Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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RUSH, William, sculptor, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 4 July, 1756; died there, 17 January, 1856. In his youth he was apprenticed to Edward Cutbush, a carver, and he first became known as a maker of figure-heads for ships. Especially noticeable among his ship-carvings were the figures "Genius of the United States" and " Nature" for the frigates " United States" and '" Constellation," and busts and figures of Voltaire, Rousseau, Benjamin Franklin, William Penn, and others, for various vessels. The figure of the "Indian Trader" for the ship "William Penn" excited great admiration in London. The carvers there sketched it and took casts of the head. Another figure, that of a river-god, carved for the ship " Ganges," won the admiration of the Hindoos, who came in numerous boats to reverence this image. But he did not confine himself to figure-heads, although he never worked in marble, but always in wood or clay. In 1812 he exhibited, at the Pennsylvania academy, figures of "Exhortatiom" " Praise," and cherubim, and busts of Linnaeus, William Bartram, and Reverend Henry M. Muhlenberg. fie executed also statues of " Winter," "Agriculture," a figure of Christ on the cross, which last two were destroyed by fire, several portrait-busts, including General Lafayette (1824), and other works. His best-known statue is that of Washington (1814), which was bought by the city of Philadelphia. Mr. Rush served in the Revolutionary army, and was a member of the councils of his native city for more than a quarter of a century.
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