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U.S. Marshals Service

Northern District of Georgia

History    

The following is a listing of former to present United States Marshals for the Northern District of Georgia. 

Marshal

Date

 Comment

Longstreet, James April 25, 1882 Marshal of Northern & Southern District
Bryant, John E July 25, 1884 Dec 18, 1884 Recessed                       

Senate Confirmation

Nelms, John W June 5, 1885
Jan 13, 1886
Recessed                            

Senate Confirmation

Buck, Alfred E Oct 24, 1889  Feb 12, 1890 Recessed                          

Senate Confirmation

Dunlap, Samuel C May 26, 1893  Aug 22, 1893 Recessed                          

Senate Confirmation

Johnson, Walter H June 25, 1897  June 21, 1901  Dec 12, 1905 Dec 18, 1910   Jan11, 1910 Senate Confirmation              Recessed                          
Commission Date

Senate Confirmation           

Commission Date

Thompson, Howard July 22, 1913 Commission Date
Bond, Claude Feb 24, 1920 Commission Date
Akerman, Walter Nov 21, 1921  Commission Date
Crawford, Louis H Feb 23, 1926  June 24, 1930 Commission Date                

Commission Date

Cox, Charles H June 18, 1934  Feb 12, 1940   Mar 17, 1944 Commission Date              

Commission Date    
Commission Date

Camp, Henry O July 10, 1947 Commission Date
Harrison, Joe B June 30, 1950  May 25, 1951 Court Appointment            

Commission Date

Littlefield, William C Aug 21, 1954  July 21, 1958 Commission Date             

Commission Date

Andrews, William J May 9, 1961  June 24, 1965 Commission Date            

Commission Date

Hardegree, Elmer Joe Dec 30, 1966  Mar 4, 1967 Court Appointment              

Commission Date

Murray, Bill C May 6, 1969   Aug 3, 1973 Commission Date               

Commission Date

Henson, James H April, 30, 1974 June 19, 1975 Court Appointment

Commission Date

Angel, Ronald E Sept 20, 1977 Commission Date
Griffith, Howard M May 25, 1980 Commission Date
Duncan, Lynn H Oct 7, 1981   June 9, 1986  Aug 7, 1990 Commission Date                
Commission Date                 

Commission Date
McMichael, Robert H Aug 7, 1994    Commission Date
Mecum, Richard V (Current) Aug 12, 2002 Commission Date

       

First Marshal Killed in the Line of Duty

Robert Forsyth, the first U.S. Marshal for the District of Georgia, was shot and killed while serving a civil paper.

Born in Scotland in 1754, Forsyth came to America with his father and lived in New England until he moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia sometime before his twentieth birthday. He served as a captain during the American Revolution, became a major of the Virginia State Militia at the end of the war, and later served as the Deputy Commissary General of Purchases for the Southern Army.

In 1785 Forsyth and his wife moved to August, Georgia where he engaged in private business, real estate, and farming. Forsyth was active in various civic affairs and served his community as a tax assessor and Justice of the Peace. President George Washington appointed him as the first Marshal for the District of Georgia in 1789 and Forsyth conducted the first U.S. census there before his untimely death.

On January 11, 1794 Marshal Forsyth, accompanied by two deputies, went to a private home to serve papers on two brothers named William and Beverly Allen. Forsyth served one writ to William, and then approached Beverly Allen, who was talking to a group of men at the time. It is said that the Marshal wished to avoid embarrassing Allen and asked him to step aside for a moment. Allen walked into another room of the house, was joined by his brother William there, and closed the door. As Marshal Forsyth moved towards the room, a shot was fired through the door which hit Forsyth in the head and killed him instantly.

Both William and Beverly Allen were accused of the murder. William Allen pleaded not guilty and was released. His brother Beverly, however, was found guilty of willful murder by a coroner’s inquest and was incarcerated in the Augusta jail.

Six weeks later Allen escaped from the jail, apparently with the help of a guard. A reward was offered by the governor of Georgia and also by the citizens of Augusta for the apprehension of the escaped murderer. Allen was recaptured in Elbert County, Georgia and placed in jail there. He escaped again, however, assisted this time by a band of armed men led by his brother, William. After this second escape, Beverly Allen fled to Texas and was never recaptured.

Robert Forsyth was buried in the cemetery of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Augusta, Georgia. His grave is marked with a stone which reads:

Sacred
To the Memory of
Robert Forsyth
Federal Marshal of Georgia
Who, in the discharge of the duties of his office
fell a victim to his respect for the laws
of his Country
and his resolution in support of them,
on the 11 day of January 1794
in the 40 years of age.
His virtues as an Officer of rank
and unusual confidence in the War
which gave Independence to the United States
and in all the tender and endearing relations
of social life
have left impressions on his Country and friends
more durably engraved than this Monument.

Marshal Forsyth was survived by his wife and their two sons, Robert and John. John Forsyth later became the governor of Georgia and the U.S. Minister to Spain, helping negotiate the treaty with Spain that acquired Florida for the United States.

In 1981 the United States Marshals Service created the “Robert Forsyth Act of Valor Award,” which commemorates the first Marshal killed while performing the duties of his office. The award consists of a gold plaque and $1500, which are given to a U.S. Marshals Service employee who has demonstrated unusual courage, good judgment, and competence in hostile circumstances, or who has performed an act or service which saved the life of another person while endangering his/her own life.

(NOTE: This excerpt was taken from the May/June 1983 Pentacle.)

The following translation of abbreviations applies to the state-by-state lists:
        "R" - Recess appointment date
        "S" - Senate Confirmation date (used from 1789-1903)
        "C" - Commission date (used from 1903 to present)
        "C.A." - Court Appointment date
        "A.G." - Attorney General appointment date

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