The Earliest American Temperance Advocate?

Dr. Benjamin Rush was not only the most esteemed medical man in the earliest days of the United States, but he signed the Declaration of Independence. In 1790, Rush sounded one of the first calls against excessive alcohol consumption. Can you believe that in those days a non-drinking person couldn’t buy life insurance?

Check out Rush’s attempt to demonstrate the relative risks and rewards of various beverages. Will you opt for the “serenity of mind” offered by milk or “small beer,” or will you instead risk “melancholy, madness, despair” with a constant dosing of “Gin, Brandy, and Rum”? Dr. Rush would have you choose wisely.

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