History - The First Generation of United States Marshals
Marshal of Virginia: Edward Carrington
Picture: Edward Carrington- Source: Library of Congress.
The First Marshal of Virginia Edward Carrington was born Feb. 11, 1748,
in Cumberland County, Va. In addition to the practice of law, Carrington
managed a plantation and ran his family's estate. He also became heavily
involved in Virginia politics. His friend George Washington often turned
to him for advice on political events in Virginia.
In 1798, for instance, Washington inquired about the growth of
Jefferson's Republican party in the state. On other occasions,
Washington asked Carrington
for his opinion about the qualifications of various individuals for
posts in the
At the outbreak of the Revolution, Carrington joined the First
Continental Artillery with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1780, he
transferred to the
Southern Army with the same rank, but with the new responsibility of
quartermaster-general. During his service with the Army, Carrington saw
action at Hobkirk's Hill and Yorktown. On one occasion, Washington
appointed Carrington, Alexander Hamilton, and General St. Clair to meet
representatives to discuss an exchange of prisoners. In 178 1, the
Commander-in-Chief put Carrington in charge of selling goods and
property confiscated by the Continental Army.
After the war, Carrington returned to the practice of law and the
of his properties. In 1785-86, he attended the Continental Congress as
delegate from Virginia. Shortly after the formation of the new federal
in the spring of 1789, Carrington volunteered his services to the new
Washington appointed him Marshal of the District of Virginia in
September. Carrington was 41 years old.
Carrington served as Marshal for just over two years, after which
Washington appointed him supervisor of distilled spirits for the state
of Virginia. He held this office until 1794, when the press of his
private affairs compelled his retirement
from public office.
Carrington's friendship with the first President continued after
Washington retired from office. Shortly before Washington died, for
example, John Adams appointed him commander of the army raised when the
feared war with France. Washington consulted with Carrington concerning
appointment of officers to the army. Within a few months, however, Adams
resolved the crisis with France and Washington died of pneumonia.
lived until October 28, 1810, when he died at the age of 62.