- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
- Rush, Richard, 1780-1859
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- Rush Family Papers
- Manuscripts Division
- Permanent URL:
- 1675-1885, bulk 1817/1849
- 61 boxes, 55 items, 11 Volumes, and 26.55 linear feet
- Storage Note:
This collection is stored at Firestone Library and Firestone Library.
This collection is stored onsite at Firestone Library. Box 15, folders 17 and 29; and box 16, folder 8 (letters by Thomas Jefferson) are stored in special vault facilities.
The collection documents the career of Richard Rush (Princeton Class of 1797) as lawyer, statesman, and diplomat, emphasizing diplomatic negotiations between the United States and Great Britain while he was minister to Great Britain (1817-1825) and between the United States and France when he was minister to France (1847-1849), as well as his successful efforts (1836-1838) in securing the Smithsonian bequest, which was used to establish the Smithsonian Institution. The papers of Richard Rush constitute the larger part of the collection; letters of his father, Benjamin Rush, M.D. (Princeton Class of 1760), and papers of his son, Benjamin Rush (Princeton Class of 1829, constitute the other major groups of papers in this family archive.
Collection Description & Creator Information
The collection documents the career of Richard Rush (Princeton Class of 1797) as lawyer, statesman, and diplomat, emphasizing diplomatic negotiations between the United States and Great Britain while he was minister to Great Britain (1817-1825) and between the United States and France when he was minister to France (1847-1849), as well as his successful efforts (1836-1838) in securing the Smithsonian bequest, which was used to establish the Smithsonian Institution. Important international issues detailed in diplomatic dispatches and protocols include fisheries, impressment of sailors, maritime law, territorial claims to the Northwest part of America, the Seminole Wars, West Indian trade, slave trade, and free navigation of the St. Lawrence River. Various writings of Rush, his personal correspondence, a code used for confidential diplomatic correspondence, passports, diplomas, certificates, maps/charts,and other documents are also included.
Correspondents in the collection include John Quincy Adams, George Bancroft, Nicholas Biddle, James Buchanan, George Canning, Sir Stratford Canning, Robert Stewart Castlereagh, James Fenimore Cooper, George Mifflin Dallas, Albert Gallatin, Washington Irving, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis of Lafayette, Dolley and James Madison, John Marshall, James Monroe, Samuel Morse, John Trumbull, Daniel Webster, and Noah Webster. There is also correspondence to Rush's father, Dr. Benjamin Rush (1746-1813, Princeton Class of 1760); to his son, Benjamin Rush (1811-1877, Princeton Class of 1829); and to other members of the Rush family; and works and correspondence of other persons not members of the Rush family.
- Collection Creator Biography:
1780 Born in Philadelphia, August 29 1797 Graduated from Princeton University 1800 Admitted to Pennsylvania bar 1809 Married Catherine Eliza Murray 1811 Appointed Attorney General of Pennsylvania 1811 Comptroller of the United States Treasury 1814-1817 Unites States Attorney General 1817 United States Secretary of State 1817-1824 United States Minister to Great Britain 1825-1828 United States Secretary of Treasury 1847-1849 United States Minister to France 1859 Died in Philadelphia, July 30
The Rush Family Papers were presented to the Princeton University Library in 1963 by Alexander Rush (Princeton Class of 1933), Benjamin Rush, and R. Stockton Rush (Princeton Class of 1927).
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No appraisal information is available.
- Processing Information:
This collection was processed in 1970. Finding aid written in 1970.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Researchers may be required to use surrogates of collection items stored in special vault facilities. Consult staff for access.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.
- Credit this material:
Rush Family Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Firestone LibraryOne Washington RoadPrinceton, NJ 08544, USA(609) 258-3184
- Publication Note:
The following sources were consulted during preparation of biographical note: Dictionary of American Biography, Author's Edition, Volume XVI, 1937, pp. 231-234, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. In addition to the works mentioned in the biographical note on Richard Rush, see an excellent account of Rush's career down to 1840, in the U.S. Mag. and Democratic Rev., Apr. 1840, pp. 301-25; C. K. Webster, The Foreign Policy of Castlereagh, 1815-1822 (1925); Dexter Perkins, The Monroe Doctrine, 1823-1826 (1927); W. C. Ford, "John Quincy Adams and the Monroe Doctrine," in Am. Hist. Rev., July 1902; J. M. Callahan, "Agreement of 1817. Reduction of Naval Forces upon the Great Lakes," in Ann. Report of the Am. Hist. Asso. for the Year 1895 (1896); Beckles Wilson, America's Ambassadors to England, 1785-1928 (1928), and America's Ambassadors to France, 1777-1927 (1928); A Memorial of Dr. Benjamin Rush...Written by Himself (1905); Am. State Papers. Foreign Relations, vols. IV, V (1834, 1858); obituaries in Daily National Intelligencer (Washington), Public Ledger (Philadelphia), August 2, 1859; Trescott Papers, Lib. of Congress.; his diplomatic dispatches in the State Department. References to Dr. Benjamin Rush may be found in The Princeton University Library Chronicle in Volumes V: 36-37; VI: 34; VII: 17-18, 26; VIII: 61; IX: 1-12; and XIII: 178; to Richard Rush in Volumes XVII: 218; and XIX: 177; and to certain letters exchanged between members of the Rush Family in Volume XXII: 99-101.
- Subject Terms:
- Cipher and telegraphic codes -- United States -- Diplomatic and consular service -- 19th century.
Diplomatic and consular service -- United States -- 19th century.
Diplomats -- 19th century.
Diplomats -- United States -- Clothing -- 19th century.
Fathers and sons -- United States -- 19th century.
Fisheries -- Newfoundland -- 19th century.
Impressment -- 19th century.
Maritime law -- 19th century.
Seminole War, 1st -- 1817-1818.
Slave trade -- United States -- 19th century.
- Genre Terms:
- Codes -- 19th century.
Diplomatic documents -- 19th century.
Passports -- 19th century.
- College of New Jersey (Princeton, N.J.). Class of 1829.
Rush, Benjamin, 1811-1877
- France -- Foreign relations -- United States -- 19th century.
Great Britain -- Commerce -- West Indies -- 19th century.
Great Britain -- Foreign relations -- United States -- 19th century.
Northwest coast of North America -- 19th century.
Saint Lawrence River -- Navigation -- Laws and legislation -- 19th century.
United States -- Commerce -- West Indies -- 19th century.
United States -- Foreign relations -- France -- 19th century.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Great Britain -- 19th century.