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An Address Delivered by John A. Shauck, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio, Before the Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus,

Ohio, February 4th, 1901.


The beginning of the century which has just closed was approximately the beginning of the era of constitutional government, according to the American understanding of that phrase. A century ago today its development received a mighty impulse when John Marshall, by appointment from the second president, became the fourth chief justice of the United States in actual service, the fifth in appointment. The propriety of his selection for that high station was generally recognized at the time by all who were in full sympathy with the complex system of government which had been undertaken. It became more and more manifest as the thirty-five years of his service passed, each bringing him opportunities to contribute something more toward finishing and securing the great work of nation-building which had been commenced in the arduous struggle of the Revolution and advanced by the adoption of the constitution. The value of his services and the high character of his contributions toward the development of the important departments of the law upon which he left the deepest impress have so grown in appreciation during the sixty-five years which have passed since his death, that his appointment is now recognized as the principal ground of public gratitude to a president whose administration was characterized throughout by intelligence and patriotism. His mastery of the principles of constitutional and international law, and his ability to apply them accurately, do not quite cease to appear phenomenal, even

after the most careful study of his character, his natural endowments and his appropriate preparation. .

His birth was twenty years before the Declaration of Independence, and somewhat nearer the beginning of the armed conflict between Great Britain and the American colonies. His education was the best available where he lived, embracing English, mathematics, history, more than the rudiments of Latin, and a profound knowledge of the En. glish classics. He began the study of law at the age of eighteen years, but had made little progress when Lexington proclaimed that the controversy between England and the colonies had reached its last and most dramatic stage. He had studied carefully the merits of the controversy to the conclusion that the aggressions of England justified the colonies in resisting to the extreme of war. With respect to the inheritance of moral qualities one may be an heir of the living. At the age of nineteen years he entered the conflict as a lieutenant in a Virginia regiment in which his father was a field officer.

After the engagement at Great Bridge, where a patriot victory drove the royal governor to the King's fleet, he joined the army in the north. He tasted victory with Wayne at Stony Point and with Washington at Monmouth. He was tested in the reverses at Brandywine and Germantown. He was disciplined in the gloom and the sufferings of Valley Forge. Notwithstanding his youth, he was distinguished among the officers of

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