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army to Fauquier to see his parents, bringing with him some French officers, his companions, his mother made into bread a little wheat flour, the last she had, which had been saved for some such hospitable occasion, and the young children cried for some of the unwonted dainty, so that John first learned of the straits to which his family were reduced. It is added that with characteristic selfdenial he avoided eating any of the bread so that the younger children might have some. Every biography of every officer of the time bears witness to the same condition of things — scant food, no supplies, no money. The commissioned officers of the Quartermaster's Department, under so capable and so energetic a Quartermaster General as Nathanael Greene, memorialized Congress that a year's salary in the depreciated currency was scarcely sufficient to buy a suit of clothes, and even that salary was unpaid.

This was the state of affairs when Marshall came to the bar. Virginia was an agricultural State, and the wealth of the people was in their land. The land was in the condition I have already alluded to, and the troubles that arose from neglected and deserted homesteads or encroaching neighbors went inevitably into litigation. Fauquier, moreover, was a frontier county, and “land cases” from overlapping surveys, conflicting boundary lines, dubious titles, and the like, filled the dockets of the courts. To such business Marshall brought special adaptation from his knowledge of the country and the people, his practical familiarity with the questions, his clear and penetrating mind, bis untiring industry and the confidence inspired everywhere by his personal character. It was inevitable that he should come rapidly to the front of the bar.

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In 1782, at the age of twenty-seven, he was elected by his neighbors in Fauquier to the Legislature, and soon after moved to Richmond. The bar there was one of the most distinguished in the country. It was led by Patrick Henry and Edmund Randolph, and included John Wickham, James Innes, Alexander Campbell and Benjamin Botts, names which have still a national celebrity. Among these Marshall took and held an honorable position, and his practice and reputation continued to increase steadily, notwithstanding the interruptions of his public legislative duties.

He had come now to what we may call the second period of his career, to practical acquaintance with politics and legislation. The problems that confronted him were those which have most keenly tried the knowledge, the wisdom and the courage of statesmen in all ages and in every country - how, without making their burdens unbearable, to procure from a land and a people prostrated and exhausted by years of war, the means of meeting the public obligations, of preserving the public credit, and the maintenance of the government. When the sword is drawn in defense of home and liberty, men stop not to count the cost. Moreover in a brave and ener. getic people there is always a large and influential party with whom war is for its own sake unfortunately popular. The gaudium certaminis itself supplies incentive, and men are apt to throw away even the little effort to look beyond the moment. But when the fight is ended, and the exhausted combatant returns to a wasted homestead and the daily pressure of poverty on his household, then indeed comes the need of a resolute facing of the cost and the consequences. This was the situation and these the serious problems that engaged Marshall's attention from his entrance into political life. I may not stop to dwell on particulars, for I must pass on to even larger questions that were approaching. Suffice it here to say that with two short intermissions caused by his voluntary refusal of re-election, he continued in the Legislature for ten years with constantly increasing reputation, and during part of that time was also member of the Privy Council of the State, elected by the Legislature under the Constitution of 1776, to assist in the administration of government,” a sort of independent cabinet to advise and in some degree control the executive.

The years following the close of the Revolution were full of political doubt and danger and confusion. The condition I have mentioned in Virginia prevailed in all the States. The common peril from the common enemy no longer held them unquestioningly together, and under the pressure of their domestic difficulties they were becoming impatient of even the slight interference of the Central Government. Congress under the Articles of Confederation had no power of compulsion on the States or their citizens. It could not levy taxes, or enforce obedience to its laws. It represented merely a league, not a government, and its feebleness is thus forcibly summed up by Judge Story: “Congress could make contracts, but could not provide means to discharge them. They could pledge the public faith, but they could not redeem it. They could make public treaties, but every State in the Union might disregard them with impunity. They could enter into alliances, but they could not command men or money to give them vigor. They could declare war, but they could not raise troops, and their only resort was to requisitions on the States. In short, all the powers given by the Confederation which did not execute themselves without external aid were at the mere mercy of the States, and might be trampled upon at pleasure.” The pressure of these evils produced the convention which framed the Constitution of the United States, and then came the momentous question of its ratification by the States. It is difficult for us with our experience of its benefits to appreciate the depth and fervor of opposition to it. Yet in all the States there was a party who saw in it the portentous shadow of imperialism, which would ultimately crush and obliterate the States and build on their ruins a central despotism. Nor was the party small in numbers nor insignificant in abilities or patriotism. No man may question the patriotism of Patrick Henry, yet in the Virginia Convention he devoted his fiery eloquence to the opposition and he was ably supported by George Mason, who had been a member of the convention that framed the Constitution, had had great influence in molding its final form, and yet bad been so dissatisfied with it that he refused to sign it. On the other side was Edmund Randolph, who like Mason was one of the members who refused to sign the Constitution, but who, though dissatisfied, bad become convinced that it was preferable to the evils and dangers under the Confederation. With him was James Madison, a resolute supporter from the first of the Constitution which he too had helped to frame and wbich he had done so much to make known to the people in that series of papers, unrivaled in the literature of the world for masterly discussion of the principles of government, since known as the Federalist. Tbese were the leaders, and their State was the battle ground on which for a time depended the fate of the Union. Virginia was the most important of all the States. Its population was as large as that of Pennyslvania and New York combined, and included nearly one-fifth of the whole population of the thirteen States. Its geographical position was such that its refusal to enter the Union would have cut the country in two so evenly that it might almost have disputed with Pennsylvania the title of the Keystone State. Parties in it were very equally divided. Marshall was already a Federalist. His military experience, as we have from him. self, bad accustomed him to look upon the whole country as one, and it had taught him how real and how dangerous were the ills that menaced that country. His clear practical sense saw the weakness of the Confederation and made him thus early an advocate of a government strong enough to protect and maintain itself. His abiding faith in the people's patriotism, constancy and innate love of liberty deprived the spectre of imperialism of its terrors. In the community in which he lived, the opponents of the Constitution, the State-rights party, or Republicans, as they called themselves, were largely in the majority. But his neighbors knew and esteemed John Marshall, and they wanted him as their representative in the convention. But they wanted a pledge that he would vote in accordance with their views. This he refused, and at once entered the canvass with a bold and resolute announcement of his convictions and his action if elected. After a close and earnest contest he was elected. There could be no more convincing illustration of the unflinching courage and integrity of the man, and the weight and influence of his character among the people who knew him. His conduct in the convention was in accordance with his announced views. He ranged himself at once with Madison and Edmund Pendleton,

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