Gov. John Forsyth, US Senator, Sec'y of State

Is your surname Forsyth?

Research the Forsyth family

Gov. John Forsyth, US Senator, Sec'y of State's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


John Forsyth

Birthdate: (60)
Birthplace: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Death: October 21, 1841 (60)
Washington, D.C
Place of Burial: Congressional Cemetery.
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. Robert Forsyth and Frances Forsyth
Husband of Clara Forsyth
Father of John Forsyth, Jr.
Brother of Robert Forsyth

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Gov. John Forsyth, US Senator, Sec'y of State


John Forsyth, Sr. (October 22, 1780 – October 21, 1841) was a 19th century American politician from Georgia.

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 in 1801 or 1802. One of his sons, John Forsyth, Jr., later became a newspaper editor. He 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. Led the pro-removal reply to Theodore Frelinghuysen about the Indian Removal Act of 1830. He supported slavery and was a slaveholder himself. He died in Washington, D.C., and was buried in Congressional Cemetery. Forsyth County, Georgia is named for him. He died the day before his 61st birthday.

John Forsyth in popular culture

In the 1997 Steven Spielberg movie, Amistad, John Forsyth's character was played by American character actor David Paymer.

view all

Gov. John Forsyth, US Senator, Sec'y of State's Timeline

October 22, 1780
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Age 40
October 21, 1841
Age 60
Washington, D.C
Congressional Cemetery.