Rush, Richard

Rush, Richard, 1780–1859, Amercian statesman and diplomat, b. Philadelphia; son of Benjamin Rush. He studied law and became (1811) attorney general of Pennsylvania, resigning the same year to become comptroller of the U.S. Treasury, and from 1814 to 1817 was U.S. attorney general. While serving temporarily as secretary of state (1817), he helped negotiate the Rush-Bagot Convention and in the same year was made minister to Great Britain. He signed (1818) a convention with the British providing for joint occupation of the Oregon country. His preliminary negotiations with George Canning, British foreign minister, on policy toward Latin America led to the enunciation (1823) of the Monroe Doctrine. From 1825 to 1829 he was secretary of the treasury under John Quincy Adams, and in 1828 was Adams' vice presidential candidate in his unsuccessful bid for reelection. Rush spent from 1836 to 1838 in England obtaining the Smithson bequest for the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution. Later, he was (1847–49) minister to France.

See biography by J. H. Powell (1942).

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