Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Marshall, Thomas (planter)
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Marshall, Thomas (planter)
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|Edition of 1900. Written by Joseph P. Bradley (section on John Marshall). See also Thomas Marshall (U.S. politician), John Marshall, James Markham Marshall, Louis Marshall (educator), Thomas Francis Marshall, Thomas Marshall (general), Humphrey Marshall (politician), Thomas Alexander Marshall and Humphrey Marshall (general) on Wikipedia, and our Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography disclaimer.|
MARSHALL, Thomas, planter, b. in Virginia about 1655; d. in Westmoreland county, Va., in 1704. His father, John, a captain of cavalry in the service of Charles I., emigrated to Virginia about 1650. He owned a large plantation in Virginia, and was the head of the Marshall family of Virginia and Kentucky. — His grandson, Thomas, b. in Washington parish, Westmoreland co., Va., 2 April, 1730; d. in Mason county, Ky., 22 June, 1802, was the son of “John of the Forest,” so called from the estate that he owned, was educated in Rev. Archibald Campbell's school, and subsequently assisted Washington in his surveying excursions for Lord Fairfax and others, for which he received several thousand acres of land in West Virginia. He was a lieutenant of Virginians in the French and Indian war, and participated in the expedition of Gen. Braddock against Fort Duquesne, but, having been detailed as one of the garrison at Fort Necessity, was not at the defeat. In 1753 he accepted the agency of Lord Fairfax to superintend a portion of his estate in the “Northern neck,” and in 1754 married Mary Randolph, daughter of Rev. James Keith, an Episcopal clergyman of Fauquier. In 1765 he removed to Goose Creek, and in 1773 purchased “The Oaks” or “Oak Hill” in Leeds parish in the northern part of Fauquier county. In 1767 he was high sheriff of Fauquier county, and he was frequently a member of the house of burgesses. He condemned and pledged resistance to the encroachments of the crown, and was a member of the Virginia convention that declared her independence. In 1775, on the summons of Patrick Henry, he recruited a battalion and became major of a regiment known as the “Culpepper minute-men.” He afterward became colonel of the 3d Virginia regiment. At the battle of Brandywine his command was placed in a wood on the right, and, though attacked by greatly superior numbers, maintained its position without losing an inch of ground until its ammunition was nearly expended and more than half its officers and one third of the soldiers were killed or wounded. The safety of the patriot army on this occasion was largely due to the good conduct of Col. Marshall and his command. The house of burgesses voted him a sword. At Germantown his regiment covered the retreat of the patriot army. He was with Washington at Valley Forge. He was afterward ordered to the south, and was surrendered by Gen. Lincoln at Charleston in 1780. When paroled he took advantage of the circumstance to make his first visit to Kentucky on horseback over the mountains, and then located the lands on which he subsequently lived in Woodford. Having been exchanged, he resumed his command and held it until the close of the war. In 1781 he was for a time in command at York. He was appointed surveyor-general of the lands in Kentucky in 1783, in that year established his office in Lexington, and removed his family to Kentucky in 1785. In 1787 and 1788 he represented Fayette county in the Virginia assembly. In the latter year he was also a delegate to the convention in Danville to consider the separation of Kentucky from Virginia. He was appointed by Washington collector of revenue for Kentucky. He and all his family were Federalists. —
The second Thomas's eldest son, John, jurist, b. in Germantown, Fauquier co., Va., 24 Sept., 1755; d. in Philadelphia, Pa., 6 July, 1835, received from childhood a thorough course of domestic education in English literature, and when he was sufficiently advanced his father procured the services of a private teacher, Rev. James Thompson, an Episcopal clergyman from Scotland, who was afterward minister of Leeds parish. At fourteen years of age John was sent to Westmoreland county, and placed at the school where his father and Washington had been pupils. James Monroe was one of his fellow-students. After remaining there for a year he returned to Oak Hill and continued his classical studies under the direction of Mr. Thompson, but he never had the benefit of a college education. He began the study of law at the age of eighteen, and used Blackstone's “Commentaries,” then recently published, but he had hardly begun his legal studies when the controversy with the mother country came to a crisis. The tea bill, the Boston port bill, the congress of 1774, followed one another in quick succession, and every question at issue was thoroughly discussed at Oak Hill just at the period of young Marshall's life to make the most indelible impression upon his intellectual and moral character. Military preparations were not neglected. John Marshall joined an independent body of volunteers and devoted himself with much zeal to the training of a company of militia in his neighborhood. Among the first to take the field was Thomas Marshall. A regiment of minutemen was raised in the summer of 1775 in Culpeper, Orange, and Fauquier counties, of which he was appointed major, and his son John a lieutenant. On their green hunting-shirts they bore the motto “Liberty or death!” and on their banner was the emblem of a coiled rattlesnake, with the inscription “Don't tread on me!” They were armed with rifles, knives, and tomahawks. They had an engagement with Gov. Dunmore's forces at Great Bridge on 9 Dec., in which Lieut. Marshall showed coolness and skill in handling his men. After this, in 1776, the father and son were in separate organizations. Thomas Marshall was appointed colonel in the 3d Virginia infantry of the Continental line, and John's company was reorganized and attached to the 11th regiment of Virginia troops, which was sent to join Washington's army in New Jersey. Both were in most of the principal battles of the war until the end of 1779. John was promoted to a captaincy in May, 1779. His company distinguished itself at the battle of the Brandywine. He was engaged in the pursuit of the British and the subsequent retreat at Germantown, was with the army in winter-quarters at Valley Forge, and took part in the actions at Monmouth, Stony Point, and Paulus Hook. His marked good sense and discretion and his general popularity often led to his being selected to settle disputes between his brother officers, and he was frequently employed to act as deputy judge-advocate. This brought him into extensive acquaintance with the officers, and into personal intercourse with Gen. Washington and Col. Alexander Hamilton, an acquaintance that subsequently ripened into sincere regard and attachment. The term of enlistment of his regiment having expired, Capt. Marshall, with other supernumerary officers, was ordered to Virginia to take charge of any new troops that might be raised by the state, and while he was detained in Richmond during the winter of 1779-'80, awaiting the action of the legislature, he availed himself of the opportunity to attend the law lectures of George Wythe, of William and Mary college, and those of Prof. (afterward Bishop) Madison on natural philosophy. In the summer of 1780 Marshall received a license to practise law, but, on the invasion of Virginia by Gen. Alexander Leslie in October, he joined the army again under Baron Steuben, and remained in the service until Arnold, after his raid on James river, had retired to Portsmouth. This was in January, 1781. He then resigned his commission, and studied law.
He had spent nearly six years in arduous military service, exposed to the dangers, enduring the hardships, and partaking the anxieties of that trying period. The discipline of those six years could not have failed to strengthen the manliness of his character and greatly enlarge his knowledge of the chief men, or those who became such, from every part of the country, and of their social and political principles. Though it was a rough and severe school, it was instructive, and produced a maturity and self-dependence that could not have been acquired by a much longer experience under different circumstances. As soon as the courts were re-opened young Marshall began practice, and quickly rose to high distinction at the bar. In the spring of 1782 he was elected to the house of burgesses, and in the autumn a member of the state executive council. On 3 Jan., 1783, he married Mary Willis Ambler, daughter of the state treasurer, with whom he lived for nearly fifty years, and about the same time he took up his permanent residence in Richmond. In the spring of 1784 he resigned his seat at the council board in order to devote himself more exclusively to his profession, but he was immediately returned to the legislature by Fauquier county, though he retained only a nominal residence there. In 1787 he was elected to represent Henrico, which includes the city of Richmond. He was a decided advocate of the new U. S. constitution, and in 1788 was elected to the state convention that was called to consider its ratification. His own constituents were opposed to its provisions, but chose him in spite of his refusal to pledge himself to vote against its adoption. In this body he spoke only on important questions, such as the direct power of taxation, the control of the militia, and the judicial power the most important features of the proposed government, the absence of which in the Confederation was the principal cause of its failure. On these occasions he generally answered Patrick Henry, the most powerful opponent of the constitution, and he spoke with such force of argument and breadth of views as greatly to affect the final result, which was a majority in favor of ratification. The acceptance of the constitution by Virginia was entirely due to the arguments of Marshall and James Madison in the convention which recorded eighty-nine votes for its adoption against seventy-nine contrary voices. When the constitution went into effect, Marshall acted with the party that desired to give it fair scope and to see it fully carried out. His great powers were frequently called into requisition in support of the Federal cause, and in defence of the measures of Washington's administration. His practice, in the mean time, became extended and lucrative. He was employed in nearly every important cause that came up in the state and United States courts in Virginia. In addition to these labors, he served in the legislature for the two terms that followed the ratification of the constitution, contemporary with the sittings of the first congress under it, when those important measures were adopted by which the government was organized and its system of finance was established, all of which were earnestly discussed in the house of burgesses. He also served in the legislatures of 1795 and 1796, when the controversies that arose upon Jay's treaty and the French revolution were exciting the country. At this post he was the constant and powerful advocate of Washington's administration and the measures of the government. The treaty was assailed as unconstitutionally interfering with the power of congress to regulate commerce; but Marshall, in a speech of remarkable power, demonstrated the utter fallacy of this argument, and it was finally abandoned by the opponents of the treaty, who carried a resolution simply declaring the treaty to be inexpedient.
In August, 1795, Washington offered him the place of attorney-general, which had been made vacant by the death of William Bradford, but he felt obliged to decline it. In February, 1796, he attended the supreme court at Philadelphia to argue the great case of the British debts, Ware vs. Hylton, and while he was there received unusual attention from the leaders of the Federalist party in congress. He was now, at forty-one years of age, undoubtedly at the head of the Virginia bar; and in the branches of international and public law, which, from the character of his cases and his own inclination, he had profoundly studied, he probably had no superior, if he had an equal, in the country. In the summer of 1796 Washington tendered him the place of envoy to France to succeed James Monroe, but he declined it, and Gen. Charles C. Pinckney was appointed. As the French Directory refused to receive Mr. Pinckney, and ordered him to leave the country, no other representative was sent to France until John Adams became president. In June, 1797, Mr. Adams appointed Messrs. Pinckney, Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry as joint envoys. Marshall's appointment was received with great demonstrations of satisfaction at Richmond, and on setting out for Philadelphia he was escorted several miles out of the city by a body of light horse, and his departure was signalized by the discharge of cannon. The new envoys were as unsuccessful in establishing diplomatic relations with the French republic as Gen. Pinckney had been. They arrived at Paris in October, 1797, and communicated with Talleyrand, the minister for foreign affairs, but were cajoled and trifled with. Secret agents of the minister approached them with a demand for money — 50,000 pounds sterling for private account, and a loan to the government. Repelling these shameful suggestions with indignation, the envoys sent Talleyrand an elaborate paper, prepared by Marshall, which set forth with great precision and force of argument the views and requirements of the United States, and their earnest desire for maintaining friendly relations with France. But it availed nothing. Pinckney and Marshall, who were Federalists, were ordered to leave the territories of the republic, while Gerry, as a Republican, was allowed to remain. The news of these events was received in this country with the deepest indignation. “History will scarcely furnish the example of a nation, not absolutely degraded, which has experienced from a foreign power such open contumely and undisguised insult as were on this occasion suffered by the United States, in the persons of their ministers,” wrote Marshall afterward in his “Life of Washington.”
Marshall returned to the United States in June, 1798, and was everywhere received with demonstrations of the highest respect and approval. At a public dinner given to him in Philadelphia, one of the toasts was “Millions for defence; not a cent for tribute,” which sentiment was echoed and re-echoed throughout the country. Patrick Henry wrote to a friend: “Tell Marshall I love him because he felt and acted as a republican, as an American.” In August Mr. Adams offered him a seat on the supreme bench, which had been made vacant by the death of Judge James Wilson, but he declined it, and his friend, Bushrod Washington, was appointed. In his letter to the secretary of state, declaring his intention to nominate Marshall, President Adams said: “Of the three envoys the conduct of Marshall alone has been entirely satisfactory, and ought to be marked by the most decided approbation of the public. He has raised the American people in their own esteem, and if the influence of truth and justice, reason and argument, is not lost in Europe, he has raised the consideration of the United States in that quarter of the world.” As the elections approached, Mr. Marshall was strongly urged to become a candidate for congress, consented much against his inclination, was elected in April, 1799, and served a single session. One of the most determined assaults that was made against the administration at this session was in relation to the case of Jonathan Robbins, alias Thomas Nash, who had been arrested in Charleston at the instance of the British consul, on the charge of mutiny and murder on the British frigate “Hermione,” and who, upon habeas corpus, was delivered up to the British authorities by Judge Thomas Bee, in pursuance of the requisition of the British minister upon the president, and of a letter from the secretary of state to Judge Bee advising and requesting the delivery. Resolutions censuring the president and Judge Bee were offered in the house; but Marshall, in a most elaborate and powerful speech, triumphantly refuted all the charges and assumptions of law on which the resolutions were based, and they were lost by a decided vote. This speech settled the principles that have since guided the government and the courts of the United States in extradition cases, and is still regarded as an authoritative exposition of international law on the subject of which it treats. The session lasted till 14 May, but on the 7th Marshall was nominated as secretary of war in place of James McHenry, who had resigned; and before confirmation, on the 12th, he was nominated and appointed secretary of state in place of Timothy Pickering, who had been removed. He filled this office with ability and credit during the remainder of Adams's administration. His state papers are luminous and unanswerable, especially his instructions to Rufus King, minister to Great Britain, in relation to the right of search, and other difficulties with that country.
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Chief-Justice Ellsworth having resigned his seat on the bench in November, 1800, the president, after offering the place to John Jay, who declined it, conferred the appointment on Mr. Marshall. The tradition is, that after the president had had the matter under consideration for some time, Mr. Marshall (or Gen. Marshall, as he was then called) happened one day to suggest a new name for the place, when Mr. Adams promptly said: “General Marshall, you need not give yourself any further trouble about that matter. I have made up my mind about it.” “I am happy to hear that you are relieved on the subject,” said Marshall. “May I ask whom you have fixed upon?” “Certainly,” said the president; “I have concluded to nominate a person whom it may surprise you to hear mentioned. It is a Virginia lawyer, a plain man by the name of John Marshall.” He was nominated on 20 Jan., unanimously confirmed, and presided in the court at the February term, though he was still holding the office of secretary of state. He at once took, and always maintained, a commanding position in the court, not only as its nominal but as its real head. The most important opinions, especially those on constitutional law, were pronounced by him. The thirty volumes of reports, from 1st Cranch to 9th Peters, covering a period of thirty-five years, contain the monuments of his great judicial power and learning, which are referred to as the standard authority on constitutional questions. They have imparted life and vigor not only to the constitution, but to the national body politic. It is not too much to say that for this office no other man could have been selected who was equally fitted for the task he had before him. To specify and characterize the great opinions that he delivered would be to write a treatise on American constitutional law. They must themselves stand as the monuments and proper records of his judicial history. It is reported by one of his descendants that he often said that if he was worthy of remembrance his best biography would be found in his decisions in the supreme court. Their most striking characteristics are crystalline clearness of thought, irrefragable logic, and a wide and statesman-like view of all questions of public consequence. In these respects he has had no superior in this or any other country. Some men seem to be constituted by nature to be masters of judicial analysis and insight. Such were Papinian, Sir Matthew Hale, and Lord Mansfield, each in his particular province. Such was Marshall in his. They seemed to handle judicial questions as the great Euler did mathematical ones, with giant ease. As an instance of the simplicity with which he sometimes treated great questions may be cited his reasoning on the power of the court to decide upon the constitutionality of acts of congress. It had been claimed before; but it was Marshall's iron logic that settled it beyond controversy. “It is a proposition too plain to be contested,” said he, in Marbury vs. Madison, “that the constitution controls any legislative act repugnant to it; or that the legislature may alter the constitution by an ordinary act. Between these alternatives there is no middle ground. The constitution is either a superior, paramount law, unchangeable by ordinary means, or it is on a level with ordinary legislative acts, and, like other acts, is alterable when the legislature shall please to alter it. If the former part of the alternative be true, then a legislative act contrary to the constitution is not law; if the latter part be true, then written constitutions are absurd attempts, on the part of the people, to limit a power in its own nature illimitable.”
The incidents of Marshall's life, aside from his judicial work, after he went upon the bench, are few. In 1807 he presided, with Judge Cyrus Griffin, at the great state trial of Aaron Burr, who was charged with treason and misdemeanor. Few public trials have excited greater interest than this. President Jefferson and his adherents desired Burr's conviction, but Marshall preserved the most rigid impartiality and exact justice throughout the trial, acquitting himself, as always, to the public satisfaction. In 1829 he was elected a delegate to the convention for revising the state constitution of Virginia, where he again met Madison and Monroe, who were also members, but much enfeebled by age. The chief justice did not speak often, but when he did speak, though he was seventy-four years of age, his mind was as clear and his reasoning as solid as in younger days. His deepest interest was excited in reference to the independence of the judiciary. He remained six years after this on the bench of the supreme court. In the spring of 1835 he was advised to go to Philadelphia for medical advice, and did so, but without any beneficial result, and died in that city.
In private Chief-Justice Marshall was a man of unassuming piety and amiability of temper. He was tall, plain in dress, and somewhat awkward in appearance, but had a keen black eye, and overflowed with geniality and kind feeling. He was the object of the warmest love and veneration of all his children and grandchildren. Judge Marshall published, at the request of the first president's family, who placed their records and private papers at his disposal, a “Life of Washington” (5 vols., Philadelphia, 1804-'7), of which the first volume was afterward issued separately as “A History of the American Colonies” (1824). The whole was subsequently revised and condensed (2 vols., 1832). In this work he defended the policy of Washington's administration against the arguments and detractions of the Republicans. A selection from his decisions has been published, entitled “The Writings of John Marshall, late Chief Justice of the United States, upon the Federal Constitution” (Boston, 1839), under the supervision of Justice Joseph Story. His life has been written by George Van Santvoord, in his “Sketches of the Chief Justices” (New York, 1854); and by Henry Flanders, in his “Lives and Times of the Chief Justices” (2d series, Philadelphia, 1858). See also “Eulogy on the Life and Character of Marshall,” by Horace Binney (Philadelphia, 1835); “Discourse upon the Life, Character, and Services of John Marshall,” in Joseph Story's “Miscellaneous Writings” (Boston, 1852); “Chief-Justice Marshall and the Constitutional Law of his Time,” an address by Edward J. Phelps (1879); and “John Marshall,” by Allan B. Magruder (Boston, 1885). — Another son of the second Thomas, Thomas, soldier, b. in Fauquier county, Va., 27 Oct., 1761; d. in Mason county, Ky., 19 March, 1817, served in the Revolution, and attained the rank of captain. He settled in Kentucky in 1790, and was an active member of the convention that formed the second constitution of the state in 1799. — Another son, James Markham, lawyer, b. in Fauquier county, Va., 12 March, 1764; d. there, 26 April, 1848, was educated at home, and when fifteen years of age entered the Revolutionary army as a private, becoming a lieutenant in Alexander Hamilton's regiment. He went to Kentucky with his father in 1785 and bore a conspicuous part in the discussions concerning the “Spanish conspiracy.” His statement that Gardoqui, the Spanish minister at Washington, had been in communication with John Brown looking to the withdrawal of Kentucky from the United States, was bitterly denounced by James Brown, afterward minister to France, which led to a challenge from Marshall, but the duel was prevented after the parties reached the ground. He returned to Virginia in 1795, and soon afterward married Hester, daughter of Robert Morris, the financier of the Revolution. Mr. Marshall was the commercial agent of New York, Boston, and Charleston in France during the reign of terror, and was employed by Washington as the agent of the United States to negotiate for the release of Lafayette, who was then a prisoner in Austria. While in England he negotiated for the purchase of the Fairfax estates in the northern neck of Virginia, and he and his brother John received all the lands in “Leeds Manor,” where their posterity continue to reside. The last night of the administration of John Adams, Mr. Marshall was appointed one of the “midnight judges,” but was soon legislated out of office by the Republicans. — Another son, Alexander Keith, lawyer, b. in Fauquier county, Va., in 1770; d. in Mason county, Ky., 7 Feb., 1825, received a classical education from private tutors, and became one of the ablest pioneer lawyers of his day. He represented Mason county in the legislature from 1797 till 1800, had an active participation in the discussions of the Burr conspiracy in 1806, was for years clerk of the court of appeals, and in 1818 was appointed reporter of that court. He edited “Decisions of the Court of Appeals of Kentucky, 1817-'21” (3 vols., Washington, 1819-'26). — Another son, Louis, educator, b. in Fauquier county, Va., 7 Oct., 1773; d. in Buckpond, Ky., in April, 1866, was educated at home, studied medicine in Edinburgh, and spent several years in Paris, participating in the attack upon the Bastile. He was arrested during the reign of terror and condemned to death, but was rescued by the intervention of his elder brothers. He attained note as a physician, but his taste for literature and languages caused him to abandon his profession, and he then established an academy at Woodford. He was president of Washington college, Va., in 1838, and afterward of Transylvania university, Ky. Dr. Marshall was regarded by many as superior in native talent to the chief justice, his brother, but his eccentricities limited his influence. — The third Thomas's son, Thomas, soldier, b. in Mason county, Ky., 13 April, 1793; d. in Lewis county, Ky., 28 March, 1853, was well educated. He was severely wounded in a political duel with Charles S. Mitchell in 1812, served as a lieutenant in the war of that year, and was in the legislature several times between 1817 and 1844, serving one term as speaker of that body. He was commissioned by President Polk a brigadier-general of volunteers in the Mexican war, and commanded the Kentucky brigade under Gen. John E. Wool. In consequence of disagreements with that officer, Marshall was left with only a part of his brigade to guard Rineonada pass and to drill raw recruits. He received orders to march for Buena Vista, cut his way through the forces of Gen. Minon, but reached the field after the victory had been won. Gen. Marshall, in conjunction with Gen. Worth, preferred the charges against Gen. Winfield Scott which led to a court of inquiry on that officer's conduct. After his return to Kentucky he was murdered by a tenant at his home in Lewis county. He was originally a Federalist, but became an ardent Democrat. — Another son of the third Thomas, Charles Alexander, soldier, b. in Mason county, Ky., 2 May, 1809, was educated in Woodford by his uncle, Dr. Louis Marshall, and served in the legislature in 1840, 1855, and 1857. He was a determined friend of the Union, recruited the 16th Kentucky infantry in 1861, at the head of that regiment led the advance of Gen. William Nelson in his campaign in eastern Kentucky in the autumn of 1861, and bore the brunt of the fight at the battle of Ivy Creek. — Louis's son, Thomas Francis, lawyer, b. in Frankfort, Ky., 7 June, 1801; d. near Versailles, Ky., 22 Sept., 1864, was educated by private tutors, studied law under John J. Crittenden, and began practice in Versailles. He served in the legislature from 1832 till 1836, and was conspicuous in its debates. In 1833 he removed to Louisville, was defeated as an Independent candidate for congress, returned to Versailles in 1837, and again served in the legislature in 1838-'9, resisting the repeal of the law of 1833 which prohibited the importation of slaves into Kentucky. His reports on the judiciary, reviewing existing defects in that department of state polity and urging its entire independence, and upon banks, are state papers of great ability. He was finally elected to congress as a Whig, serving from 31 May, 1841, till 3 March, 1843, and during his term moved a series of resolutions censuring John Quincy Adams for introducing a petition for the dissolution of the Union. He opposed Clay's U. S. bank bill, and subsequently favored the annexation of Texas and the election of Polk to the presidency. In 1846 he raised a company of cavalry and served in Col. Humphrey Marshall's regiment in the Mexican war. He was a presidential elector in 1852, was defeated as a candidate for the Kentucky constitutional convention, and during its sittings edited the “Old Guard,” which he continued several months. He devoted the latter years of his life to the study of geology and history, and lectured successfully through the northern and eastern states. A collection of his writings and speeches was edited by W. L. Barre (Cincinnati, 1858). — Another son of Louis, Edward Colston, lawyer, b. in Woodford, Ky., in 1820, was educated at Washington college, Va., Central college, and Transylvania, and practised law in Nicholasville and Cincinnati. In 1847 he was made 1st lieutenant of U. S. infantry, served in the Mexican war, and became captain on 6 May, 1848, but was cashiered for duelling on 22 May, 1848, and in 1849 went to California, where he sat in the legislature, and was elected to congress as a Democrat, serving from 1 Dec., 1851, till 3 March, 1853. In 1856 he returned to Kentucky, where he attained note as a lawyer and orator. In 1878 he returned to California and was elected attorney-general of that state. — The second Thomas's great-grandson, Charles, lawyer, b. in Warrenton, Va., 3 Oct., 1830, is the son of Alexander John, a lawyer of Virginia. He was graduated in 1849 at the University of Virginia, was professor of mathematics from 1849 till 1852 in the University of Indiana. Afterward he practised law in Baltimore, and upon the secession of Virginia entered the Confederate army and served on the staff of his kinsman, Gen. Robert E. Lee, as assistant adjutant- and inspector-general, until the close of the civil war, and was charged with the duty of preparing the official reports of the Army of Northern Virginia from 1862 till 1865, and was directed by Gen. Lee to prepare a general order, embodying his farewell address to his army, dated 10 April, 1865. He now (1888) practises law in Baltimore. He was requested by Gen. Lee's family to prepare a biography of him, which work is practically ready for publication. — The second Thomas's brother, William, clergyman, b. in Washington parish, Westmoreland co., Va., in 1735; d. near Eminence, Shelby co., Ky., in 1809, removed to Fauquier county, Va., in 1752, became a Baptist clergyman, and, owing to his zealous preaching and influence over the masses, was arrested by the enemies of his sect. In 1780 he removed to Kentucky and established in Henry county the Fox river church. — His son, Martin, lawyer, b. in Fauquier county, Va., 11 Sept., 1777; d. in Augusta, Ky., 19 Sept., 1853, studied law under his cousin, Thomas Marshall, and removed to Kentucky in 1804. He served in the legislature, and had a large law practice in northern Kentucky and Ohio. He resembled his cousin, the chief justice, in appearance and intellect. He married Matilda, daughter of Capt. Nicholas Taliaferro, a Revolutionary officer of Virginia. — Their son, William Champe, lawyer, b. in Augusta, Ky., 9 Aug., 1807; d. there, 2 May, 1873, studied law under his father, and served in the Kentucky legislature for many years. He was a member of the State constitutional convention of 1850, and was commonwealth attorney for Bracken county. He was a strong Whig and a brilliant and popular orator. — Another son, Nicholas Taliaferro, physician, b. in Augusta, Ky., 1 March, 1810; d. in Minerva, Ky., 7 June, 1858, was graduated at Augusta college, and received his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1853. He practised in Washington, Ky., and in Cincinnati, where he was elected professor in the Ohio medical college. — Another son, Thomas Alexander, jurist, b. in Augusta, Ky., 29 March, 1812, was graduated at Augusta college, studied law under his father, and settled in Vicksburg, Miss., where he became eminent in his profession. He was judge of the Vicksburg circuit court, and a publisher and editor of “Swedes and Marshall's Reports of the Supreme Court of Mississippi” (Vicksburg, 1857). — Another son, Thornton Francis, lawyer, b. in Augusta. Ky., 19 July, 1819, was graduated at Augusta college, studied law under his father, and served in the state senate. He was at first a Whig, but became a Democrat, and gave the decisive vote in 1860 for the support of the Union. He was presidential elector on the McClellan ticket in 1864, and has since been a successful lawyer in Kentucky. —
The second Thomas's nephew, Humphrey, statesman, b. in Westmoreland county, Va., in 1756; d. near Frankfort, Ky., 1 July, 1841, was the son of John. He received no education, and entered the Revolutionary army, in which he became captain. He removed to Kentucky in 1780 and married his cousin, the daughter of Col. Thomas Marshall, who had taught him to read. In 1787 he was a delegate to the Danville convention to consider the question of separation from Virginia, opposing the independence of Kentucky, and taking an active part in exposing the project for an alliance with Spain. He was also a delegate to the Virginia convention that ratified the constitution of the United States, and to him was largely due the conversion of a large majority that opposed its adoption. In 1793 he was a member of the general assembly, and opposed the plans for the enlistment of troops in Kentucky, under Gen. George Rogers Clarke, to attack the Spanish settlements at the mouth of the Mississippi. He was then elected to the U. S. senate as a Federalist, serving from 7 Dec., 1795, till 3 March, 1801, voting for the conditional ratification of the treaty that had been negotiated by John Jay with Great Britain, and opposing alliances with any foreign power. In 1806 he took an active part in denouncing and thwarting the plots of Aaron Burr and his coadjutors. The published communications that led to the legislative inquiry into the conduct of Judge Sebastian, establishing the fact that he had for years been the paid pensioner of Spain, and compelling his resignation from the bench of the court of appeals, were mainly the products of his pen. He served again in the legislature in 1808-'9, and a dispute with Henry Clay resulted in a duel, 19 Jan., 1809, in which Mr. Clay was wounded. Mr. Marshall was the author of a “History of Kentucky,” which is rather a defence of himself than a record of the events of the period (1812; enlarged ed., 2 vols., Frankfort, 1824). — Humphrey's son, John Jay, jurist, b. in Woodford county, Ky., 4 Aug., 1785; d. in Louisville, Ky., in June, 1846, was graduated at Princeton in 1806, studied law under his father, and served in the legislature for many years. From 1829 till 1833 he was reporter of the court of appeals, and from 1836 till his death he was judge of the circuit court of Louisville. In the financial crisis of 1837 he lost his property through the generous support that he gave to his friends. He published “Reports of Cases at Law and Equity in the Court of Appeals of Kentucky” (7 vols., Frankfort, 1831-'4). — Another son of Humphrey, Thomas Alexander, jurist, b. in Woodford county, Ky., 15 Jan., 1794; d. in Louisville, Ky., 17 April, 1871, was graduated at Yale in 1815, studied law, and practised in Frankfort, Ky. In 1819 he removed to Paris, Ky. He served in the legislature in 1827-'8, and was then elected a representative to congress as a Whig, serving from 5 Dec., 1831, till 3 March, 1835. He was judge of the court of appeals from 1835 till 1856, professor in the law-school of Transylvania from 1836 till 1849, and chief justice of the court of appeals in 1866-'7. Yale gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1866. — John Jay's son, Humphrey, soldier, b. in Frankfort, Ky., 13 Jan., 1812; d. in Louisville, Ky., 28 March, 1872, was graduated at the U. S. military academy in 1832, assigned to the mounted rangers, and served on the Black Hawk expedition. He resigned on 30 April, 1833, studied law, and practised in Frankfort and Louisville. He became captain in the Kentucky militia in 1836, major in 1838, and lieutenant-colonel in 1841. In 1836 he raised a company of volunteers and marched to defend the Texas frontier against the Indians, but his force disbanded on hearing of Gen. Houston's victory at San Jacinto. He became colonel of the 1st Kentucky volunteer cavalry, 9 June, 1846, served in the war with Mexico, won great distinction at the Battle of Buena Vista, and afterward retired to his farm in Henry county, Ky. He was subsequently elected to congress as a Whig, serving from 3 Dec., 1849, till 4 Aug., 1852, and supported Clay's compromise measures. From 1852 till 1854 he was U. S. minister to China, and on his return he was elected to congress from Kentucky as an American, serving from 3 Dec., 1855, till 3 March, 1859. In 1856 he was a member of the National American council in New York city, where he was instrumental in abolishing all secrecy in the political organization of his party. In 1860 he canvassed Kentucky for John C. Breckinridge, and he afterward recruited in that state a large body of men for the Confederate army, in which he accepted a commission as brigadier-general. He was placed in command of the Army of Eastern Kentucky, with which it was designed to invade the state through the mountain-passes. In January, 1862, he fought the battle of Middle Creek, in Floyd county, with Gen. James A. Garfield (q. v.). In May, 1862, Gen. Marshall surprised Gen. Jacob D. Cox at Princeton, Va., the result of the action being the relief of the Lynchburg and Knoxville railroad, for which service he received the thanks of Gen. Lee. He resigned his commission soon afterward, practised law in Richmond, and was elected to the Confederate congress, serving on the committee on military affairs. Subsequently he removed to Louisville, Ky., and acquired a large law-practice. He was one of the first Confederates whose disabilities were removed by congress. — The second Humphrey's daughter, Nelly Nichol, author, b. in Louisville, Ky., 8 May, 1845; d. in Washington, D. C., 19 April, 1898. She married, in 1871, Col. John J. McAfee, of the Confederate army. In addition to numerous poems, she has published novels entitled “Eleanor Morton, or Life in Dixie” (New York, 1865); “Sodom Apples” (1866); “Fireside Gleanings” (Chicago, 1866); “As by Fire” (New York, 1869); “Wearing the Cross” (Cincinnati, 1868); “Passion, or Bartered and Sold” (Louisville, 1876); and “A Criminal through Love” (1882); also many magazine articles.