Called the "Father of American Medicine," he signed the Declaration of Independence, was Surgeon General of the Continental Army, and a staff member of the Pennsylvania Hospital, where he opened the first free medical clinic. His name was Benjamin Rush, and he was born JANUARY 4, 1745. Benjamin Rush founded the Philadelphia Bible Society, a Sunday School Union and a Society for the Abolition of Slavery. A proponent of public education, Dr. Benjamin Rush wrote his "Thoughts Upon the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic," 1786: "I proceed...to inquire what mode of education we shall adopt so as to secure to the state all of the advantages that are to be derived from the proper instruction of the youth; and here I beg leave to remark that the only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid on the foundation of religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments." Benjamin Rush continued: "But the religion I mean to recommend in this place is that of the New Testament...Its doctrines and precepts are calculated to promote the happiness of society and the safety and well-being of civil government."