John Marshall by Henry Inman.jpg

John Marshall was the 4th Chief Justice of the United States. His opinions and principles on law laid a foundation for United States constitutional law.

He remains the longest-serving Chief Justice in American history.

Full Name John James Marshall
Who Chief Justice of the United States
Birth Date September 24, 1755
Death Date July 6, 1835
Country United States
Born Midland, Virginia, USA
Died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Cause of Death old age / depression after death of spouse
Education College of William & Mary
Father Thomas Marshall
Mother Mary Isham Keith
Spouse Mary Willis Ambler

James Markham Marshall

Louis Marshall


Humphrey Marshall

Thomas Francis Marshall


Marshall was the great-great-grandson of William Randolph.

Marshall was the cousin and later brother-in-law of Humphrey Marshall.

Marshall's childhood home, an estate piece of land on which Marshall's father built a house, was owned by Richard Henry Lee, who leased it to Marshall's father.

Marshall briefly attended a boy's academy in 1769, at the age of 14, and was a classmate of James Monroe.

Edmund Randolph was an ally and colleague of Marshall.

Marshall was a friend and great admirer of George Washington, and served with him as a lieutenant and captain during the Revolutionary War. Between 1804 and 1807, he published a 5-volume biography on him. Benjamin Rush, who was later ashamed of a public scandal in which he wrote three acidic criticisms indirectly to Washington, requested that his name be removed from the incident, which Marshall complied with.

Marshall was a law student of George Wythe at the College of William & Mary.

James Madison was a colleague and friend of Marshall.

Patrick Henry was a very vocal supporter of Marshall.

In 1795, George Washington offered Marshall the post of Attorney General, which he declined. In 1796, he declined another offer to serve as minister to France. In 1797, however, he accepted a request from John Adams that he embark on a diplomatic voyage to France. But upon arrival in Paris, the French demanded enormous bribes in order to make diplomatic agreements. Despite efforts, French Foreign Minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord refused to speak to Marshall, who returned to the United States within a year. Though the mission had been a failure, Marshall's composure won him public approval and admiration.

Marshall and Thomas Jefferson were known for their clashes and bitter rivalry. Marshall made no effort to hide his disdain for Jefferson's political style, though he attempted to make this derision less personal by referring to it as "Jeffersonian government." Coincidentally, Marshall ended up marrying the daugher of a woman that Jefferson had been jilted by. As Governor of Virginia at the time, Jefferson himself was forced to sign the marriage license, grudgingly. During the Burr Trial in 1807, Jefferson was staunchly in favor of a conviction, but Marshall turned the trial around on grounds that the charge of "treason" was inaccurate. Burr was not convicted, deepening the feud between Jefferson and Marshall. Funnily, Jefferson and Marshall were distantly related.

In 1807, Marshall presided over the infamous trial of Aaron Burr.

Marshall and his family personally entertained the Marquis de Lafeyette during his visit to Richmond in 1824. Though Lafeyette was a known atheist, Marshall took him to a church that he had recently had built.

George Marshall was a distant relative and descendant of Marshall.


Midland, Virginia, USA - Born here, 1755. Lived here, 1755 - 1763.

Markham, Virginia, USA - Grew up here, 1763 - 1773.

Washington D.C., USA - Attended school here, 1769.

Delaplane, Virginia, USA - Lived here, 1773 - 1775.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - Served in the army here, 1777. Died here, 1835.

Williamsburg, Virginia, USA - Attended university here, 1780 - 1782.

Richmond, Virginia, USA - Lived here, 1782 - 1799 and 1810 - 1835.

Washington D.C., USA - Lived here, 1799 - see.

Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - Was often here, 1800's - 1820's.

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