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gations to you, designate the author as certainly as if his name had been affixed to the work.
It is in vain to lament, that the portrait which the author has drawn of our political and party men is, in the general, true. Lament it as we may, much as it may wound our vanity or our pride, it is still, in the main, true; and will, I fear, so remain. . In the South political prejudice is too strong to yield to any degree of merit; and the great body of the nation contains, at least appears to me to contain, too much of the same ingredient. To men who think as you and I do, the present is gloomy enough; and the future presents no cheering prospect. The struggle now maintained in every State in the Union seems to me to be of doubtful issue; but should it terminate contrary to the wishes of those who support the enormous pretentions of the Executive, should victory crown the exertions of the champions of constitutional law, what serious and lasting advantage is to be expected from this result? In the South (things may be less gloomy with you) those who support the Executive do not support the Government. They sustain the personal power of the President, but labor incessantly to impair the legitimate powers of the Government. Those who oppose the violent and rash measures of the Executive (many of them nullifiers, many of them seceders) are generally the bitter enemies of a constitutional government. Many of them are the avowed advocates of a league; and those who do not go the whole length, go great part of the way. What can we hope for in such circumstances? As far as I can judge, the Government is weakened, whatever party may prevail. Such is the impression I receive from the language of those around me.
BASIL W. DUKE
HOMAS FRANCIS MARSHALL was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, June 7, 1801. His father, Dr. Louis Marshall, a younger brother of the great Chief Justice John Marshall, was the son of Colonel Thomas Marshall of Westmoreland County, Virginia, a personal friend of George Washington. The Marshalls, an Irish family of Cavalier principles, emigrated to America in 1650, to escape Cromwellian rule, and settled in Virginia, which was then loyal to the exiled King. This Colonel Marshall, who married Mary Randolph Keith in Fauquier County, Virginia, was a Kentucky pioneer, though his eleventh child, Louis, was born in Virginia.
Louis Marshall, having chosen medicine as his profession, was educated in Edinburgh and in Paris. He was in the latter city during the most exciting days of the "Terror," and through his characteristic ardor and indiscretion narrowly escaped the guillotine. He practiced medicine successfully for many years and achieved considerable local ability both as physician and surgeon, but his best work was as a teacher. Here his skill led to his election as president of Washington College at Lexington, Virginia (1838), and later of Transylvania University at Lexington, Kentucky (1855).
In 1800 Dr. Marshall married Agatha Smith, of Frankfort, Kentucky, a lovely woman of superior mental qualities, and especially of such vivacity and grace of speech that it was often said her son inherited from her his peculiar and extraordinary power of oratory.
Mr. W. L. Barre, who edited an incomplete but reliable collection of the speeches and writings of Thomas Francis Marshall, the only one of any value which has been published, says that "his early education was conducted by his mother until his twelfth year, when he entered a grammar school and commenced a study of the dead languages. When he was about fourteen years of age, his father procured an accomplished classical scholar as teacher in his family. Our author, under his father's directions, pursued his classical studies till he was twenty years of age, and was never sent to the University or to any public college. At twenty, he was sent to Virginia to study history as the basis of jurisprudence and of moral and political philosophy. It was not the Chief Justice, but Mr. James Marshall of Frederick County, Virginia, with whom he studied, a recluse student,
and a man of great and varied erudition. He was twenty-five years of age when he commenced the study of law, under the tuition of the Honorable John J. Crittenden of Kentucky. At twenty-seven he obtained a license to practice law in the courts of Kentucky. His proclivities are always said to have been toward politics as a science, and oratory as an art. He had seen little of the world. Educated at home in the country, then sent to a secluded country place, then sickening almost to death, at last having fitted himself in the law, at least far enough to obtain a license, he settled down in the little village of Versailles. In 1829 he went to Virginia to attend the debates of the Convention then sitting in Richmond. Madison, Monroe, Chief Justice Marshall, Randolph, Leigh C. Johnson, Littleton, Tazewell, and a host of others of scarcely less renown were there. He heard them all for nearly five months, residing for the most part with the Chief Justice. This was the best school he had ever seen.”
Although his attention was directed chiefly to politics, he ranked very high as a lawyer. No member of the Kentucky Bar, among his contemporaries, was his superior in legal attainment or surpassed, if indeed equaled him, in logic and capacity for forensic debate. His popular reputation for eloquence was in a large measure acquired by his arguments in the important law-suits in which he was engaged, and in which he was opposed to very formidable antagonists. Unfortunately none of these speeches was written or reported, and tradition preserves only the effect which they produced. This is true also of his political orations, the famous "stump speeches," of which he delivered a vast number, and of his lectures, or, as he termed them, "discourses on history."
In 1832, after the veto of the United States Bank, Marshall was elected to the Legislature as a supporter of Mr. Clay. In the following spring he went to Louisville, sincerely intending, doubtless, to devote himself exclusively to his profession. But politics had for him an irresistible attraction. He twice represented Louisville in the Legislature, and in 1837 ran as an independent candidate for Congress against the nominee of the Whig party, and was of course overwhelmingly defeated. This so disgusted him that he immediately left Louisville and returned to Woodford County. The following year he ran again for the Legislature from Woodford and was elected without opposition, but was refused the seat because ineligible for lack of a full year's residence in the district. He was elected again without opposition, and also for the succeeding term.
The ablest men in the State were at that period sent to the Legislature, and during these sessions he earned extraordinary distinction in the debates upon the many important questions which were discussed in that body.
He was elected to Congress in 1841, and although his service there covered only one term it was unquestionably brilliant. Only two of Marshall's Congressional speeches were reported: one on "Public Lands" and the other on the "Resolution to Censure John Quincy Adams." To the original resolution offered by Gilmour of Virginia, Marshall had offered a more explicit and detailed substitute, looking, however, to the same end.
This Congressional episode seems to us now, after the lapse of many years and the tremendous experience of the Civil War, as almost trivial; but it excited profound interest and was deemed important then. Mr. Marshall supported his resolutions in a speech of unusual energy and ability. Mr. Adams defended his own action with equal fire, although not equal logic. No more spirited discussion, perhaps, has ever occurred upon the floor of the National House of Representatives. The range of the debate was extended much beyond the text of the resolutions. The entire sectional controversy in its existing attitude-every question at issue and every reason for altercation between the Northern and Southern States-was touched upon, with more or less emphasis, during its continuance.
Underwood of Kentucky, Botts of Virginia, and Arnold of Tennessee, all very able men, defended Mr. Adams, induced to do so doubtless more by respect for his high character and recollection of his eminent services than by any sympathy with his political opinions, or real belief that his conduct in offering the objectionable petition was not censurable. Wise of Virginia spoke with the force and animation which always characterized his utterances, but apparently more with the purpose of presenting the extreme Southern view of some of the topics introduced than with regard for the question directly involved. Marshall replied to all of them, and defended his contention with an eloquence and amplitude of historic illustration, and a convincing logic, surpassing, perhaps, any other effort of his life; and no one can read this notable debate without admitting that he had altogether the best of it.
During this session Mr. Marshall declined to act with the Whig party on several important measures. He voted against Mr. Clay's Bank Bill, and, it is said, spoke strongly against it in the House. He favored the establishment of a Bank of the United States, but objected to the proposed form of the charter. Mr. Adams agreed and voted with him in this matter. He voted against the Bankruptcy Law. In brief, he separated himself almost entirely from his party, contending, however, that he was still a Whig, but that the Whig party had forsaken its original principles and purposes. He spoke with stinging sarcasm of the administration of Mr. Tyler, and said that it might be best described when the history of the country was
written in the terms of Lindley Murray's definition of a parenthesis as "a clause of a sentence enclosed between black lines or brackets, which should be pronounced in a low tone of voice, and might be left out altogether without injuring the sense."
There can be no doubt of his sincerity any more than of his candor. Indeed, the temper of his mind inclined him always to independence in politics rather than to partisan allegiance. But he had deeply offended the great leader of his party, and he made no concealment of the fact that he cared little that he had done so. Upon his return home after the expiration of the Twenty-seventh Congress, he declined to be a candidate for a second term, and publicly announced that he would not support Mr. Clay for the Presidency. He also differed with Mr. Clay in 1844, upon the question of the annexation of Texas, insisting upon the immense value to the United States of the territory between the Sabine and the Rio Grande, and stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. In the ensuing Presidential canvass he voted for Polk. He again ran for Congress in 1845, but was beaten.
In 1846 he was elected captain of a company of volunteer cavalry, recruited for the war with Mexico, and served in that capacity for twelve months. Defeated for election to the third constitutional convention of Kentucky, in 1849, because of his opposition to the importation of slaves into the State, he used The Old Guide, a Frankfort paper he was editing, in opposition to its adoption. The editorial articles contributed to this publication are perhaps the best of his written compositions.
In 1855 he strenuously opposed the candidates of the American or "Know-Nothing" party in Kentucky and combated the proscriptive policy which they advocated, more ably, perhaps, than any other speaker in the country, with the exception of Governor Wise of Virginia.
In 1856 he went to Chicago with the purpose of permanently residing there and devoting himself to his profession. He returned to Kentucky, however, in August of that year, and having consented, at the urgent solicitation of many of his friends, to take part in the Presidential canvass then in progress, in opposition to Mr. Buchanan, was so prostrated in health by the fatigue and exposure he underwent, following, as it did upon long years of dissipation, that he never physically recovered. He married, late in life, Miss Bettie Yost of his native county; but lived only a short time with his wife, and no children were born of the marriage. He died near Versailles, in Woodford County, September 22, 1864.
Although the best of Marshall's productions are doubtless to be found in the collection of Barre, it is to be regretted that much else