John Marshall: Patriot, Statesman, Chief Justice

Visit the new John Marshall exhibit at the National Constitution Center, developed in partnership with the John Marshall Foundation, to explore the life of the nation’s fourth and longest-serving chief justice. Rare artifacts, personal items and priceless documents tell the story of John Marshall’s influential role in the early republic from his beginnings as a soldier during the American Revolution to his leadership that transformed the United States Supreme Court.

Exhibit Highlights Include:

  • Marshall’s traveling desk from the 1797 XYZ Affair(Preservation Virginia)
  • Marshall’s spectacles (Preservation Virginia)
  • John Adams’s nomination of Marshall as chief justice (National Archives)
  • 1831 portrait of Marshall by Henry Inman (Philadelphia Bar Association)
  • Autobiographical letter written by Marshall in 1827 (William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan)

Lead sponsors for the exhibit are: Bank of America, Cozen O’Connor, Pepper Hamilton LLP, and The Philadelphia Contributionship. Additional sponsors are: Pennsylvania Bar Association and Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Commission on Judicial Independence. The National Constitution Center and The John Marshall Foundation are grateful for these sponsorships.

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Our Mission: The John Marshall Foundation exists to educate the public about the rule of law under the Constitution through the life, character, and services of America’s great chief justice.


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CHAPTER V: IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF VIRGINIA

The election of Mr. Marshall to the Virginia Convention of 1788, called to ratify or reject the Constitution proposed for the United States, was a marked tribute to his abilities on the part of the people of Henrico County, then comprising the city of Richmond, and was also striking evidence of his great personal popularity … Read More

CHAPTER IV: IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE

At the session of 1782 Mr. Marshall took his seat in the General Assembly of Virginia as a member from the county of Fauquier. He was then twenty-seven years of age, already in the front rank of his profession as a lawyer, but as yet without any experience in political affairs. His stirring, active life … Read More

CHAPTER III: AT THE BAR

In 1780–81 Marshall was admitted to the bar and entered on the practice of law in Fauquier County. With his fine abilities, his high character, his family antecedents, and local surroundings in his native county, it is not surprising that his success was assured at once. He was spared the customary ordeal of climbing upward … Read More

CHAPTER II: MILITARY SERVICE

John Marshall was not yet twenty years of age when he enrolled himself in a volunteer company, which had been formed mainly by his efforts. His attention seems to have been wholly given to perfecting himself in the necessary drill and equipment for efficient military service in the field. The zeal and ardor of the … Read More

CHAPTER I: YOUTH

John Marshall was born on the 24th day of September in the year 1755, at Germantown, a roadside village in what was then the frontier county of Fauquier in the colony of Virginia; the place is now known as Midland, a station on the Virginia Midland Railroad. Attaining his majority in 1776, he entered active … Read More

Introduction to 2017 Edition

John Marshall ranks in the all-time top three of American nation builders. George Washington is number one. He was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” [1] Abraham Lincoln is number two. The American people North and South fought our nation’s worst war over many things. But they … Read More

The Madeira Society: A Toast To John Marshall

In November, Madeira Society members gathered at Tuckahoe Plantation for food, fellowship, and of course, Madeira. Tad Thompson, JMF Board Member and Tuckahoe owner, offered a history of the house, followed by Judge Roger Gregory, also a JMF Board Member, who introduced William & Mary President Taylor Reveley, keynote speaker. In his talk, Reveley pondered … Read More

The Great Chief Justice to be Featured in Educational Documentary

The John Marshall Foundation is working with the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) to produce a video titled “I Was the First. You Can Be a Lawyer, Too!” a web-based documentary designed to feature first-generation lawyers. The JMF has been asked to tell the story of John Marshall as a prime example of a first-generation … Read More

JMF Receives Theater Grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation

The JMF is pleas ed to announce a generous grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation to write and produce a play about John Marshall’s role as Chief Justice presiding over the Aaron Burr treason trial. Look out, Hamilton! David L. Robbins, New York Times best-selling author and award-winning playwright, is writing … Read More

Message from the President

Dear Marshall Friends and Family, The strategic planning effort started last fall under the steady and able guidance of Bryan & Jordan Consulting continues in 2017. A preliminary plan outlines a working vision statement that reflects an exciting broadening of scope and impact: “By 2026, the John Marshall Foundation will be recognized as the national … Read More