Benjamin Rush (January 4, 1746 [O.S. December 24, 1745] – April 19, 1813) was a Founding Father of the United States who signed the United States Declaration of Independence, and a civic leader in Philadelphia, where he was a physician, politician, social reformer, humanitarian, and educator and the founder of Dickinson College. Rush attended the Continental Congress. He served as Surgeon General of the Continental Army and became a professor of chemistry, medical theory, and clinical practice at the University of Pennsylvania. Rush was a leader of the American Enlightenment and an enthusiastic supporter of the American Revolution. bHe was a confidant of Thomas Jefferson (who is often quoted from letters to Rush), authored one of the first major essays against slavery in the Colonies (in 1773), and is considered by some to be the "Father of American Psychiatry".
- The first thing I would recommend to put a stop to slavery in this country, is to leave off importing slaves. For this purpose let our assemblies unite in petitioning the king and parliament to dissolve the African committee of merchants: It is by them that the trade is chiefly carried on to America.
- An Address to the inhabitants of the British Settlements on the Slavery of the Negroes in America., page 19
- Temperate, sincere, and intelligent inquiry and discussion are only to be dreaded by the advocates of error. The truth need not fear them...
- Provisions of the Last Will and Testament of Dr. James Rush 
- I need say hardly anything in the Unintelligence of the Negroes, They show capacities of Providence and they are most likely always having low self-esteem But needless to say my Virtue, Power, And Strength have helped them to become strong most upcoming individuals in the nation they show pride and interest in education and learning new things And Just know What lies with you once lies with you more until change is done.
- The American war is over; but this far from being the case with the American revolution. On the contrary, nothing but the first act of the drama is closed. It remains yet to establish and perfect our new forms of government and to prepare the principles, morals, and manners of our citizens for these forms of government after they are established and brought to perfection.
- Letter to Price, May 25, 1786
- Freedom can exist only in the society of knowledge. Without learning, men are incapable of knowing their rights.
- Education Agreeable to a Republican Form of Government 
- It must afford no small pleasure to a benevolent mind in the midst of a war, which daily makes so much havoc with the human species, to reflect, that the small-pox which once proved equally fatal to thousands, has been checked in its career, and in a great degree subdued by the practice of Inoculation.
- Rush, Benjamin (1792). The New Method of Inoculating for the Small-Pox. Philadelphia: Parry Hall.
- I agree with you likewise in your wishes to keep religion and government independent of each Other. Were it possible for St. Paul to rise from his grave at the present juncture, he would say to the Clergy who are now so active in settling the political Affairs of the World. “Cease from your political labors your kingdom is not of this World. Read my Epistles. In no part of them will you perceive me aiming to depose a pagan Emperor, or to place a Christian upon a throne. Christianity disdains to receive Support from human Governments. From this, it derives its preeminence over all the religions that ever have, or ever Shall exist in the World. Human Governments may receive Support from Christianity but it must be only from the love of justice, and peace which it is calculated to produce in the minds of men. By promoting these, and all the Other Christian Virtues by your precepts, and example, you will much sooner overthrow errors of all kind, and establish our pure and holy religion in the World, than by aiming to produce by your preaching, or pamphlets any change in the political state of mankind.”
- Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 6 October 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives. Source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 32, ed. Barbara B. Oberg. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005, pp. 204–207
- But passing by all other considerations, and contemplating merely the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and all those sober and frugal virtues which constitute the soul of republicanism.
- A Defence of the Use of the Bible in Schools American Tract Society, 1820.