About Sarah Eve, from “the pen of her afflicted lover”?

The relationship between SARAH EVE and Benjamin Rush is puzzling. Tradition has it that the two were to be married in December 1774 and that she died (December 4) three weeks before the wedding. To be sure Sarah’s journal documents many visits to the Rush family and the doctor assiduously attended her during her last illness, from October to December, visiting her at least once a day. But there is no mention of an engagement or an anticipated wedding. An unsigned eulogy appeared a week after Sarah’s death in the Pennsylvania Packet that has been attributed to Rush.

Her understanding was strong, her imagination brilliant, and her taste correct. These were improved by an intimate acquaintance with some of the best political and prose writers in the English language. Her disposition was amiable. . . . Her manners were polished. They were not put on, and laid aside, like a part of a dress; she was always alike captivating, even in her most careless moments, and in the society of her most intimate friends. Her person was elegant, her face had a happy mixture of the happy and beautiful in it; her voice was soft, and her elocution was flowing. . . . Such were her unaffected displays of good sense, modesty, and good humor, that no one, I believe, ever left her without emotions of love, esteem, or admiration.

A bit over the top, wouldn’t you say. Mrs. Eva Eve Jones of Augusta, GA. who published the “Extracts of Sarah Eve” commented: “From the style of the composition it is possible that it was from the pen of her afflicted lover.” There is no mention of Sarah in any of Rush’s papers and she does not appear in his autobiography. During the period he was supposedly engaged to Sarah Eve he was seeing other women. And he sent a bill to Sarah’s father for his medical services to Sarah! More about Dr. Benjamin Rush and the women in his life in the next post.

Extracts from the Journal of Miss Sarah Eve, p 21.

posted February 20th, 2020 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Eve, Sarah, Rush, Dr. Benjamin

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