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[AUTOGRAPH LETTER, SIGNED, FROM BENJAMIN RUSH TO DR. VALENTINE SEAMAN, DISCUSSING RECENT MEDICAL TEXTS]
Philadelphia, 1793. [2]pp. plus integral address leaf. Quarto. Lightly silked. A few tears and losses repaired, affecting a few words of text. Good. In a half green morocco and cloth slipcase, spine gilt. Benjamin Rush writes to fellow physician Valentine Seaman, discussing Dr. Seaman's recent work on mineral waters and other medical discourses. Seaman was the first doctor in America to teach clinical surgery, and was likewise the first to introduce vaccination, vaccinating his own children against chicken pox. Rush was a Pennsylvania physician, delegate to the Continental Congress, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He later served as surgeon general for the Middle Department of the Continental Army, though he resigned in outrage over the disorganization and corruption in army hospitals. He established several medical facilities in Philadelphia, including the College of Physicians in 1787. "Writing prolifically over nearly half a century, Rush was the first American physician to become widely known at home and abroad. More than any other physician, Rush established the reputation of Philadelphia as a center for medical training....His drive to understand mental illness and render the treatment of mental patients more humane earned Rush the title 'father of American psychiatry'" - ANB. In this letter he writes: "Your analysis of the mineral waters at Saratoga is ingenious, and calculated to be useful. I admire the intrepidity in thinking discovered by the authors of the inaugural dissertations. I object only to the indelicate epithets with which they condemn the theories from which they dissented. In a science so difficult as medicine...even conjectures should be treated with decency. It will give me pleasure to hear of your not only rivalling your alma mater, but of your exceeding us in useful discourses. 'Ubi libertas, ibi Roma.' In like manner where there is truth, there should be the focus of all literary prejudice and attachment. I expect to commit a second volume of medical inquiries and observations to the press in a few days. "Mr. Stall, one of my pupils, will convey to you some copies of the theses of our late graduates. I beg you would continue to send me copies of all that are published in your college every year. I love to read the productions of young men. If they are destitute of new facts, they abound with new tho'ts, & are most necessary to men in the median or decline of life." A fine letter between two of the country's leading medical men.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana ]
Last Found On: 2016-10-08           Check availability:      ABAA    

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