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EP300: The Memories Behind That Old Upright Piano and "The Father of American Psychiatry"

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2022 3:05 am

EP300: The Memories Behind That Old Upright Piano and "The Father of American Psychiatry"

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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May 10, 2022 3:05 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Joy Neal Kidney shares the story of her old upright piano that was passed down to her from her mother. Harlow Giles Unger, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-eight books, tells us how Dr. Benjamin Rush is known as the Father of Psychiatry, the Army Medical Corps, Veterinary Care, and biblically-taught Public Schools.

Support the show (https://www.ouramericanstories.com/donate)

 

Time Codes: 

00:00 - The Memories Behind That Old Upright Piano

12:30 - "The Father of American Psychiatry"

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Send them to OurAmericanStories.com. They're some of our favorites. And up next, another story from one of our regular contributors and listener, Joy Neal Kidney. Joy is the author of Leora's Letters, the story of love and loss for an Iowa family during World War Two. And today she shares the story of her old upright piano passed down to her from her mother. And Joy listens to our great station in Des Moines, WHO.

Take it away, Joy. It's been in the family for six decades. Most of our history with this musical instrument is good, except for one really bad one. Uncle Delbert found the dusty piano about 1952 in someone's shed near Perry, Iowa, while he was doing some wiring for them. He knew that Mom was looking for a piano so my sister and I could take lessons. How much do they want for it?

Forty five dollars. He hauled it to our farmhouse in his electrician's van. He and Dad lugged it into a corner of the front room, which had a linoleum floor, a plush plum colored Davenport and chair, a blonde black and white television with a TV lamp on it.

And in the winter, a tall brown heating stove. When she was a girl, Mom envied the kids who took piano lessons. She'd attend their recitals in Dexter and a couple of those girls eventually became her sisters in law. Dad enjoyed hearing his sisters practice for lessons.

One of those sisters played for their wedding. Even Grandma Leora, Mom's mother, took lessons as a girl riding a horse over dusty country roads into town for her Saturday lessons. So piano lessons were our fate. Sis Gloria and I took lessons from Eleanor Chapler in Dexter, at first getting out of school once a week to walk to her house for lessons. Mrs. Chapler had a baby grand piano, a dog that licked our legs and a parakeet that much of the time had the run of the house and plucked the feathers out of its tummy. Mom made sure Dad got to hear us practice pieces from our red John Thompson books. And even though piano recitals always accompanied planning season, my dad never missed one. When Gloria was nine years old, her recital piece was Chinese Lullaby. Mrs. Chapler, who dressed up and wore red lipstick for recitals with a hat on her plain bobbed hair, announced that Gloria's piece had six flats.

Gloria turned the pages, but she never glanced at the music. She knew it all by heart. Gloria and I began to practice hymns for Sunday school, all the while on the old upright. We played duets, everything from deep purple to a patriotic one that rocked the pumpkins decorating the top of the piano at a 4-H achievement night. One by one, the old ivories gave up their glue.

Mom found someone who would install plastic ivories and even blacken the sharps and flats. When we got older, we began to complain about having to practice. Mom started saving the day's dishes to bargain with. Either practice the piano or do the dishes.

We practiced. Mom happily did dishes while being serenaded by live music, often parking on the end of the piano bench, dish towel in hand, singing along. That was until my boogie woogie stage. Not the kind of music Mom had envisioned.

About junior high age, I began to pound out WC Handy pieces, Jogo Blues, Basin Street Blues, Beat Me Daddy's Eight to the Bar, over and over. An hour of Handy is a workout physically and emotionally, and for Mom, spiritually. She later admitted that my heavy handed blues and boogie days drove her into the garden. But Mrs. Chapler put up with it gracefully.

Of course, she only had to stand it for half an hour a week. She let me choose my recital pieces from Frankie and Johnny my freshman year and shortening bread the next before I finally graduated to Chopin and Rachmaninoff. Years later, after marriage, after my husband's years in the Air Force in Vietnam, we bought our first house. My folks gave us the wonderful old piano, but what a chore to get it from the Iowa farmhouse to a Denver suburb.

Here comes the bad episode. Five years and one son later, we moved back to Iowa. The heavy old gal had lost his two back wheels in the move, so it tilted back. My husband leaned his shoulder and head against the wall to pry the piano from it so I could slip shims under to replace the wheels.

He ruptured a disc in his neck, leading to surgery to fuse a couple of vertebrae. But he recovered and decided that he still liked the piano well enough to take it apart, strip off the dark, grainy texture and refinish it. It wasn't long before Son Dan was taking lessons and practicing on that same ponderous piano.

She has an uncertain future. The last time the piano was tuned, we learned that she has a cracked sounding board, which cannot be mended. So the instrument holds a silent corner in our main room, usually crowned with family pictures.

Those boogie woogie days, just a remembrance. And a great story by Joy Neal Kidney, and great job on that as always to Monty Montgomery, who did the production on the piece. Joy Neal Kidney's story of an old upright piano here on Our American Stories. Folks, if you love the great American stories we tell, and love America like we do, we're asking you to become a part of the Our American Stories family. If you agree that America is a good and great country, please make a donation. A monthly gift of $17.76 is fast becoming a favorite option for supporters.

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It's true. I had one that night and I took my nerd tech ODT and I was present and had an amazing time. Here's a little glimpse of our conversation with some of our closest friends. This episode was brought to you by Nerd Tech ODT Remedapants 75 milligrams. Life with migraine attacks can mean missing out on big moments with friends and family.

But thankfully, Nerd Tech ODT Remedapants 75 milligrams is the only medication that is proven to treat a migraine attack and prevent episodic migraines in adults. So lively events like Wango Tango don't have to be missed. And we continue with our American stories and up next, well, one of our favorite regular subjects, American history, Dr. Benjamin Rush is America's forgotten founding father. His signature on the Declaration of Independence comes immediately before that other famous Benjamin. And that, of course, would be Benjamin Franklin.

The fruits of Russia's underlying faith is the story, though, that we're about to hear from a prolific founding father's biographer, Harlow Giles Unger. Harlow is a New York Times bestselling author of 28 books, including Dr. Benjamin Rush, the founding father who healed a wounded nation. He is also a former distinguished visiting fellow in American history at George Washington's Mount Vernon.

Let's take a listen. Dr. Benjamin Rush was one of the most important of our founding fathers, in many ways the most important. George Washington was unquestionably the father of our political and military structure, and Alexander Hamilton fathered our economic structure. But it was Dr. Benjamin Rush who fathered our social structure. He was the only doctor with a medical school degree who signed the Declaration of Independence, and with his signature, he began a lifelong struggle for abolition of slavery, for women's rights, for a ban on child labor. He fought for establishment of universal free public education. He was first to advocate temperate use of alcohol and opposed tobacco use. He demanded that other doctors treat the poor as well as the rich, African Americans as well as whites. Doctors wouldn't treat African Americans then.

He founded two great schools of higher education in Pennsylvania, Dickinson University in Carlisle and Franklin College, now known as Franklin and Marshall College. And he saved his alma mater, Princeton College, from oblivion after British troops burned it down. Just after the young Dr. Rush won appointment to Philadelphia Hospital, it was called then, he discovered a basement filled with starving human beings chained to walls, lying in their own filth, moaning, groaning, some with infected sores. Rush stormed into the hospital doctor's office and demanded their release and transfer into clean hospital rooms. He agreed to take personal custody of them and to care for them, and then forced the hospital board eventually to add a wing to the hospital to house them. Little by little, he saw most of them improved dramatically as he talked to them, listened to what they had to say, learned their interests, and introduced a range of recreational activities, arts and crafts, and what we now call physical therapy and occupational therapy. In listening to them, he developed a treatment he called talk therapy, what we now call psychotherapy.

And that led to the release of the majority of them into civilian life. It was a miracle, a revolution in the treatment of the mentally ill, which has not changed since the beginnings of civilization. And this was 50 years before Sigmund Freud was even born. Dr. Benjamin Rush, not Sigmund Freud, discovered psychotherapy and other therapies for the mentally ill, a century before Freud started writing about psychoanalysis. The American Psychiatric Association recognized Rush's great achievements by putting his image on their official seal and designating him father of American psychiatry. Now Rush's deep concern for the human condition included an equally deep love of individual liberty, which is why he served in the Second Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence.

But he was not interested in a career in politics. He loved being a doctor, treating and curing the ill, and he wanted to heal the injured and cure the sick. So after signing the Declaration of Independence, he galloped out of Philadelphia and joined George Washington on the banks of the Delaware opposite Trenton, New Jersey. On Christmas night of 1776, Washington's army staged one of the most daring attacks in the Revolutionary War. They rode across the Delaware River through a driving snowstorm and overwhelmed a garrison of a thousand Hessian soldiers at dawn.

As Hessian defenders fired back, some of their bullets inevitably hit their marks. One man, unarmed, rushed into battle, not to fire a shot, but to stem the bleeding. Kneeling over the fawn, Dr. Benjamin Rush tried something no doctor had ever done before, prevent death on the battlefield. Until then, armies routinely left there wounded to die, everywhere in the world. If a soldier could not run, walk, limp, or crawl off the battlefield, he was left to die. There were no doctors around to help.

And there really was no choice. There was no such thing as an antiseptic. The vast majority of the badly injured, in peace as well as war, died from blood poisoning, septicemia. There was nothing anyone could do. Troops couldn't help, doctors or priests could do nothing except pray.

And that seldom saved any lives, at least here on earth. For Dr. Benjamin Rush, however, it seemed obscene to let men die fighting and bleeding for his country. After fighting ended at Trenton, he demanded that Washington set up field hospitals of a sort. Washington commandeered nearby houses, and Rush used them as field hospitals to form what would later become the Army Medical Corps, the first such corps in the world. Rush didn't save many of the wounded.

Of course, there was no way he could. Medicine and medical care were still too primitive. Anesthesia, antiseptics, antibiotics, none of those existed when he went to work trying to save a soldier's life. When he had to amputate a soldier's limb, he fed the patient whiskey or rum and told him to bite on a piece of wood as hard as he could while Rush went to work with his scalpel.

Within a minute or two, most soldiers passed out, and infections would later kill at least two-thirds of them within a few days. But in listening to this, remember that anesthesia didn't exist. The hollow point needle, they weren't invented until 1850. The stethoscope, blood transfusion, even simple aspirin, all of these things were 50 to 100 years in the future. When Rush walked onto that battlefield in Trenton, hospitals, like battlefields, hospitals were places where the badly injured or sick went to die. He didn't go to a hospital to have them save your life.

If you were sick, you stayed at home and used worthless home remedies. Dr. Benjamin Rush only started the scientific revolution in medicine and did not live long enough to see any substantial progress in healthcare. But he could and did begin the job. And because of his status in Philadelphia society, he did live to see some of the results of his pioneering efforts. Philadelphia at the time was America's political, cultural, and economic center, and the signers of the Declaration of Independence were America's richest, most powerful men. Although Rush was not born to wealth, he was a farmer's son, he was superbly well-educated. He went to Princeton and then to the University of Edinburgh Medical School, which was the best medical school in the world at the time.

He finished his studies in London where Benjamin Franklin introduced him to England's most distinguished thinkers and scientists. Although he treated Philadelphia's rich and famous, he spent most of his time treating the poor, even African Americans, the first Caucasian doctor in America to do so. And you're listening to Harlow Giles Unger tell the story of Dr. Benjamin Rush. And I thought I knew quite a bit about Rush, but that medical unit and his invention of the idea of a medical corps, I had no idea that this was his way of volunteering in our fight against the British. What a revolutionary on so many fronts, from the abolition movement to women's suffrage and more. This remarkable story, one they're not teaching for certain in schools across this country.

The story of Dr. Benjamin Rush continues here on Our American Stories. Doing household chores can already be time consuming and tedious, and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done. I mean, that can be overwhelming for anyone. So if you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life, try all free clear mega packs. All free clear mega packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry. All free clear mega packs are also 100% free of perfumes and dyes and they're gentle on skin, which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs, which my family, we definitely have sensitive skin. So the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes, just know that all free clear mega packs, they have your back. Purchase all free clear mega packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types.

At eBay motors.com. Let's ride. Hey, you guys, this is Tori and Jenny with the 9 0 2 1 OMG podcast. We have such a special episode brought to you by nerd tech ODT.

We recorded it at I heart radio's 10th pole event. Wango tango. Did you know that nerd tech ODT remejipants 75 milligrams can help migraines sufferers still attend such an exciting event like Wango tango.

It's true. I had one that night and I took my nerd tech ODT and I was present and had an amazing time. Here's a little glimpse of our conversation with some of our closest friends. This episode was brought to you by nerd tech ODT remejipants 75 milligrams. Life with migraine attacks can mean missing out on big moments with friends and family.

But thankfully, nerd tech ODT remejipants 75 milligrams is the only medication that is proven to treat a migraine attack and prevent episodic migraines in adults. So lively events like Wango tango don't have to be missed. And we continue with our American stories and with author Harlow Giles Unger. And he has written a terrific book about the life of Benjamin Rush called Dr. Benjamin Rush, the founding father who healed a wounded nation.

Let's pick up where we last left off. Doctors north, south, east and west refused even to consider treating African-Americans at the time. Nor did many of them consider treating the poor. The poor were, in cities at least, were dirty.

They smelled. They couldn't read or write. The slums they lived in had no water, no sewers. Conditions were horrible in the slums of America's cities. No one who called himself a doctor even quacks willingly set foot in the slums or wanted anything to do with those who lived there. Except Dr. Benjamin Rush.

Listen to Rush as he describes his daily rounds. I led a life of constant labor. I led a life in which my shop was crowded with the poor in the morning and at mealtimes. And I visited nearly every street and alley in the city every day. Often have I ascended the upper story of huts by a ladder. I had to sit on beds.

There were no chairs. I risked not only taking their disease but being infected by vermin. I seldom went to bed before 12 o'clock. Again, those are the words of Dr. Benjamin Rush. When he was not treating patients, though, he haunted the Pennsylvania State Assembly, demanding social reforms aimed directly or indirectly at improving the health of the city's population. Every social advance that he demanded was tied to health. He was the first to call for public sanitation. He wanted to sweep away the garbage, the sewage, and stagnant water, all of which he believed promoted disease. But science being what it was, he had no way of proving it and had to struggle with recalcitrant city and state officials to get them to hire street cleaners. And the way he convinced them was not by telling them how dirty the city was. He showed them how they and the city and the state would profit economically by cleaning the streets. He championed abolition of slavery, and as president of the Abolition Society, he naturally decried the cruelties of slavery, but the only way he could convince Pennsylvania legislators to abolish slavery was to show them how the state would benefit economically by freeing African Americans to make greater contributions to society. In 1780, he succeeded, and the Pennsylvania Assembly passed the first state law in America banning slavery.

But Rush didn't stop there. He was distressed by the condition of free blacks in Philadelphia. He walked directly into their midst to treat them and their children medically. He was the first white doctor in America to do so. And after winning their trust, he urged them to build their own African American church, the first such church in America.

He not only raised funds to build that church, he joined its parishioners at its dedication. When people don't realize, the Founding Fathers did not invent slavery. When they were born, the slaves were already on the land for almost a century. Actually, Virginia tobacco growers, the great plantation owners, at the turn of the 18th century, early 1700s, petitioned Queen Anne to stop sending slaves there. The slave population in the so-called sugar islands at the time in the Caribbean had grown so large that they just couldn't absorb any more slaves. But slavery, slave trading, had become a huge proportion of the British government's income. So they just arbitrarily started dumping slaves off the ships in Virginia for the plantation owners, and they didn't want them.

They petitioned Queen Anne to not send any more slaves. Number one, they were illiterate. Number two, they couldn't speak English. And number three, tobacco planting, picking, and harvesting, and curing is a skilled trade.

It takes a lot of knowledge to do that, act carefully, and do it properly. Queen Anne wouldn't listen. She needed those revenues, so she just kept sending slave ships over here. Well, that generation, a plantation owner died, another generation grew up and died, and now we get to the generation of our Founding Fathers, Jefferson, Washington, and the others. And they're born on lands in which, by law, by British law and subsequently early American laws, slaves were not human beings. They were property, and they were as much a part of each property as they were, as trees were. And you did not have the right, you could go to jail if you freed your slaves.

Period. So, it wasn't until they were in their adult years that men like Washington, and quite a few others, saw the cruelty of slavery, the immorality of it, all the evils of slavery, and tried to figure out a way around the law. Well, they didn't have control of the, they didn't have majorities in the state assemblies, but they couldn't do anything under British law. After the Revolution, they had a form of government. First of all, during the Confederation, each state was independent from the others. That lasted until 1789. Now you have a federal government.

They had other things to do right away. They had to set up an executive branch, they had to set up a judiciary, and that took years. Meanwhile, people like Washington were looking into the law, and they found a way around the law.

But the only way around it was in your last will and testament. That superseded the law, the written law of every state. And that's why Washington and his spouse, Martha, freed their, emancipated their slaves under Washington's will. And Richard Henry Lee did it. Many, many southern leaders did the same thing. And that's all they could do under the law at that time. At the time, there was an army of quacks calling themselves doctors who rode into every town and village across America selling patent medicines. All of them were nothing more than fruit-flavored whiskey or rum that cured patients by rendering them senselessly drunk and oblivious to their illnesses or injuries. He charged them with killing their patients rather than curing them.

He called for a law restricting the use of the title doctor to graduates of recognized medical schools or to those who had served apprenticeships, which is common in those days, apprenticeships with other doctors. And you're listening to Harlow Giles Unger, who is the author of Dr. Benjamin Rush, the Founding Father Who Healed a Wounded Nation. He is also a former distinguished visiting fellow in American history at George Washington's Mount Vernon. If you're ever in Washington, D.C., give yourself an extra day and a half and go to Mount Vernon and then go to Montpelier and to, of course, Jefferson's home, Monticello in Charlottesville. It's about an hour and a half due south. And you'll see the residences of these great founders. It's a beautiful field trip for a family going through the beautiful mountain country of Virginia and through Albemarle County itself, which is one of the most beautiful counties in the country.

The story of Dr. Benjamin Rush and my goodness, what a beauty continues here on our American stories. Doing household chores can already be time consuming and tedious, and there's nothing more daunting than facing piles and piles of laundry that need to be done. I mean, that can be overwhelming for anyone. So if you want to get those larger laundry loads done right and get back to your life, try all free clear mega packs. All free clear mega packs are bigger packs with two times the cleaning ingredients compared to a regular pack so that you can tackle any laundry load without the worry. All free clear mega packs are also 100% free of perfumes and dyes and they're gentle on skin, which is great for any family's sensitive skin needs, which my family, we definitely have sensitive skin. So the next time the whole family gets home from long vacation or you get the kids back from summer camp or whatever the situation is that's caused this big pile of dirty clothes, just know that all free clear mega packs, they have your back.

Purchase all free clear mega packs today and conquer any laundry load for all fabric types. So you're in the garage working on your car and you need the valves you bought last week. You look in the cabinets and on the shelves, but the parts are never in the right place. eBay Motors has the car parts you need over 122 million of them all in one place and all at the right prices.

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It's true. I had one that night and I took my nerd tech ODT and I was present and had an amazing time. Here's a little glimpse of our conversation with some of our closest friends. This episode was brought to you by nerd tech ODT Remedapants 75 milligrams. Life with migraine attacks can mean missing out on big moments with friends and family. But thankfully, nerd tech ODT Remedapants 75 milligrams is the only medication that is proven to treat a migraine attack and prevent episodic migraines in adults.

So lively events like Wango Tango don't have to be missed. And we continue with our American stories and with Harlow Giles Unger as he continues to unpack the story of founding father Dr. Benjamin Rush and his reforms and accomplishments in the medical industry. Let's continue with Harlow Unger. He wrote the first code of ethics for doctors, which was still in effect in America until the Second World War. And he wrote an even more important work called Medical Inquiries and Observations Upon the Diseases of the Mind. It was the first English language work written on psychiatry. It became the basic textbook for studies in psychiatry in America for the next century until the beginning of the 20th century. That work was so remarkable that, as I said before, the American Psychiatric Association put his image on its official seal and placed a bronze plaque on his grave declaring him father of American psychiatry. To this day, I don't know why the world celebrates Freud instead of Dr. Benjamin Rush. I didn't mention that he was a great teacher, a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, and a professor of chemistry. He wrote the first American chemistry book. He trained more than 3000 doctors, real doctors with MD degrees.

And there's still more. I told you he was father of American psychiatry, but I didn't tell you that he was also father of, and you'll never guess this, the father of American veterinary medicine. In 1807, he delivered a lecture, then published a pamphlet on the medical care of domestic animals.

It was the first such work ever published in America. The idea came to him years earlier, after he had finished his medical studies in England, he went to Paris. And it was in Paris that he visited what was then the world's first school of veterinary medicine. It had been founded to combat a cattle plague, but its efforts eventually improved the quality of animal life so much that farmer revenues began shooting up. In 1795, Rush went to Washington, who was a great farmer, Franklin, who wasn't a farmer, but he was a brilliant scientist, and formed a group of others to form a society to promote the development of veterinary medicine in America, with Rush writing a pamphlet citing the benefits of veterinary medicine to farmers and to the nation's agriculture.

At the time, 95% of Americans lived or worked or owned farms. Why doesn't America celebrate this great founding father? Well, America doesn't really celebrate any founding fathers anymore.

The memories of both Washington and Lincoln have been subsumed by shopping on what's now called President's Day that ignores both of them. But to answer my own question about Rush's sainthood, apart from the fact that few Americans study or learn any American history anymore, the fact is that Dr. Benjamin Rush, America's greatest physician at the time of the Revolution, the father of modern American medical practice, knew next to nothing about treating the sick. No one did.

No one did anywhere in the world. Nobody knew how to treat the sick. For centuries, from the time of ancient Greece, doctors and almost everyone else on earth believed that all human illnesses resulted from poisons that traveled in the air and collected in body fluids, in the blood and in the gastrointestinal tract. And the remedy seemed simple. Drain the body of its poisons by draining as much as possible of its fluids, and you'll get rid of the illness. Emptying the gut was simple with laxatives. Rush concocted a laxative that became known as thunderbolts.

You can use your imagination as to why. After emptying the gut, that left the vascular system. Well, you couldn't empty the people's blood without killing them.

Indeed, that's exactly what happened to George Washington. At his insistence, he made the doctors keep bleeding him to cure a throat infection, to cure his infection, and then he finally died because they just bled him to death. Rush and most doctors were sensible enough to limit bleeding to between one and two pints a day, about 10 to 20 percent of the patient's reservoir of blood. That's usually not enough to send a patient into shock, but it is enough to make the patient feel lightheaded and less aware of their pain and discomfort. And they felt that way especially so when a founding father, a doctor like Benjamin Rush, who inspired awe in his patients when he promised them they'd feel better tomorrow.

But bleeding had no effect at all on the underlying interest. In 24 hours, the body itself replaced the blood it lost, and many patients went on to die of the real disease. In August and September of 1793, the worst yellow fever epidemic in American history crushed Philadelphia. It claimed more than 5,000 people's lives, more than 10 percent of the population of the city. Only Rush and four other brave physicians remained.

Most people fled. Only Rush and four other physicians remained to treat the stricken with purge and bleed treatments that accomplished nothing. Although Rush and the other doctors believed they saved many lives, those who survived purge and bleed treatments either would have survived the disease without bleeding or purging, or they didn't have yellow fever to begin with, and they simply got better. So many people died, however, that critics, a few of them other doctors from other cities, assailed Rush. One critic, a vicious British journalist who hated all things American and had no knowledge of science or medicine, he called Rush a butcher and killer in the newspaper he published. For the first time in his life, the radiant ring of light that seemed to hover above Rush's sainted head dimmed.

For the first time in his life, he seemed mortal. So stung by the attacks by this journalist, he went into court and sued the journalist for libel. Although he won the case, his appearance in a courtroom and the public airing of such vile epithets, butcher, leech, and others, even by an ignorant journalist, tarnished the Rush name and left him somewhat broken. Celebrated throughout his life as one whom God had placed on earth to heal the sick, Rush now left the courtroom $5,000 richer but deeply wounded. He gave his award to charity and in 1800 closed his medical practice and retreated to his country home to update earlier editions of his various books and published works.

He never practiced medicine again. He died in 1813 and lies in Philadelphia's Christchurch burial ground near his dear friend Benjamin Franklin. But without that flame of fame that illuminates Franklin's grave, Rush deserves more. Thomas Jefferson said he knew no one among the founding fathers more benevolent, and these are Jefferson's words, no one more benevolent, more learned, a finer genius, or more honest than Dr. Benjamin Rush.

John Adams agreed. He said that as a man of science, letters, taste, sense, patriotism, morality, taken all together, Rush has not left his equal in America or the world. I agree and hope my book will give this great American patriot, Dr. Benjamin Rush, the recognition he so deserves. And great job as always by Greg Hengler getting us this story and producing it. And a special thanks to Harlow Giles Unger. And his book is Dr. Benjamin Rush, the founding father who healed a wounded nation.

And what a story. The father of modern day psychiatry, the only M.D. who signed the declaration. He started essentially the Army Medical Corps and also in the end brought veterinary medicine to America and the improvement in the end of our agricultural economy.

By the way, it was very wise of him to sell it as that, as a benefit, a public benefit, a public good, and very wise to do that as well on how to treat the poor and sanitary concerns, one of the first people in this country to think about public sanitation. And all of this kind of storytelling always is available here on Our American Stories. It's what we do, folks, bring stories like Dr. Benjamin Rush to you with unapologetic pride here on Our American Stories. Understanding your risk is learning your full family history of cancer on both sides. Learn what questions you should be asking and other tips on how to manage your breast cancer risk at cdc.gov slash bring your brave.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-15 22:42:47 / 2023-02-15 22:58:19 / 16

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