Dr. Benjamin Rush espoused controversial practices during the yellow fever epidemic, including purging and bleeding, which ran counter to the methods of Dr. Edward Stevens, who prescribed cold baths to break the fever. In part, the controversy of his treatments led him to resign from the Philadelphia College of Physicians in 1793, although he stayed on as a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania's College of Medicine. In 1797, Rush was appointed treasurer of the mint by President John Adams and remained in that position until his death in 1813.
Rush, a patriot and politician, signed the Declaration of Independence and participated in the Continental Congress in Pennsylvania. He supported the manumission of slaves and education for women, and as a Republican opposed the Federalists, Alexander Hamilton among them, who had a stronghold in Philadelphia.