It’s the Namesake of Forsyth County’s Birthday Today: Who Was He?


The namesake of Forsyth County’s 239th birthday is today.


John Forsyth Sr. was born on October 22, 1780, meaning today is his 239th birthday. Having served as a member of the House of Representatives, Senate, the Minister to Spain, and the Governor of Georgia, Forsyth became the namesake of a new county created after people declared it necessary to divide the large Cherokee county. (


John Forsyth Sr. had generations of leadership to his name; he certainly wasn’t the first. Forsyth’s blood can be traced back to Scottish landowners in the 1200s that opposed all things British. They lost their lands following the Battle of Culloden in 1746 and promptly came to America. John Forsyth’s father, Robert Forsyth, fought for the patriots during the American revolution and even received a letter of praise from George Washington himself. After the war, Robert moved to Augusta, GA, and that’s how we would know John Forsyth Sr. as a Georgian.


The county was named after John Forsyth Sr. for his work as a Congressman. Like most other politicians at the time, he was firmly in favor of the removal of the Cherokee Indians. The entire Cherokee Nation at the time was called Cherokee County. The Indian Removal Act removed the Cherokee, and the large county split into ten new counties, one named after Forsyth.


Forsyth was one of the most accomplished statesmen of his time. Some may say he was a bad man due to his policies on natives, but looking through the lens of that period, he was simply a man of his time. Forsyth unexpectedly caught a fever and died in Washington, D.C., on October 21, 1841, at age 60. Yesterday marked 178 years since his death. (