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deed, strikes us as the most remarkable in his whole character, even more than his splendid talents, is the entire consistency of his public life and principles. There is nothing in either which calls for apology or concealment. Ambition has never seduced him from his principles, nor popular clamor deterred him from the strict performance of duty. Amid the extravagancies of party spirit, he has stood with a calm and steady inflexibility; neither bending to the pressure of adversity, nor bounding with the elasticity of success. He has lived as such a man should live (and yet, how few deserve the commendation !), by and with his principles. Whatever changes of opinion have occurred, in the course of his long life, have been gradual and slow; the results of genius acting upon larger materials, and of judgment matured by the lessons of experience. If we were tempted to say, in one word, what it was in which he chiefly excelled other men, we should say in wisdom; in the union of that virtue, which has ripened under the hardy discipline of principles, with that knowledge, which has constantly sifted and refined its old treasures, and as constantly gathered new.”
“But, interesting as it is to contemplate such a man in his public character and official functions, there are those who dwell with far more delight upon his private and domestic qualities. There are few great men, to whom one is brought near, however dazzling may be their talents or actions, who are not thereby painfully diminished in the estimate of those who approach them. The mist of distance sometimes gives a looming size to their character; but more often conceals its defects. To be amiable, as well as great; to be kind, gentle, simple, modest and social, and at the same time to possess the rarest endowments of mind, and the warmest affections, is a union of qualities which the fancy may fondly portray, but the sober realities of life rarely establish. Yet it may be affirmed by those who have had the privilege of intimacy with Mr. Chief Justice Marshall, that he rises, rather than falls, with the nearest survey; and that in the domestic circle he is exactly what a wife, a child, a brother and a friend would most desire. In that magical circle, admiration of his talents is forgotten in the indulgence of those affections and sensibilities which are awakened only to be gratified."
Marshall died on the sixth of July, 1835. In the previous month, Story, anticipating his end, wrote of him in most expressive terms: “I shall never see his like again! His gentleness, his affectionateness, his glorious virtues, his unblemished life, his exalted talents, leave him without a rival or a peer.”
As these expressions cover alike personal traits and judicial attainments and powers, we will not venture to touch with our brush this complete portrait, painted by the master hand; but we will briefly point out the permanency of the victory which Marshall won.
As we have already suggested, his struggle was against Jeffersonianism; and here we will define what we mean by Jeffersonianism for the purpose of this address. We lay aside those fictitious issues, made through misunderstandings or misapprehensions of the position of the Constitutionalists, including Washington and Marshall. We also lay aside Jefferson's enormous contributions to the general leavening of the lump, as to which nothing distinctly Jeffersonian remains, and as to which the initiatory movements, as usually happens, were like the flood which precedes the visible turning of the tide; so that what is added by this individual or that one is not
computable. We limit our definition to that class of theories which were peculiar to the Virginia cabal, and which found expression in the Kentucky Resolutions, and in the action of the Court of Appeals of Virginia, defying the mandate of the Supreme Court of the United States. All these, so far as the Federal courts are concerned, were, in effect, crushed in 1816, under the judicial presidency of Marshall, in the famous judgment in Martin against Hunter. This Jeffersonianism was, indeed, nullification. In 1822, Story, though he began as a Jeffersonian Republican, writes: “Mr. Jefferson stands at the head of the enemy of the Judiciary, and I doubt not will leave behind him a numerous progeny bred in the same school.” Jefferson confessed this himself in his letter to Ritchie, wherein he wrote: “The judiciary of the United States is a subtle corps of sappers and miners, constantly working underground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric." “An opinion is huddled up in conclave, perhaps by a majority of one, delivered as if unanimous, and with the silent acquiescence of lazy and timid associates, by a crafty chief judge who sophisticates the law to his mind by the turn of his own reasoning.”
Jefferson's hostility betrayed Marshall into his only unjudicial act in Marbury against Madison, where the court went as far beyond its jurisdiction as it afterwards did in the case of Dred Scott. Of this, McMaster, in his History of the People of the United States, says: “The Court and the President were at war.
The issue was promptly accepted, and Chief Justice Marshall hurled back a defiance from the Supreme Bench. The opportunity for this defiance was afforded by the famous case of Marbury against Madison.” “When Jefferson read the decision he was more incensed against the Court than ever. The bold language in which the Chief Justice had defined the Executive power, had set forth the Executive duties, had accused the President of violating a vested legal right, above all, the unusual way in which the decision had been made, could mean nothing else than defiance.” “Jefferson justly felt that John Marshall had
" openly defied him. His friends shared this feeling, and went forward more eagerly than ever in their new attack on the last remnant of Federal power.”
To see is to believe; and so Henry Adams, in describing the scene when Marshall administered the oath of office to Jefferson at his first inauguration, brings out the issues between them in the sharpest lines: “In this first appearance of John Marshall as Chief Justice to administer the oath of office lay the dramatic climax of the inauguration. The retiring President, acting for what he supposed to be the best interests of the country, by one of his last acts of power, deliberately intended to perpetuate the principles of his administration, placed at the head of the judiciary, for life, a man as obnoxious to Jefferson as the bitterest New England Calvinist could have been; for he belonged to that class of conservative Virginians whose devotion to Washington, and whose education in the common law, caused them to hold Jef. ferson and his theories in antipathy. The new President and his two Secretaries were political philanthropists, bent on restricting the powers of the national government in the interests of human•liberty. The Chief Justice, a man who in grasp of mind and steadiness of purpose had no superior, perhaps no equal, was bent on enlarging the powers of government in the interests of justice and nationality. As they stood face to face on this threshold
of their power, each could foresee that the contest between them would end only with life.”
But Jeffersonianism, as it came at issue with Marshall, died before the close of Jefferson's first administration. Its coffin was made by Jackson in his struggle against Calhoun, and it was buried in the Civil War, while Marshall's work endures to the day of this one' hundredth anniversary. Jefferson had both the sword and the
purse, while Marshall had neither. Marshall could appeal only to the sober thought of the country, commencing his appeals at a period when the Federal courts were attacked by a fierce and continued tempest, sweeping over the hills and through the valleys with a volume and persistency never since equaled. Nevertheless, McMaster writes of Jefferson's re-election, when the Federalists secured but fourteen electoral votes: “The great mass of the men who, in 1800, voted for Adams, could in 1804 see no reason whatever for voting against Jefferson. Scarcely a Federal institution was missed. Not a Federal principle had been condemned. They saw the debt, the bank, the navy still preserved; they saw a broad construction of the Constitution, a strong government exercising the inherent powers of sovereignty, paying small regard to the rights of States, and growing more and more national day by day, and they gave it a hearty support, as a government administered on the principles for which, ever since the Constitution was in force, they had contended."
This was the demonstration of an early reaction in favor of the permanent acknowledgment of the constitutional principles maintained by Marshall, whose power and success in perpetuating them we formally recognize to-day. During the century, Europe has been constitutionally revolutionized, and the kaleidoscope of its map