Biography of John Marshall
Famous American Biographies

JOHN MARSHALL, the fourth chief justice of the United States supreme court, was born in Germantown, Virginia, September 24, 1755 His father, Colonel Thomas Marshall, served with distinction in the Revolutionary war, while he also served from the beginning of the war until 1779, where he became noted in the field and courts martial. While on detached service he attended a course of law lectures at William and Mary College, delivered by Mr. Wythe, and was admitted to the bar. The next year he resigned his commission and began his career as a lawyer. He was a distinguished thember of the convention called in Virginia to ratify the Federal constitution. He was tendered the attorney generalship of the United States, and also a place on the supreme bench, besides other places of less honor, all of which he declined. He went to France as special envoy in 1798, and the next year was elected to congress. He served one year and was appointed, first, secretary of war, and then secretary of state, and in 1801 was made chief justice of the United States. He held this high office until his death, in 1835.

Chief Justice Marshall's early education was neglected, and his opinions, the most valuable in existence, are noted for depth of wisdom, clear and comprehensive reasoning, justice, and permanency, rather than for wide learning and scholarly construction. His decisions and rulings are resorted to constantly by our greatest lawyers, and his renown as a just judge and profound jurist was world wide.

A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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