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, on this 228th anniversary of your heroic and untimely death we remember that no passage of time will ever erase your memory, service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

January 11, 2022

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