Marshall House Museum – rich in family lore

John Marshall’s personal desk in the Great Hall.


Marshall's reading chair in the master bedroom.

Family dining room with Marshall portrait above the fireplace.

Title page of Marshall’s personal copy of John Locke’s Essays, with Marshall signature at top.


Title page of Marshall’s copy of his Life of Washington.

Photographs by Louis Malon and provided through the courtesy of the
John Marshall House Museum.

Marshall, John. The Life of George Washington, Commander in Chief of the American Forces…Philadelphia, 1805-07. Five octavo text volumes in contemporary marbled boards. Second edition of Marshall’s classic life of Washington, issued within one year of the first edition. Complete with scarce atlas volume containing ten engraved maps (most double-page). This monumental work discusses in detail Washington’s life, both during and before his activity in American politics. Marshall’s Life “does not lack even to the present-day reader, flashes of insight especially in its treatment of the period immediately preceding the Convention of 1787. Furthermore, this part of the work stands in an important relation to Marshall’s own later labors. Its preparation undoubtedly contributed not a little to that confidence, which his famous constitutional opinions breathe of his knowledge of the intentions of the framers of the Constitution, as well as to his resolution that these should prevail” (DAB VI:321). Sabin calls this edition, along with the first English, “The only complete editions of this indispensable work, the Colonial History being omitted in the later American editions. ‘After the able, accurate, and comprehensive work of Chief Justice Marshall, it would be presumptuous to attempt a historical biography of Washington’” (Sabin 44788). With engraved frontispiece portrait of Washington. Howes M317. Occasional light foxing to text volumes, bindings in excellent condition. Early owner signature in atlas, bound without 22-page subscribers list. Marginal faint dampstainning to maps, except map 10 (probably from a different copy; with light offsetting absent in other maps). Contemporary bindings very handsome. $4500.

From Bauman Rare Books, Catalogue “Loo-Choo,” p. 84. Used with permission of Bauman Rare books, who kindly provided the splendid illustration of Marshall’s Life of George Washington, from the same catalogue source (p. 82). For information on this book, which was still available at press time, telephone 800/99-BAUMAN.

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