John Forsyth (Georgia)

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John Forsyth
JohnForsythSoS11.jpg
13th United States Secretary of State
In office
July 1, 1834 – March 4, 1841
PresidentAndrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
Preceded byLouis McLane
Succeeded byDaniel Webster
United States Senator
from Georgia
In office
November 9, 1829 – June 27, 1834
Preceded byJohn M. Berrien
Succeeded byAlfred Cuthbert
In office
November 23, 1818 – February 17, 1819
Preceded byGeorge Troup
Succeeded byFreeman Walker
33rd Governor of Georgia
In office
November 7, 1827 – November 4, 1829
Preceded byGeorge Troup
Succeeded byGeorge Gilmer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1827 – November 7, 1827
Preceded byConstituency reestablished
Succeeded byRichard Henry Wilde
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1823 – March 3, 1827
Preceded byRobert R. Reid
Succeeded byDistricts established
In office
March 4, 1813 – November 23, 1818
Preceded bySeat established
Succeeded byRobert R. Reid
United States Minister to Spain
In office
May 18, 1819 – March 2, 1823
PresidentJames Monroe
Preceded byGeorge W. Erving
Succeeded byHugh Nelson
12th Attorney General of Georgia
In office
1808–1811
GovernorJared Irwin
David Mitchell
Preceded byJohn Hamil
Succeeded byAlexander Allen
Personal details
Born(1780-10-22)October 22, 1780
Fredericksburg, Virginia, U.S.
DiedOctober 21, 1841(1841-10-21) (aged 60)
Washington D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican (Before 1825)
Democratic (1825–1841)
Spouse(s)Clara Meigs
EducationPrinceton University (BA)

John Forsyth Sr. (October 22, 1780 – October 21, 1841) was a 19th-century American politician from Georgia. He represented the state in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and also served as the 33rd Governor of Georgia. As a supporter of the policies of President Andrew Jackson, Forsyth was appointed secretary of state by Jackson in 1834, and continued in that role until 1841 during the presidency of Martin Van Buren.

Early life[edit]

Forsyth was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia. His father, Robert Forsyth, was the first U.S. Marshal to be killed in the line of duty in 1794.[1][2] He was an attorney who graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1799. He married Clara Meigs, daughter of Josiah Meigs, in 1801 or 1802. One of his sons, John Forsyth, Jr., later became a newspaper editor.

Political Life[edit]

Forsyth served in the United States House of Representatives (1813–1818 and 1823–1827), the United States Senate (1818–1819 and 1829–1834), and as the 33rd Governor of Georgia (1827–1829). He was the United States Secretary of State from 1834 until 1841. In this role he led the government's response to the Amistad case.[3] He was a loyal follower of Andrew Jackson[4] and opposed John C. Calhoun in the issue of nullification. Forsyth was appointed as Secretary of State in reward for his efforts. He led the pro-removal reply to Theodore Frelinghuysen about the Indian Removal Act of 1830.[5][6] He supported slavery and was a slaveholder himself.[7]

Death and legacy[edit]

Forsyth died in Washington, D.C., and was buried in Congressional Cemetery. Forsyth County, Georgia,[8] Forsyth, Georgia,[9] and Forsyth Park[10] in Savannah are named for him.[11] He died the day before his 61st birthday.

In popular culture[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, Russell K. (Fall 2008). "Killed in the Line of Duty: Marshal Robert Harriss, Jr., of Summerville, Georgia". Georgia Historical Quarterly. 92 (3). Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  2. ^ Whitmire, Kelly (25 Jan 2019). "What's in a name? Historian talks about where road, area names originated in Cumming, Forsyth County". Forsyth News. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  3. ^ Unger, Harlow G. (2012). John Quincy Adams. Boston: Da Capo Press. p. 292. ISBN 9780306822650. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  4. ^ Howe, Daniel Walker (2007). What Hath God Wrought : The Transformation of America, 1815-1848. Oxford University Press: New York. p. 346. ISBN 9780195078947. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  5. ^ Cheathem, Mark Renfred (2014). Andrew Jackson, Southerner. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-0807150986. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  6. ^ Morris, Michael (Winter 2007). "Georgia and the Conversation over Indian Removal". Georgia Historical Quarterly. 91 (4). Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  7. ^ Finkelman, Paul; Kennon, Donald R. (2010). In the shadow of freedom : the politics of slavery in the national capital. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press. p. 27. ISBN 978-0821419342. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  8. ^ "Forsyth County historical marker". Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Forsyth historical marker". Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Forsyth Park historical marker". Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  11. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 128.
  12. ^ "Amistad (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 13 May 2018.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
John Hamil
Attorney General of Georgia
1808–1811
Succeeded by
Alexander Allen
U.S. House of Representatives
New seat Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

1813–1818
Succeeded by
Robert R. Reid
Preceded by
Robert R. Reid
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

1823–1827
Districts established
Preceded by
Jonathan Russell
Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
1823–1827
Succeeded by
Edward Everett
Constituency reestablished Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 2nd congressional district

1827
Succeeded by
Richard Henry Wilde
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
George Troup
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Georgia
1818–1819
Served alongside: Charles Tait
Succeeded by
Freeman Walker
Preceded by
John M. Berrien
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Georgia
1829–1834
Served alongside: George Troup, John King
Succeeded by
Alfred Cuthbert
Preceded by
Levi Woodbury
Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee
1831–1832
Succeeded by
William R. King
Preceded by
Littleton Tazewell
Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
1832–1833
Succeeded by
William Wilkins
Preceded by
Samuel Smith
Chair of the Senate Finance Committee
1832–1833
Succeeded by
Daniel Webster
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
George W. Erving
United States Minister to Spain
1819–1823
Succeeded by
Hugh Nelson
Political offices
Preceded by
George Troup
Governor of Georgia
1827–1829
Succeeded by
George Gilmer
Preceded by
Louis McLane
United States Secretary of State
1834–1841
Succeeded by
Daniel Webster