It is impossible to speak in too high terms of the public and private worth of Chief-Justice Marshall. No man ever bore public honors more meekly; but while, from the simplicity of his manners and his kindness of heart, he endeared himself to every social circle, from his extraordinary talents, his great legal attainments, and his unsuspected integrity, he was the object of respect and confidence throughout the nation, all acknowledging, in the language of Judge Story, that "the highest judicial honors could not have fallen on any one who could have sustained them with more solid advantage to the glory or interests of the country."

Judge Marshall's published works are A Life of Washington, five volumes 8vo; The History of the American Colonies, one volume; and a work upon The Federal Constitution. His judicial decisions will ever remain a glorious monument of his learning and his wisdom.


General Washington was rather above the common size: his frame was robust, and his constitution vigorous-capable of enduring great fatigue, and requiring a considerable degree of exercise for the preservation of his health. His exterior created in the beholder the idea of strength, united with manly graceful


His manners were rather reserved than free, though they partook nothing of that dryness and sternness which accompany reserve when carried to an extreme; and on all proper occasions he could relax sufficiently to show how highly he was gratified by the charms of conversation, and the pleasures of society. His person and whole deportment exhibited an unaffected and indescribable dignity, unmingled with haughtiness, of which all who approached him were sensible; and the attachment of those who possessed his friendship, and enjoyed his intimacy, was ardent, but always respectful.

His temper was humane, benevolent, and conciliatory; but there was a quickness in his sensibility to any thing apparently offensive, which experience had taught him to watch, and to cor


In the management of his private affairs he exhibited an exact yet liberal economy. His funds were not prodigally wasted on capricious and ill-examined schemes, nor refused to beneficial

Horace Binney, Esq.; also, a well-written life in Flanders's Lives of the ChiefJustices of the United States. In the 26th vol. of the N. Am. Review is an article upon Marshall's Public Life and Services, by Judge Story; and in the 42d vol. a finished article upon his Life, Character, and Services, by G. S. Hillard, in a review of Story's admirable " Discourse." In the first volume of Kennedy's Life of William Wirt are some fine remarks upon the character of Judge Marshall, by

Mr. Wirt himself.

though costly improvements. They remained, therefore, competent to that expensive establishment which his reputation, added to a hospitable temper, had in some measure imposed upon him; and to those donations which real distress has a right to claim from opulence.

He made no pretensions to that vivacity which fascinates, or to that wit which dazzles, and frequently imposes on the understanding. More solid than brilliant, judgment, rather than genius, constituted the most prominent feature of his character.

Without making ostentatious professions of religion, he was a sincere believer in the Christian faith, and a truly devout man.

As a military man, he was brave, enterprising, and cautious. That malignity which sought to strip him of all the higher qualities of a General, has conceded to him personal courage, and a firmness of resolution which neither dangers nor difficulties could shake. But candor will allow him other great and valuable endowments. If his military course does not abound with splendid achievements, it exhibits a series of judicious measures adapted to circumstances, which probably saved his country.

In his civil administration, as in his military career, ample and repeated proofs were exhibited of that practical good sense, of that sound judgment, which is perhaps the most rare, and is certainly the most valuable quality of the human mind.

No man has ever appeared upon the theatre of public action whose integrity was more incorruptible, or whose principles were more perfectly free from the contamination of those selfish and unworthy passions which find their nourishment in the conflicts of party. Having no views which required concealment, his real and avowed motives were the same; and his whole correspondence does not furnish a single case from which even an enemy would infer that he was capable, under any circumstances, of stooping to the employment of duplicity. No truth can be uttered with more confidence than that his ends were always upright, and his means always pure. He exhibits the rare example of a politician to whom wiles were absolutely unknown, and whose professions to foreign governments, and to his own countrymen, were always sincere. In him was fully exemplified the real distinction, which forever exists, between wisdom and cunning, and the importance as well as truth of the maxim that "honesty is the best policy."

It is impossible to contemplate the great events which have occurred in the United States, under the auspices of Washington, without ascribing them, in some measure, to him. If we ask the causes of the prosperous issue of a war against the successful termination of which there were so many probabilities; of the good

which was produced, and the ill which was avoided, during an administration fated to contend with the strongest prejudices that a combination of circumstances, and of passions, could produce; of the constant favor of the great mass of his fellow-citizens, and of the confidence which, to the last moment of his life, they reposed in him; the answer, so far as these causes may be found in his character, will furnish a lesson well meriting the attention of those who are candidates for political fame.

Endowed by nature with a sound judgment, and an accurate discriminating mind, he feared not that laborious attention which made him perfectly master of those subjects, in all their relations, on which he was to decide; and this essential quality was guided by an unvarying sense of moral right, which would tolerate the employment, only, of those means that would bear the most rigid examination; by a fairness of intention which neither sought nor required disguise and by a purity of virtue which was not only untainted, but unsuspected.


THIS distinguished statesman, jurist, soldier, and financier, was born in Nevis, one of the West India Islands, on the 11th of January, 1757. At the age of sixteen he came to New York, and soon after entered Columbia College. He remained here, however, but a short time, for the stirring ante-Revolutionary events warmly excited him, and called him from those academic shades into the duties and dangers of military life. He was little more than eighteen when he joined the army as a captain of artillery, and at twenty had so attracted the attention of Washington, by his writings and eloquence in the cause of independence, that he selected him as one of his aids, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He remained in the army during the war, attached to the staff of the commander-in-chief, possessing his warm affection and entire confidence, and being consulted by him constantly on all important occasions. In 1780, he was married to the second daughter of General Schuyler. In 1782, he withdrew from public life, and devoted himself to the study of law in New York. He rose rapidly to the very front rank of the profession, and was again called into public life, by being elected by the legislature of New York to the Congress of Confederation in 1782. At the end of the session, he resumed the active duties of his profession.

But a man of such consummate abilities, eloquence, and political wisdom could not long remain in private when great national interests were at stake; and accordingly, in 1787, he was elected one of the three delegates from New York to the Convention for the formation of the Federal Constitution. His influence

1 She survived her husband for half a century, dying in the autumn of 1854, at the advanced age of ninety-five.

in this body is well and justly expressed by Guizot, who says:-" There is not one element of order, strength, or durability in the Constitution which he did not powerfully contribute to introduce, and cause to be adopted." After the adjournment of the Convention, and when the Constitution was before the legislatures of the several States for its adoption, he, in conjunction with Madison and Jay, wrote a series of papers explaining and defending the various provisions of that admirable instrument. These essays were afterwards collected and published in a volume under the name of The Federalist,' and constitute one of the most profound and lucid treatises on politics that have ever been written. The introduction and conclusion are from the pen of Hamilton, who also assumed the main discussion of the important points in respect to taxation and revenue, the army and militia, the power of the Executive, and the Judiciary.

Upon the organization of the Government, Washington showed his estimation of Hamilton by appointing him to fill what was then the most important post,— overwhelmed as we were by debt,-the office of Secretary of the Treasury. His various reports, while he filled this office, of plans for the restoration of public credit, on the protection and encouragement of manufactures, on the necessity and constitutionality of a national bank, and on the establishment of a mint, have given him the reputation of one of the first statesmen the world has ever seen.2

While Hamilton was Secretary of the Treasury,-the French Revolution being then at its height,-numerous demagogues were active in their efforts to embroil us in a foreign war. But this pure and lofty statesman not only advised the proclamation of neutrality and the mission of John Jay to England to conclude a permanent treaty with that people, but also wrote for the public prints a series of admirable papers, signed "Pacificus" and "Camillus," which had a controlling influence on the public mind, and which are still regarded as among the most profound commentaries which have appeared on the principles of international law and policy to which they had relation.

When, during the Presidency of John Adams, Washington was invited, in the event of a war with France, to the command of the national forces, he accepted on the condition that Hamilton should be second in command. What higher compliment could have been paid him?

We now come, with sadness, to the closing period of Hamilton's life. In June, 1804, that gifted but thoroughly unprincipled man, Aaron Burr, then Vice-President of the United States,3 who saw that Hamilton stood in the way of his ambitious views, and who for some time had thirsted for his life, addressed to him a letter demanding his acknowledgment or denial of certain expressions derogatory

1 Of the eighty-five numbers of The Federalist, Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 54, were written by John Jay; Nos. 10, 14, and 37 to 48 inclusive-fourteen in all-by James Madison; Nos. 19 and 20 by Hamilton and Madison; and all the rest, sixtyfour in number, by Hamilton.

2 It was in allusion to these masterly state papers that Daniel Webster, at a public dinner in New York in 1831, said, "He smote the rock of the national resources, and abundant streams of revenue gushed forth; he touched the dead corpse of the public credit, and it sprung upon its feet."

3 Burr was subsequently tried for treason in attempting to form a new republic, but was acquitted for the want of sufficient legal evidence to convict. His ambition seemed to be that of Satan :-"Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven."

to his character which he had heard that Hamilton had used. Compliance with this demand Hamilton and all his friends deemed inadmissible, and Burr sent him a challenge. Though opposed on principle to duelling, he felt that his position as a public man, and his high rank in the army of the United States, demanded its acceptance. His words, as found in a paper written the day before he went to the fatal field, are:-"The ability to be in future useful, whether in resisting mischief or effecting good in those crises in our public affairs which seem likely to happen, would probably be inseparable from a conformity with public prejudice in this particular." On the 11th of July, the parties met at Hoboken, and Hamilton fell, mortally wounded. He was taken home, and died the next day; living long enough, however, to disavow all intention of taking the life of Burr, and to declare his abhorrence of the whole transaction. Almost his last words were, "I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Next to Washington, no man in this country was ever so universally mourned. The pulpit, the bar, and the press teemed with discourses commemorative of his exalted talents and services and virtues, and every one felt that America had lost her greatest man. Said the great and pious Fisher Ames, "My soul stiffens with despair when I think what Hamilton would have been !"?


I am aware of all the objections that have been made to public banks, and that they are not without enlightened and respectable opponents. But all that has been said against them only tends to prove that, like all other good things, they are subject to abuse,

In a letter to a friend, soon after Hamilton's death, the Rev. Dr. Mason thus wrote: "The greatest statesman in the Western World-perhaps the greatest man of the age-has been cut off in the forty-eighth year of his life by the murderous arm of Vice-President Burr. The death of Hamilton has created a waste in the sphere of intellect and probity which a century will hardly fill up. He has left none like him,no second, no third, nobody to put us in mind of him. You can have no conception of such a man unless you knew him. One burst of grief and indignation assails the murderer from every corner of the continent. Political enemies vie with friends in heaping honors upon his memory."

Read Life and Works by his son, J. C. Hamilton, 7 vols.; Eulogy by Rev. John M. Mason, D.D.; Sketch of, by Fisher Ames; "North American Review," liii. 70; "American Quarterly," xv. 311. William Coleman, the editor of the "New York Evening Post," published a memorial of the occasion in "A Collection of Facts and Documents relative to the Death of General Alexander Hamilton, with Orations, Sermons, and Eulogies." A work of great interest and value has recently been published, entitled "History of the Republic of the United States of America, as traced in the Writings of Alexander Hamilton and his Contemporaries, by John C. Hamilton."

3 From a letter to Robert Morris, dated April 30, 1781, when the financial state of our country was in a most depressed condition. The letter is long, and one of consummate ability; going into details how the bank should be managed, and what checks and safeguards should be adopted to place it on an enduring foundation. This "splendid plan," as it has been called, shows Hamilton's vast reach of mind united to great skill in practical details, as much, perhaps, as any single paper that ever came from his pen.

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