Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

James W. Marshall (1874–1874): Postmaster General

James William Marshall was born in 1822 in Clarke County, Virginia. He graduated from Dickinson College in 1848 and remained there as an adjutant professor until 1850, when he became full professor of ancient languages; he served as chair of the department until 1861.

Marshall was then appointed U.S. consul to Leeds, England, where he served until 1865. Four years later, President Ulysses S. Grant tapped Marshall to become first assistant postmaster general under Postmaster General James A. J. Creswell. Following Creswell’s resignation in 1874, Grant nominated Marshall Jewell, who was U.S. minister to Russia, to the vacancy; James Marshall served as postmaster general ad interim for two months until Jewell’s return to the United States.

At the end of the Grant administration in 1877, Marshall worked as general superintendent of the railway mail service until he retired. James William Marshall died in 1910.