Richard Rush

Richard Rush ( born August 29, 1780 in Philadelphia, † 30 July 1859 in Philadelphia ) was an American diplomat, politician, Minister of Justice ( Attorney General ) and Finance.

Family, study and career

The son of a physician, writer, teacher and humanist Benjamin Rush, the 1776 was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, began with 14 years of a general education studies at the College of New Jersey, which he finished in 1797, the youngest student in his class. After studying law, he was admitted in 1800 at the age of 20 years as a lawyer. As such, he quickly gained a reputation as an outstanding orator and successful lawyer process.

Political career

Attorney General and Ambassador to London

In 1811 he was first appointed to the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, but appointed in November 1811 by President James Madison to the Comptroller of the Treasury. Despite this relatively subordinate position, he was one of the secret counselor to the president during the British - American War of 1812 because of his close friendship with Madison.

1814 Madison offered him the acquisition of financial or Ministry of Justice in his cabinet at. Rush decided on February 10, 1814 the Office of the Attorney General ( Attorney General ), which he held until 12 November 1817.

At times he was until the arrival of John Quincy Adams also acting foreign minister. In this capacity, he concluded in 1817 with the British Ambassador in Washington, Sir Charles Bagot, the Rush - Bagot Agreement, which reached a demilitarization of the border with Canada in the Great Lakes.

In October 1817 he took over from Adams the office of ambassador in London, which he held until 1825. As such, he negotiated several important treaties with the United Kingdom, such as the Treaty of London, next to the border definitions also the trade relations between the two States and the regulated, he signed with Foreign Minister Robert Stewart in 1818.

In 1820 he ran from England, however, as Vice President of the United States for the Federalist Party, got only one electoral vote.

Treasury under President Adams

After the election of John Quincy Adams to the U.S. President to Rush actually wished the appointment as Secretary of the Navy, after he had dealt during his ambassador duties intensively with the Royal Navy. However, President Adams appointed him March 7, 1825 to the Minister of Finance. This office he practiced with considerable success until the end of the presidency of Adams on March 5, 1829.

In particular, he was his successor passed a large budget surplus. In addition, at that time almost the entire national debt was reduced. He was regarded as a defender of the Second Bank of the United States, in which he saw a secure institution for the government credit. In trade policy, he was an advocate of protectionism and a restrictive interest rate to increase the productivity of American manufacturers. At the same time he tried to explore the relations between interest rates and trade by trade statistics.

In 1828 he was the candidate of the National Republican Party for the office of Vice- President as running mate of John Quincy Adams, but was defeated in the presidential election Andrew Jackson.

Diplomatic negotiator and ambassador in Paris

After retiring from the Ministry of Finance, he traveled on behalf of the cities Georgetown and Alexandria to England as well as in the Netherlands and there successfully negotiated the granting of loans.

1836 appointed him President Jackson for agent in England to secure the legacy of the British mineralogist and chemist James Smithson to the United States, which later enabled the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution.

President James K. Polk finally appointed him ambassador to France in 1847. In 1849 he resigned from this post and was subsequently settled in Philadelphia.


  • Codification of tile Laws of the United States. 5 volumes, Philadelphia, 1815
  • Comprising Incidents, Official and Personal, from 1819 till 1825. 1845
  • Washington in Domestic Life. 1857
  • Occasional Productions, Political, Diplomatic, and Miscellaneous, including the Court and Government of Louis Philippe, and the French Revolution of 1848. 1860