The New Student's Reference Work/Marshall, John


Mar'shall, John, chief-justice of the United States, was born in Fauquier County, Va., Sept. 24, 1755. His law-studies were interrupted by the Revolution, and he served in the army under his father from 1775 to 1779. In 1781 he began to practice law, and soon rose to the head of the Virginian bar. He was a member of the Virginian house of burgesses, the state legislature and the state convention that adopted the constitution. He was sent to France with Pinckney and Gerry as envoys in 1797, and with Pinckney was ordered to leave the country when they had declined Tallyrand's request for a loan. In 1799 he was elected to Congress, and in 1800 became secretary of state. He was made chief-justice of the United States in 1801, holding his position till his death on July 6, 1835. His decisions are considered authoritative on all matters of constitutional law. He wrote a Life of Washington. See Life by Magruder in the American Statesmen Series.