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MARSHALL, J.—MARSHALL

conception, especially those cases in which he was required to construe the restriction imposed by the Constitution on any state impairing the obligation of contracts. His decision in the celebrated case of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, in which he held that a state could not repeal a charter of a private corporation, because a charter is a contract which a subsequent act of the state repealing the charter impairs, though of great economic importance, does not touch any fundamental question of constitutional law. The argument which he advances lacks the clearness and finality for which most of his opinions are celebrated. It is not certain with whom he thought the contract was made: with the corporation created by the charter, with the trustees of the corporation, or with those who had contributed money to its objects.

Of the wonderful persuasive force of Marshall’s personality there is abundant evidence. His influence over his associates, already referred to, is but one example though a most impressive one. From the moment he delivered the opinion in Marbury v. Madison the legal profession knew that he was a great judge. Each year added to his reputation and made for a better appreciation of his intellectual and moral qualities. The bar of the Supreme Court during his chief-justiceship was the most brilliant which the United States has ever known. Leaders, not only of legal, but political thought were among its members; one, Webster, was a man of genius and commanding position. To a very great degree Marshall impressed on the members of this bar and on the profession generally his own ideas of the correct interpretation of the Constitution and his own love for the union. He did this, not merely by his arguments but by the influence which was his by right of his strong, sweet nature. Statesmen and politicians, great and small, were at this time, almost without exception, members of the bar. To influence the political thought of the bar was to a great extent to influence the political thought of the people.

In 1782 he married Mary Willis Ambler, the daughter of the then treasurer of Virginia. They had ten children, six of whom grew to full age. For the greater part of the forty-eight years of their married life Mrs Marshall suffered intensely from a nervous affliction. Her condition called out the love and sympathy of her husband’s deep and affectionate nature. Judge Story tells us: “That which, in a just sense, was his highest glory, was the purity, affectionateness, liberality and devotedness of his domestic life.” For the first thirty years of his chief-justiceship his life was a singularly happy one. He never had to remain in Washington for more than three months. During the rest of the year, with the exception of a visit to Raleigh, which his duties as circuit judge required him to make, and a visit to his old home in Fauquier county, he lived in Richmond. His house on Shockhoe Hill is still standing.

On Christmas Day 1831 his wife died. He never was quite the same again. On returning from Washington in the spring of 1835 he suffered severe contusions, from an accident to the stage coach in which he was riding. His health, which had not been good, now rapidly declined and in June he returned to Philadelphia for medical attendance. There he died on the 6th of July. His body, which was taken to Richmond, lies in Shockhoe Hill Cemetery under a plain marble slab, on which is a simple inscription written by himself. In addition to his decisions Marshall wrote a famous biography of George Washington (5 vols., 1804–1807; 2nd ed., 2 vols., 1832), which though prepared hastily contains much material of value.

The principal sources of information are: an essay by James B. Thayer (Boston and New York, 1904); Great American Lawyers (Philadelphia, 1908), ii. 313–408, an essay by Wm. Draper Lewis; and Allan B. Magruder, John Marshall (Boston, 1885), in the “American Statesmen Series.” The addresses delivered on Marshall Day, the 4th of February 1901, are collected by John F. Dillon (Chicago, 1903). In the “Appendix” to Dillon’s collection will be found the “Discourse” by Joseph Story and the “Eulogy” by Horace Binney, both delivered soon after Marshall’s death. For a study of Marshall’s decisions, the Constitutional Decisions of John Marshall, edited by Joseph P. Collon, Jr. (New York and London, 1905), is of value.  (W. D. L.) 


MARSHALL, JOHN (1818–1891), British surgeon and physiologist, was born at Ely, on the 11th of September 1818, his father being a lawyer of that city. He entered University College, London, in 1838, and in 1847 he was appointed assistant-surgeon at the hospital, becoming in 1866 surgeon and professor of surgery. He was professor of anatomy at the Royal Academy from 1873 till his death. In 1883 he was president of the College of Surgeons, also Bradshaw lecturer (on “Nerve-stretching for the relief or cure of pain”), Hunterian orator in 1885, and Morton lecturer in 1889. In 1867 he published his well-known textbook The Outlines of Physiology in two volumes. He died on the 1st of January 1891. “Marshall’s fame,” wrote Sir W. MacCormac in his volume on the Centenary of the College of Surgeons (1900), “rests on the great ability with which he taught anatomy in relation to art, on the introduction into modern surgery of the galvano-cautery, and on the operation for the excision of varicose veins. He was one of the first to show that cholera might be spread by means of drinking water, and issued a report on the outbreak of cholera in Broad Street, St James’s, 1854. He also invented the system of circular wards for hospitals, and to him are largely owing the details of the modern medical student’s education.”


MARSHALL, STEPHEN (c. 1594–1655), English Nonconformist divine, was born at Godmanchester in Huntingdonshire, and was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (M.A. 1622, B.D. 1629). After holding the living of Wethersfield in Essex he became vicar of Finchingfield in the same county, and in 1636 was reported for “want of conformity.” He was a preacher of great power, and influenced the elections for the Short Parliament of 1640. Clarendon esteemed his influence on the parliamentary side greater than that of Laud on the royalist. In 1642 he was appointed lecturer at St Margaret’s, Westminster, and delivered a series of addresses to the Commons in which he advocated episcopal and liturgical reform. He had a share in writing Smectymnuus, was appointed chaplain to the earl of Essex’s regiment in 1642, and a member of the Westminster Assembly in 1643. He represented the English Parliament in Scotland in 1643, and attended the parliamentary commissions at the Uxbridge Conference in 1645. He waited on Archbishop Laud before his execution, and was chaplain to Charles I. at Holmby House and at Carisbrooke. A moderate and judicious presbyterian, he prepared with others the “Shorter Catechism” in 1647, and was one of the “Triers,” 1654. He died in November 1655 and was buried in Westminster Abbey, but his body was exhumed and maltreated at the Restoration. His sermons, especially that on the death of John Pym in 1643, reveal eloquence and fervour. The only “systematic” work he published was A Defence of Infant Baptism, against John Tombes (London, 1646).


MARSHALL, a city and the county-seat of Saline county, Missouri, U.S.A., situated a little W. of the centre of the state, near the Salt Fork of the La Mine River. Pop. (1890), 4297; (1900), 5086 (208 being foreign-born and 98 negroes); (1910) 4869. It is served by the Missouri Pacific and the Chicago & Alton railways. The city is laid out regularly on a high, undulating prairie. It is the seat of Missouri Valley College (opened 1889; coeducational), which was established by the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and includes a preparatory department and a conservatory of music. The court-house (1883), a Roman Catholic convent and a high school (1907) are the principal buildings. The Missouri colony for the feeble-minded and epileptic (1899) is at Marshall. The principal trade is with the surrounding farming country. The municipality owns and operates the waterworks. Marshall was first settled and was made the county seat in 1839; it became a town in 1866 (re-incorporated 1870) and a city in 1878.


MARSHALL, a city and the county-seat of Harrison county, Texas, U.S.A., about 145 m. E. by S. of Dallas. Pop. (1890), 7207; (1900) 7855 (3769 negroes); (1910) 11,452. Marshall is served by the Texas & Pacific and the Marshall & East Texas railways, which have large shops here. Wiley University was