Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Marshall, John

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MARSHALL, JOHN, an American jurist; born in Germantown, Va., Sept. 24, 1755. He was educated at home; studied law; was an officer in the Colonial army from 1775 to 1779, where he won distinction, especially on courts-martial, in which he acted frequently as judge-advocate. In 1781 he resigned, and entered on the practice of law. He was elected to the Virginia Legislature, and in 1788 to the Virginia convention that ratified the United States Constitution, where he shared with James Madison the work of influencing its adoption. He went as envoy to France in 1798, but was superseded on account of his Federalistic views. In 1799 he entered Congress; refused appointment as Secretary of War. In 1800 took office as Secretary of State. In 1801 he was nominated chief-justice of the United States by President John Adams, and confirmed unanimously by the Senate. This office he held 34 years, during which his decisions on constitutional questions established precedents in the interpretation of the Constitution that have been accepted ever since. He died in Philadelphia, July 6, 1835.