Forsyth, John, 1780–1841, American cabinet member, b. Fredericksburg, Va. He began law practice in Augusta, Va., and was in the House of Representatives from 1813 until his election to the Senate in 1818. In Feb., 1819, he resigned to become minister to Spain. After serving again in the House of Representatives (1823–1827), as governor of Georgia (1827–1829), and for a second time as U.S. Senator (1829–34), he became Secretary of State under President Jackson and continued to hold the office during President Van Buren's administration. As Secretary of State he was concerned chiefly with gaining compensation from France for plundering U.S. ships during the Napoleonic Wars, with the question of the annexation of Texas, with the Caroline Affair, and with the disputed boundary between Maine and New Brunswick, Canada.
See biography by A. L. Duckett (1962).
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