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The Life of John Marshall (Volume I) by Beveridge

THE LIFE OF JOHN MARSHALL

Standard Library Edition

IN FOUR VOLUMES

VOLUME I

[Illustration: JOHN MARSHALL AT 43 From a miniature painted in Paris]

THE LIFE OF JOHN MARSHALL

BY ALBERT J. BEVERIDGE

VOLUME I

FRONTIERSMAN, SOLDIER LAWMAKER

1755-1788

[Illustration]

BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY The Riverside Press Cambridge

COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY ALBERT J. BEVERIDGE COPYRIGHT, 1919, BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

PREFACE

The work of John Marshall has been of supreme importance in the development of the American Nation, and its influence grows as time passes. Less is known of Marshall, however, than of any of the great Americans. Indeed, so little has been written of his personal life, and such exalted, if vague, encomium has been paid him, that, even to the legal profession, he has become a kind of mythical being, endowed with virtues and wisdom not of this earth.

He appears to us as a gigantic figure looming, indistinctly, out of the mists of the past, impressive yet lacking vitality, and seemingly without any of those qualities that make historic personages intelligible to a living world of living men. Yet no man in our history was more intensely human than John Marshall and few had careers so full of movement and color. His personal life, his characteristics and the incidents that drew them out, have here been set forth so that we may behold the man as he appeared to those among whom he lived and worked.

It is, of course, Marshall's public work with which we are chiefly concerned. His services as Chief Justice have been so lauded that what he did before he ascended the Supreme Bench has been almost entirely forgotten. His greatest opinions, however, cannot be fully understood without considering his previous life and experience. An account of Marshall the frontiersman, soldier, legislator, lawyer, politician, diplomat, and statesman, and of the conditions he faced in each of these capacities, is essential to a comprehension of Marshall the constructive jurist and of the problems he solved.

In order to make clear the significance of Marshall's public activities, those episodes in American history into which his life was woven have been briefly stated. Although to the historian these are twice-told tales, many of them are not fresh in the minds of the reading public. To say that Marshall took this or that position with reference to the events and questions of his time, without some explanation of them, means little to any one except to the historical scholar.

In the development of his career there must be some clear understanding of the impression made upon him by the actions and opinions of other men, and these, accordingly, have been considered. The influence of his father and of Washington upon John Marshall was profound and determinative, while his life finally became so interlaced with that of Jefferson that a faithful account of the one requires a careful examination of the other.


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