Eliza C Marshall 1801 – 1874

Martin P Marshall 1798 – 1883

Source – Entry #182 in Paxton’s Marshall Family
(written circa. 1885)

182 ELIZA COLSTON MABSHALL, b. at Washington, Ky. ,March 17, 1801; d. July 19, 1874; =Seprember 19, 1819, her cousin Martin Picket Marshall, b. in Warrenoon, Va., Febru­ary 10, 1798;  d. in Washingt.on, KY, May  9, .1883.   See No. 234.

I knew cousin Eliza in her prime. Tall, handsome, stately and com­manding, she was perhaps the most radiant of  the daughters  of Capt. Marshall. It was my  delight  in my  college  vacations, to visit Belle-Grove, the charming villa in  Fleming Co., Ky., where she presided. And when the family removed to Washington, and established themselves in the old homestead, I was often entertained and instructed by the brilliance and  power of her  conversation. But in her later years her intellect was clouded, her vivacity hushed, and her spirit veiled.

Cousin Martin was one of the most superb old gentlemen that I ever met. He lost his father when he was  a  boy, and  his uncle, Chief Justice Marshal, took him into  his family at Richmond. Here he remained several years, reading hisliory and philosophy. I will let him tell his own story. In  1876  I had  a long conference with him, in his private study, in which he remarked:

In 1816, I left my mother in Virginia, determined  to work  out my own destiny. Uncle John proffered to send me to college, but I desired rather, to build on my own resources, I had nothing “but poverty for my inheritance, and energy for my capital”. With this independent spirit, I made my way to  Kentucky.  I  brought  no letter of  introduction, and  my coming was unannounced.  I  had  no acquaintance on whom I could  call  for assistance.  

I  first saw my uncle, Alex. K. Marshall, (68) and told him I was a son of his brother Charles, and that his brother John  would write  in  my behalf. He embraced me with affection, and told  me his brother’s son had no call for recommendations  to him.   Under his guidance, I resumed the study of law. When on my first visit, I  presented myself  to my uncle Thomas, he asked why I had come to Kentucky. I told him I was on my father’s business, and in search of his wild lands.

Aunts Fanny Marshall and Susan McClung met me kindly. Behind them, I saw a sweet face, and, at Aunt McClung’s command, Eliza modestly advanced and saluted me with a kiss. I now devoted myself to the study of law, with Uncle Alexander. My dili­gence was untiring. Of Saturday nights, I  would go  in  to  see Eliza, and would return Sunday evenings.

But I had an enemy in Eliza’s brother, Thomas. He poisoned  her mind  against  me, and she rejected me, much to the chagrin of her  mother.  I visited her  no more, and our engagement was· forgotten. In 1818, I  was licensed to practice,. and settled in Paris, where Uncle Humphrey was living. In six months I had earned $500,  and  was greatly elated. In April 1818, I visited  Washington, and  my  suit for Eliza’s hand was renewed. I was accepted, and we were married.

Owing to an epidemic that broke out in Paris, about the date of my marriage, I determined to adopt the suggestion of Cabell Breckenridge, and settle in Cincinnati. Eliza and I rode to the city on horseback, and remained there eleven months. Our prospects were good, but my health broke down, and we concluded to return.  After spending several years  in Washington, we went  in 1823 to Fleming.

Seeing that Cousin Martin was feeble, I suggested that he lie down and rest, while I  visited my father’s grave.  “Go  William,” he exclaimed, ” and you will find there a fresh  and  unmarked grave. There lies my sainted Eliza. I  am· waiting  for my  own death, when one stone shall cover us both.”  In speaking these words the tears rolled down his cheeks, and the long white locks of hair fell over his face. Exhausted, he fell upon his bed.

Mr. Marshall was prosecuting attorney for Fleming County, and prosecuted Isaac Desha, for murder. He represented the County in 1825 and 1827. He was twice elector for Harrison and for Clay. He was a member of the Convention of 1849, that framed the pres­ent Constitution of Kentucky; and was elected Senator from Mason in 1861. He opposed secession, and was a prominent supporter of the Union cause.

Cousin Martin had a large and well selected library, and the children were expected and required to use it. Cousin Eliza delighted in young company, and her parlors were a favorite resort of numbers of the most accomplished of both sexes. Many a week have I spent at their hospital mansion when the halls and dining room presented the appearance of a lasting reception. With private tutors for the children, and educated and accomplished vis­itors, books were the theme of constant discussion. Cousin Eliza presided as a goddess surrounded by nymphs.

Cousin  Martin was my beau-ideal of a patriarch.    An orator by nature, he announced his opinions with emphasis,  and  sustained them with earnestness.  Upwards  of six feet tall, and erect  as a Soldier, he  bore in  his left hand a  lofty staff, whose  ponderous thud clinched his arguments. His well combed locks fell far down on his shoulders, and gave him a venerable appearance. He and his family united with the Methodist Church, and to his death he was a liberal supporter of every christian and benevolent cause. He was a friend of Henry Clay, and espoused gradual emancipation. Though he had not practiced law for fifty years, yet the Maysville bar was called  together, and complimentary resolutions were passed on the occasion of his death.

Mr. Marshall’s will is recorded in Maysville. It is dated in 1868 and ten codicils were added at different times. His  children are made equal, and his son Charles is appointed executor. The homestead  and appurtenant  lands  are  granted  to Mary  and Phoebe. The shares of his daughters and of the sons of Lucy McKnight are settled on trustees. The library and pictures are given to Mary.

A  marble  slab is to  be  placed over the graves of  himself and wife, and the graveyard is to be enclosed with  an iron fence.

Again Paxton includes verse that he wrote as a tribute. For brevity I do not include them here, but you are free to access them in the PDF file available on the Information Resources page.