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Four Doctors Who Signed the Declaration of Independence

Motivated by purpose, civil obligation, and patriotism, representatives from the Colonies gathered in Philadelphia to place their names on an historic doc. That very act put their lives in danger. The date was July 4, 1776 and the doc was the Declaration of Independence. Among the many 56 signatories, 4 got here from the sector of medication. In at the moment’s put up, we’ll study these people and study their legacy past the doc.


Dr. Benjamin Rush | Surgeon Basic and Father of American Psychiatry

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Essentially the most eminent doctor of his day, Dr. Rush suggested generals through the Revolutionary Conflict, write highly effective anti-slavery essays, and ready Meriweather Lewis for his expedition west. Whereas a few of his medical beliefs had been mired up to now (he was an avid proponent of bloodletting), in others he was approach forward of his time. He proposed that psychological sickness was resulting from a chemical imbalance within the mind, that alcohol habit was a illness, and that secure circumstances for the mentally unwell had been very important to their moral therapy. He additionally championed the necessity for cleanliness to assist well being and forestall illness, significantly amongst troopers. His efforts to make sure hygienic circumstances for these within the navy (who suffered much more casualties from illness than from the enemy) did an awesome deal to mitigate publicity to illness.

Dr. Matthew Thornton | Doctor and Political Essayist

Dr. Thornton ran a really profitable medical apply in New Hampshire, however his patriotism helped him aspire to an excellent better legacy. Seeing the necessity for navy medical doctors, he volunteered his medical abilities throughout a profitable navy assault ensuing within the profitable seize of a key fort on the base of the St. Laurence River. Whereas he retired from his medical apply to develop into a gentleman farmer, Dr. Thornton’s participation within the revolution helped safe the independence of New Hampshire, and because of this, the nation.

Dr. Josiah Bartlett | Frontier Physician and Governor

Dr. Bartlett started his profession as a the only real physician in a frontier city earlier than he had even turned 21. Throughout an outbreak of what was then known as throat distemper (most probably strep throat), he used the scientific technique to exhibit that Peruvian bark might relieve the signs lengthy sufficient for the affected person to recuperate. When uprisings in opposition to British rule started, he supported the trigger, even at nice private loss (his house was burnt down by his opposition). After profitable illustration on the Continental Congress, he went on to be elected because the Governor of New Hampshire, the place considered one of his first acts was to acknowledge the New Hampshire Medical Society.

Dr. Lyman Corridor | Pastor, Physician, and Governor

Dr. Corridor was born within the northern colonies, however his legacy is established in South Carolina and Georgia, the place he would stay and take part within the Revolution. He argued for Georgia to affix within the Second Continental Congress, the place he was the only real consultant from his state. He would go on to function Governor for one yr, however then returned to his quiet medical apply.


Coming from numerous backgrounds, these Revolutionaries got here along with a singular mission: To realize independence for his or her states and for the nation. It’s becoming that among the many first males to place their names to a doubtlessly harmful doc – a doc that put liberty on equal footing with life itself – had been these entrusted with healthcare. Maybe they may see medical and humanitarian advantages of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” However as members of a singular group in American historical past, these 4 medical doctors, 4 signers of the Declaration of Independence, helped set the inspiration for the nation we have fun at the moment.

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Editor’s Observe: This put up was initially printed in July 2019 and has been up to date for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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