George Humphrey Devereux was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on December 1, 1809, to Humphrey Devereux and Eliza Dodge. Having studied law with Leverett Saltonstall, Devereux (Harvard, class of 1829) was admitted to the Essex County Bar in 1831. About a year later, he married Charlotte Stony Forrester (1811-1873), a daughter of one of Salem's most prosperous merchants, John Forrester. They had 10 children: George Forrester, John Forrester, Arthur Forrester, Charles Upham, Walter Forrester, Marianna Silsbee, Edward Forrester, Charlotte Story Forrester, Francis Bohun, and Eliza Dodge.
Devereux was elected twice to the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1834 and 1835), before moving to Cherryfield, Maine, where he stayed for 10 years to manage lumber operations. Remaining active in politics while in Maine, Devereux was selected as a delegate to the Whig convention of 1840,. After returning to Salem in 1846, he commanded the Salem Light Infantry and was appointed by Governor Briggs to serve as adjutant general of Massachusetts (1848-51). He was re-elected to the state legislature in 1856.
Devereux was a popular public speaker and a contributor to a number of publications, including the North American Review and The Christian Examiner. He often passionately defended his deeply held Whig convictions. Devereux died on October 24, 1878.
His two sons, John Forrester and Arthur Forrester, attained some prominence as soldiers during the Civil War. John (1835-1883), a Harvard graduate, served as a private in the Salem Zouaves, part of the 8th Regiment of the Massachusetts Militia. At the end of 1861, he was promoted to captain in Co. F in the 11th Massachusetts Infantry, and fought in every major battle with the Army of the Potomac. He was promoted again in November 1864 to captain of the 6th U.S. Colored Troops, and was mustered out on September 25, 1865. After the war, John practiced law for a time in Marblehead, Massachusetts. In the 1870s, he tried unsuccessfully to establish farms in Kansas and Nebraska. He lived with his brother Charles at Red Oak, Iowa, for a few years and died in 1883. Arthur (1838-1906), a Harvard and West Point graduate, commanded the Salem Light Infantry and was a captain in the 8th Massachusetts Infantry. He served with distinction in many of the major Civil War battles including Yorktown, Fredericksburg, Antietam (where he was wounded), and Gettysburg. He died in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1906.