The Life of George Washington by John Marshall, Second Edition 6-Volume Set Including Atlas

Marshall, John. The Life of George Washington, Commander in Chief of American Forces, During the War Which Established the Independence of His Country, and First President of the United States. Philadelphia: C. P. Wayne, 1805-1807.  Second edition. Five volumes and Atlas. Octavo, original period leather and cloth boards.

Offered is America's fourth Chief Justice John Marshall’s seminal biography of General and President George Washington, with engraved frontispiece portrait and the companion atlas depicting Washington’s major Revolutionary War campaigns. This is a beautiful, desirable set in period leather backed boards, with scarce atlas volume also in period leather and cloth-backed boards.

John Marshall (1755-1835) was an American politician and lawyer who became the United States’ fourth Chief Justice. Marshall stood as the longest-serving Chief Justice in the Supreme Court and is easily recognized in history texts as one of the most influential justices to serve. Marshall also served as the United States Secretary of State under President John Adams. Marshall served in the Revolutionary War in the Continental Army under George Washington. His time spent in the Continental Army allowed him the opportunity to serve directly alongside Washington.

Marshall became Chief Justice in 1801, which was two years after Washington had passed away. After he was appointed, Washington’s nephew Bushrod approached Marshall with the request for him to write a biography. In Bushrod’s eyes, and in the opinion of the family, Marshall was best suited for the task given his relationship to Washington. His close friendship with Washington ensured that the biography would be detailed and respectful of all that the first president had accomplished. When Marshall agreed to write a full biography, Washington’s family provided him with countless records and papers to help document the late president’s life. In addition to these sources, Marshall brought a sense of intimacy to the work, as he incorporated a personal perspective in his writing.

The maps in this scarce atlas relate to military operations in the Revolutionary War, and include the Boston area, New York Island, northern New Jersey, New Hampshire, Yorktown, and more. The atlas is composed of ten strategic maps, eight of which are double-page maps.


Overall good condition, with wear consistent with age and past use. Some toning, with some shelf wear visible. Binding is tight and pages are mostly clean. This second edition, six-volume set is offered in its period leather backed boards. The five volumes are housed in a custom handcrafted cloth slipcase. Atlas has marbled and three quarter leather boards in original binding with a matching slipcase.

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