Posseman Edward Gorsuch

Posseman Edward Gorsuch

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

End of Watch Thursday, September 11, 1851

Edward Gorsuch

Posseman Edward Gorsuch was shot and killed near Christiana, Pennsylvania, in an incident that became known as the Christiana Riots.

He had been deputized by a United States deputy marshal to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act of 1851 in an attempt to capture two escaped slaves from Maryland. After reading the arrest warrant at the home an alarm was sounded and a group of local Quakers surrounded the posse. A shot was fired by one of the sides that prompted several more shots to be fired. Posseman Gorsuch was killed. The deputy marshal and three other posse members were wounded.

Posseman Gorsuch had been deputized by the United States Marshals Service two days earlier to assist with serving the warrant. He is buried in the Gorsuch family Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland.


  • Age 57
  • Tour 2 days
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Pennsylvania
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Not available

warrant service

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Edward Gorsuch was a slaveowner from Maryland who was shot and killed while trying to capture and return four escaped slaves in 1851 at the so-called Christiana affair. He had been sworn in as a Federal posseman before the raid on Christiana, PA., where the posse was confronted by a group of armed blacks protecting the escaped slaves. It was a federal posse because they were enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.

It comes as no surprise that there are racists who would honor this man, but the fact that the U.S. Marshall’s Service and the Justice Department create a page to honor him as a fallen hero is in incredibly bad taste.


May 1, 2017

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