This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 received instruction in the classics from the same teacher. Young Marshall diligently pursued his studies under the eye of his father, and was never sent to a college or university. At twenty he went to Virginia to enter into a thorough study of history as the basis of jurisprudence, under the guidance of his uncle, James Marshall, a recluse student of many accomplishments and vast and varied erudition. He studied there for two years with unwearied industry, and returned to his father's house where he pursued the course of reading marked out for him by his uncle till he lost his health and was utterly prostrated by disease superinduced, it was thought, by intense application to his books. When he had regained his health and strength, he eagerly commenced the study of law in the office of that great lawyer and matchless orator, the Hon. John J. Crittenden. At twenty-seven years of age he was admitted to the bar, and immediately commenced the practice of his profession in the town of Versailles, in the county of Woodford. In 1829 he again visited Virginia, in order to attend the debates of the convention then sitting in the city of Richmond. Madison, Monroe, Chief Justice Marshall, Randolph, Leigh, Johnson, Tazwell, and a host of others of almost equal renown, all were there. For five months he listened to them with tireless attention, heard all the debates, noted the methods of conducting deliberative assemblies, and gathered many a lesson of statesmanship which served him in good stead when he came himself to play a part upon a similar arena. He often said afterwards that it was the best school he had ever attended. In Febuary, 1830, he went to Washington and witnessed ‘the battle of the giants,’ in the Senate chamber, on the celebrated Foote resolutions. He heard Hayne, and pronounced Webster's triumphant reply as equal to the world-noted ‘pleading for the Crown.’ From that time may be dated his ambition for political distinction. He studied diligently the questions of the day and entered upon their discussion before the people of his native county with the burning enthusiasm that always characterized his public utterances. Parties, at that time, in Woodford county were nearly equally divided. In 1832, after the veto of the United States Bank, Mr. Marshall sided with Henry Clay, appeared before the people as a candidate for the legislature, and was elected in a county polling twelve hundred votes, by a majority of nearly three hundred. Early in the spring of this year he made his home in Louisville, with the earnest purpose to confine himself exclusively to his profession, for he was, to use his own energetic expression, ‘steeped in poverty to the very lips.’
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.