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  • Writer's picturelashellescott

A Revolutionary Spirit

Updated: Jul 13, 2021

The American Revolutionary spirit is nowhere stronger than it is in Philadelphia. And especially on the holy burial grounds of Christ Church, in Philadelphia, PA. What lies beneath,

are patriots, (also known as Continentals, Rebels, or Whigs) these patriots signed the United States Declaration of Independence, declaring the United States of America an independent nation in July 1776,

Christ Church, Philadelphia, PA.

The Washington Family Pew!

Christ Church

Christ Church Historic burial grounds

Our first story was about Benjamin Franklin. He lived in Philly for many years, and was one of our founding fathers. here's an actual passage he walked every day. It's like traveling back in time and walking in his steps!

Here lies Benjamin Franklin and his wife Deborah. A very simple grave for a very amazing and important man. He lies there in the churchyard of Christ church.

The signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Dr. Benjamin Rush also lies in the hallowed grounds of Christ church. And was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. A patriot, doctor, and leader.

He is called the Father of American Psychiatry.

This is a likeness of his wife, Julia Rush.

Dr. Benjamin Rush designed two mechanical contrivances to aid in the treatment of the insane. The belief at the time was that "madness" was an arterial disease, an inflammation of the brain. Pictured here is the "tranquilizing chair" in which patients were confined. The chair was supposed to control the flow of blood toward the brain and, by lessening muscular action or reducing motor activity, reduced the force and frequency of the pulse. Both of Rush's devices were supposed to exert an influence in some way to circulation, which was believed to be essential to the successful treatment of the insane. In actuality, they did neither harm nor good.

And this was the Gyrator or the Gyrating chair that we talked about in this episode.In the mid-1700s, the gyrating chair was invented by the Dutch Dr. Boerhaave and was brought to the United States by Dr. Benjamin Rush. Spinning at speeds of up to 100 rpm, this machine was intended to shake up the blood and tissues of the brain to restore equilibrium and increase blood supply to the brain. In most cases, however, the patient would be rendered unconscious without any success. (I'm thinking that it would indeed shake up their blood and tissues, but restoring equilibrium sounds unlikely!)

After dying of Typhoid fever, he was buried along with his wife Julia in the Christ Church historic burial grounds in Philadelphia, not far from where Benjamin Franklin is buried. At the site, a small plaque honoring Benjamin Rush has been placed. The box marker is next to the plaque on the right, with inscriptions on the top. The inscription reads,

"In memory of Benjamin Rush MD he died on the 19th of April in the year of our Lord 1813 Aged 68 years Well done good and faithful servant enter thou into the joy of the Lord"

"Mrs. Julia Rush consort of Benjamin Rush MD Born March 2, 1759 Died July 7, 1848 For as in Adam, all die, even so in Christ Shall all be made alive"

Meet our co-host Randi!

Our episode sources:

Photography: Much thanks to Randi Dodson and Garen Austin for the use of their beautiful photos!

To Donate to Christchurch restoration fund:

Excerpted from Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang, MD and Nate Pedersen (Workman Publishing, 2017)

Music: Fife and drum, Kevin Macleod

Edited for the use of drums

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