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U.S. Marshals Service

History -  The First Generation of United States Marshals

The First Marshal of New Jersey:  Thomas Lowry

Born in Ireland on September 3, 1737 Thomas Lowry came to this country a the age of 10 with his family. They settled in New Jersey, where Lowry spent the rest of his life. He became a successful shopkeeper and landowner, which allowed him to purchase several mills and other businesses. These endeavors established Lowry as a wealthy, prominent citizen of New Jersey.

Engraving of first Marshal from New Jersey

Source: Henry Race, Historico-Genealogical Sketch of Col. Thomas and Esther Fleming, His Wife.  Flemington, N.J.: H.E. Deats, 1892.

His fellow citizens elected him one of the New Jersey delegates to the First Continental Congress in 1775. At the outbreak of the Revolution, Lowry accepted a commission as Lieutenant Colonel in the Third Regiment of the New Jersey militia. Throughout the war, Lowry served as commissary officer, reaching the rank of Colonel. He never saw action in any of the battles of the war. Instead, his business acumen was put to use keeping the troop: supplied and provisioned, a particularly important and extremely difficult responsibility.

Lowry, a personal friend of Washington, entertained the Commander-in Chief at his house several times during the war. When Washington needed someone to serve as the first Marshal of New Jersey, he quickly turned to his old comrade. Lowry received his commission in October 1789 at the age of 52. During 1791-92, he also served in the New Jersey legislature. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson replaced him as Marshal.

Lowry and his wife Esther had eleven children. Five years after his retirement as Marshal, on November 11, 1806, Lowry died at the age of 69.

Allan McLane 1746-1825  Delaware Clement Biddle
1740-1814
 Pennsylvania
Thomas Lowry
1737-1806
New Jersey
Robert Forsyth
1754-1794
 Georgia
Phillip Bradley
 1738-1821
Connecticut
Jonathan Jackson
1743-1810
Massachusetts
Nathanial Ramsay
1741-1817
Maryland
Isaac Huger
1742-1797
South Carolina
John Parker
1732-1791
New Hampshire
Edward Carrington
1748-1810
Virginia
William Smith
1755-1816
New York
Samuel McDowell
1764-1834
Kentucky
Henry Dearborn
1751-1829
Maine
John Skinner
1760-1819
North Carolina
William Peck
1755-1832
Rhode Island
Lewis R. Morris
1760-1825
 Vermont
 

 

 
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