration of war by the United States. As Risjord notes, a powerful motivation for the Americans was the desire to uphold national honour in the face of what they considered to be British insults such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair. H. W. Brands says, "The other war hawks spoke of the struggle with Britain as a second war of independence; the approaching conflict was about violations of American rights, but it was about vindication of American identity." Americans at the time and historians since have called it the United States' "Second War of Independence". The British were offended by what they considered insults such as the Little Belt affair.
This gave the British a particular interest in capturing the United States flagship President, which they succeeded in doing in 1815. In 1807, Britain introduced a series of trade restrictions via the Orders in Council to impede neutral trade with France, which Britain was fighting in the Napoleonic Wars; the United States contested these restrictions as illegal under international law. Historian Reginald Horsman states, "a large section of influential British opinion, both in the government and in the country, thought that America presented a threat to British maritime supremacy."The American merchant marine had nearly doubled between 1802 and 1810, making it by far the largest neutral fleet. Britain was the largest trading partner, receiving 80% of U. S. cotton and 50% of other U. S. exports. The British public and press were resentful of commercial competition; the United States' view was. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy expanded to 176 ships of the line and 600 ships overall, requiring 140,000 sailors to man.
While the Royal Navy could man its ships with volunteers in peacetime, it competed in wartime with merchant shi
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC