John Forsyth (Georgia)
|13th United States Secretary of State|
July 1, 1834 – March 4, 1841
Martin Van Buren
|Preceded by||Louis McLane|
|Succeeded by||Daniel Webster|
|33rd Governor of Georgia|
November 7, 1827 – November 4, 1829
|Preceded by||George M. Troup|
|Succeeded by||George R. Gilmer|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large district
March 4, 1813 – November 23, 1818
|Preceded by||New appointment|
|Succeeded by||Robert R. Reid|
March 4, 1823 – March 3, 1827
|Preceded by||Robert R. Reid|
|Succeeded by||converted to districts|
|United States Senator
November 23, 1818 – February 17, 1819
|Preceded by||George Troup|
|Succeeded by||Freeman Walker|
November 9, 1829 – June 27, 1834
|Preceded by||John M. Berrien|
|Succeeded by||Alfred Cuthbert|
|12th Attorney General of Georgia|
|Preceded by||John Hamil|
|Succeeded by||Alexander M. Allen|
October 22, 1780|
Fredericksburg, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||October 21, 1841
Washington D.C., U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Clara Meigs Forsyth|
|Alma mater||College of New Jersey|
John Forsyth Sr. (October 22, 1780 – October 21, 1841) was a 19th-century American politician from Georgia. He represented Georgia in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Forsyth also served as the 33rd Governor of Georgia. As a strong supporter of the policies of Andrew Jackson, he was appointed Secretary of State by Jackson in 1834, and continued in that role until 1841 during the presidency of Martin Van Buren.
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. 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.
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. He was a loyal follower of Andrew Jackson 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. He supported slavery and was a slaveholder himself.
Death and legacy
Forsyth died in Washington, D.C., and was buried in Congressional Cemetery. Forsyth County, Georgia, Forsyth, Georgia, and Forsyth Park in Savannah are named for him. He died the day before his 61st birthday.
In popular culture
- In the 1997 Steven Spielberg movie, Amistad, John Forsyth's character was played by American character actor David Paymer.
- 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.
- Unger, Harlow G. (2012). John Quincy Adams. Boston: Da Capo Press. p. 292. ISBN 9780306822650. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
- 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.
- Cheathem, Mark Renfred (2014). Andrew Jackson, Southerner. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-0807150986. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
- Morris, Michael (Winter 2007). "Georgia and the Conversation over Indian Removal". Georgia Historical Quarterly. 91 (4). Retrieved 25 October 2016.
- 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.
- "Forsyth County historical marker". Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
- "Forsyth historical marker". Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
- "Forsyth Park historical marker". Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 128.
- "Amistad (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.
- Duckett, Alvin Laroy (1962). John Forsyth, political tactician. Athens: University of Georgia Press. ISBN 978-0820335346. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
- United States Congress. "John Forsyth (id: F000284)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- John Forsyth at Find a Grave
- Biography at Players in the Amistad Affair
- Letter, 1825 Mar. 5, Washington, [D.C. to] G[eorge] M. Troup, [Governor of Georgia] / John Forsyth
- [Letter] 1826 June 15, Sand Hills, [Georgia] / John Forsyth
- [Letter] 1827 Dec. 12, Milledgeville, Georgia, [to Governor] of Tennessee, Sam[ue]l Houston / John Forsyth, Gov[ernor of Georgia]
- [Letter] 1830 Jan. 24, Georgetown, District of Columbia [to] George R. Gilmer, Governor of Georgia / John Forsyth