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Philadelphia[,PA], 1803. 2 pp. 4to. In a blue half morocco and cloth clamshell case, spine gilt with red leather labels. Old folds. Light soiling. Top half of left edge repaired with newer paper. About very good. 2 pp. 4to. A Signer Loses His Umbrella. A familiarly chatty letter written by Philadelphia Signer of the Declaration of Independence Dr. Benjamin Rush to his wife, Julia, who is away from home, relating the latest news and gossip from Philadelphia.? He mentions Julia's "little farm," writing of improvements to be made there: ? "Marcus is now employed in planting strawberries.? He shall attend to your directions.? Your flowers & fruit trees seem to languish for your eye & hand.? I have engaged a surveyor to go out & run the line which is to add an acre or two to your little farm.? In the course of the stream which issues from the spring, thro' the wood, there is a pleasant & shaded spot on which I shall direct a covered bath to be made.? It will furnish ice in winter, and a bath in summer." ? He continues with some news of family and neighbors, writing, "I have passed another busy day - two hours of it were pleasantly spent at Mr. Wister's at Germantown in the company of three of the best informed ladies of Philada. Young Mr. Wister relapsed a few days ago, but is now I hope mending.? Capt. [John] Barry is better, but not well.? My country patient at Frankford is out of danger.? I visited him yesterday - probably for the last time. ... John unkindly took my umbrella with him & left me a note to buy another for myself.? I have not time to do so, nor do I know where to borrow one.? From the want of it I have suffered from the rain this evening.? To him it was an article of dress; to me it was a necessary of health. ?I never expect to see it again."? The Captain Barry referred to is the famous naval officer considered as second only to John Paul Jones. ? Rush closes the letter with a post script about a party given by the governor, attended by Jerome Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon.? "Governor McKean gave a splendid tea party this evening in honor of Jerome Bonaparte.? Miss Eliza Smith who attended it, says he is a modest, thoughtful well behaved young man."? Jerome Bonaparte was a lad of eighteen but deeply in love with Elizabeth Patterson of Maryland.  They waited until December 1803 to be married, when Jerome would have passed his nineteenth birthday.  The marriage was later dissolved by Napoleon in 1805.   Benjamin Rush was a delegate to the Continental Congress and signed 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.  Rush 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.   A delightfully chatty letter from Rush to his wife.
      [Bookseller: James Cummins Bookseller ]
Last Found On: 2015-07-07           Check availability:      ABAA    


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