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of the Chief Justice. When this case was decided, it accorded with decisions which affected the State of Maryland as well as the State of New Hampshire. It was the interpretation it gave which carried other States along with it. We had come to the time when men agreeing with John Adams and his school would have given one interpretation, and when men agreeing with Thomas Jefferson would have given another.
John Marshall decided the Dartmouth College case in keeping with that interpretation of the Constitution which from first to last was dominant in his mind. When the case reached this high issue, both the State and the college accepted it in good faith, and yet each learned, I think, a lesson from it. Certainly the college has learned the lesson, that it belongs to the State, and exists for the State in all its higher interests, and the State has learned more and more that it can do no better for itself than to build up education on the broad basis which the college affords as preserved in its original integrity.
You will pardon me, gentlemen, one word as I close. It is a word I think you will allow me to say in honest pride. It has been the singular fortune of Dartmouth College, not only in the personality of its graduates, but in its own corporate personality, to walk among the high places of men. Before it had found a shelter for its own home, it had free access to the Royal Chamber of Great Britain, and bore back for its name a name held in equal honor in the mother country and in the colonies. After the War of the Revolution, it was introduced by a great representative into the Supreme Court of the United States, where in its own corporate personality it stood unabashed and awaited the verdict which was to decide its destiny. Dartmouth College stands a debtor to men
of high distinction and to many unknown men, but among all men to whom it owes a debt of gratitude, I know of none to whom it owes a deeper debt of gratitude than to John Marshall, whose voice proclaimed throughout the length and breadth of the land in unanswerable terms, the security, the freedom, and the enduring life of Dartmouth College.
Mr. Charles H. Burns, speaking of Marshall as "The Chief Justice," in the course of his remarks said:
The chief wealth of civilized nations is the great and noble men and women they produce. The memory and the record of the lives of such people are inheritances of surpassing and enduring value. They are legacies that do not depreciate in the lapse of time. If it were possible to find a country that could not point to any truly great characters it had produced, it would have but little attraction for the human race. Whatever of material wealth it might contain would be transplanted to climes more fortunate in producing high talent and exalted char
The decisions of Chief Justice Marshall, which are many and varied, comprehending almost the entire sweep of the Constitution, have become no less famous and will be no less enduring than the instrument itself. Mr. Phelps has admirably said: "Time has demonstrated their wis dom. They have remained unchanged, unquestioned, unchallenged. All the subsequent labors of that high tribunal on the subject of constitutional law have been founded on, and have at least professed and attempted to follow, them. There they remain. They will always remain. They will stand as long as the Constitution stands; and if that should perish, they would still remain to display
to the world the principles upon which it rose, and by the disregard of which it fell."
Marshall was not only a commanding spirit in the legislative assemblies of Virginia, but was acknowledged to be the ablest constitutional lawyer in Congress, while he was a member of that body. He at once stepped to the front, and when he had discussed any measure his treatment was so exhaustive and conclusive that it was seldom, if ever, attacked.
That he was a diplomat of great wisdom, and learned in the law of nations, is established beyond all question by the State papers, of which he was the author, and which now form a part of the treasures of the govern
I know of no character whose career as a lawyer can be studied with greater profit by the younger members of the bar than that of John Marshall. He possessed all of the characteristics requisite to professional success — industry, integrity, perseverance, attention to details, persuasive powers, and a comprehensive knowledge of the law.
Of Marshall as "The Statesman," Mr. Oliver E. Branch said, in part:
The period which included the official, civil career of John Marshall was, in many ways, the most critical in the history of the American people. The seven years of the Revolution were, indeed, full of perils to the high hopes and splendid dreams of the fierce sons of freedom; and in that desperate conflict it often seemed as though the cause of the colonies was moving to imminent and disastrous collapse. And yet, in the darkest night of defeat, and above the murky clouds of disaster, which so
often and so long hung menacing over the patriot armies, there shone the unquenchable flame of that "spirit of liberty," to the recognition of whose just claims the mighty voices of Chatham and Burke vainly admonished the ministry and king; and which evermore presaged the final triumph of the patriotic cause.
Time has vindicated the soundness of the conservative interpretation given to certain important provisions of the Constitution by John Marshall, in the decisions of the great cases which came before him, and it is not too much to say that they have contained "the saving element" in many crises of the nation's life. But they were not mere judicial decisions. They were the work and accomplishment of a great statesman who, like Milton, saw the vision "of a noble and puissant nation, rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks; and as an eagle, mewing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full midday beam." They were the decisions of a judge, whose experience and professional studies had logically and irresistibly brought to a sincere belief in the general soundness of the principles of the Federal party. As a soldier and officer under the command of Washington, he was an eye-witness to the inefficiency and structural weakness of the "Articles of Confederation;" and, at the close of the war, to their lamentable inadequacy as a form of government. And as the foreign and domestic affairs of the States, before the adoption of the Constitution, grew daily more involved and menacing, he realized the necessity, to use his own compact, expressive words, "of a government competent to its own preservation," a government "drawn from the people and depending on the people for its continuance." And in every situation.
and office to which he was called, whetner as a member of the Virginia Legislature, Virginia convention, member of Congress, envoy to France, Secretary of State, or Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he strove firmly and consistently towards the realization of that ideal.
Washington, Henry, Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Jay, Story, Marshall! What land or age can furnish forth such a group of noble names, wreathed about by so much of splendid fame! They are "the dead but sceptered sovereigns" of this mighty Republic, "who still rule our spirits from their urns."
"Those suns have set, O rise some other such."
Of Marshall as "A Literary Man," Mr. Charles R. Corning remarked:
Because "The Federalist" has for its motive a constitutional way of living, expressed with rhythmic balance and scholarly polish, it is none the less deserving the claim of a literary production. To reject "The Federalist" because it does not sound in the narrative of fiction is to reject "The Imitation of Christ " for the same reason. As the masterpiece of Thomas à Kempis portrays all that is elevating, passionate, and pious in religion, so the masterpiece of our American statesmen sets forth in fervent phrase the paramount principles of modern government.
When we admit that "The Federalist" is entitled to the rank of literature, and narrowness must give way and so admit it, then we shall have no difficulty in assigning to John Marshall a place among the literary figures of the republic. But Marshall is doubly entitled, for he has left not only to all ages a casket of constitutional literary