Marshal Robert Forsyth

Marshal Robert Forsyth

United States Department of Justice - United States Marshals Service, U.S. Government

End of Watch Saturday, January 11, 1794

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Robert Forsyth

Marshal Robert Forsyth, believed to be one of the first U.S. Marshals killed in the line of duty, was shot and killed while he attempted to serve civil papers on a man.

The suspect and his brother had holed up in an upstairs bedroom. As Marshal Forsyth attempted to gain access to the room, the man told him not to come any closer. At the same time, the suspect fired a shot through an opening in the door, fatally wounding Marshal Forsyth.

After being arrested, the man twice escaped from jail, fled the state, and was never recaptured. One of the brothers died in Kentucky in 1817, and the second died in Georgia in 1826.

Marshal Forsyth, who served in the American Revolutionary War, had been with the agency for more than four years after being named one of the first 13 marshals by George Washington.

He was survived by his wife and two sons, the younger of whom became Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the governments of two presidents and whose work included the purchase of Florida from the Spanish.

Marshal Forsyth is buried in Saint Paul's Episcopal Church Cemetery, Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 4 years, 4 months
  • Badge 4
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Georgia
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender Escaped

warrant service

Most Recent Reflection

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Marshal Forsyth - You bear the distinction of being the first to fall in the service of your community, but you've learned that many have followed. We know the risks and pray for the brothers & sisters at our sides as we continue to handle the calls, make the stops and ask the questions in the interest of public safety...we can do nothing less. Please be that still small voice, among that chorus, who reminds us to look a second time, become skeptical at what we're often told, and to practice those skills which might keep us safe.

May God grant you eternal rest and may His perpetual light shine upon you.

Sgt. Kieth W Moreland
Arapahoe Community College (Ret. LAPD)

October 28, 2020

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