John Marshall: Patriot, Statesman, Chief Justice


Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 1:23pm - Sunday, December 31, 2017 - 1:23pm
525 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States

John Marshall: Patriot, Statesman, Chief Justice explores the influential career of John Marshall during the early years of a new nation. Visitors will learn about Marshall’s experience as a soldier in the American Revolution, his early career as a leading lawyer in Virginia, including his role as a key supporter of the U.S. Constitution during the Virginia ratifying convention. Marshall’s career in national politics is highlighted as well, showcasing his tenure in the House of Representatives and his service as President Adams’s secretary of state. The exhibit also traces Marshall’s constitutional legacy as our nation’s fourth chief justice. This includes landmark decisions such as Marbury v. Madison and McCulloch v. Maryland, his rivalry with President Thomas Jefferson and other Democratic-Republicans, and his efforts to forge bipartisan consensus and unanimity on the early Supreme Court.

The exhibit showcases nearly 30 historic documents and rare artifacts, including Marshall’s traveling desk from the 1797 XYZ Affair (Preservation Virginia), his spectacles (Preservation Virginia), John Adams’s nomination of Marshall as chief justice (National Archives), an 1831 portrait of Marshall by Henry Inman (Philadelphia Bar Association), and an autobiographical letter written by Marshall in 1827 (William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan).