Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Benjamin Rush, 22 March 1768

To Benjamin Rush7

ALS: Dartmouth College Library

London, March 22. 1768.


It has been a great Pleasure to me to hear occasionally from others, that you were closely engag’d in your Studies, and distinguishing yourself by the Progress you made in them. I promise my self that you will return with such a Stock of useful Knowledge as will render you an Ornament to your Country; and that I shall have no reason to regret the Appearance of some Connection between us in the Circumstance of your Inscribing your Dissertation to me. I therefore make no Objection to your gratifying your Inclination in that respect; except that I imagine it might be more proper to dedicate an inaugural Oration to some of those Masters in the Medical Art, to whose Instructions in your Studies you have been most obliged.8 I am, with sincere Wishes of Prosperity to you, Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant

B Franklin

Addressed: To / Mr Benja. Rush / Student in Physic / Edinburgh / B Free Franklin

Endorsed: B. Franklin  March 22 1768

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

7For young Benjamin Rush, who had crossed the Atlantic for a medical education and been recommended by BF to acquaintances in Scotland, see above, XIII, 387 n, 530–3. Rush later became one of the most distinguished of American physicians; see DAB.

8BF is replying to a request from Rush, which has not been found, to dedicate his dissertation to him. Rush did so: De Coctione Ciborum in Ventriculo (Edinburgh, 1768) was dedicated primarily to BF and secondarily to a group of other men, all but two of whom were British and American physicians. See Lyman H. Butterfield, ed., Letters of Benjamin Rush (2 vols., [Princeton, ] 1951), I, 49–52; Carl Binger, Revolutionary Doctor: Benjamin Rush, 1746–1813 (New York, [1966]), p. 40.

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