Marshall came by his command of the English language and forceful method of presentation through inheritance; his great uncle John was Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, his cousin Humphrey, a General in the Army. In the words of one contemporary, he was "the most versatile genius that ever took an audience captive and swayed it as he willed."
An 1881 article in the Sacramento Bee recalls Marshall’s handling of a particularly disruptive crowd, wherein Marshall coolly addressed the audience, ". . . I want it to be understood that I came here to make a speech tonight, and I am going to do it, or else there will be a funeral or two." Died in San Francisco in 1893.