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George Washington
John Adams...
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe ...
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
James K. Polk...
Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore..
Franklin Pierce..
James Buchanan..
Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson...
Ulysses Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes.
James A. Garfield..
Chester A. Arthur...
Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison..
Grover Cleveland
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt

March 4, 1789..... March 4, 1797.
March 4, 1797.

March 4, 1801.
March 4, 1801.

March 4, 1809. March 4, 1809.... March 4, 1817. March 4, 1817.

March 4, 1825. March 4, 1825. March 4, 1829. March 4, 1829.

March 4, 1837. March 4, 1837. March 4, 1841. March 4, 1841.. April 4, 1841. April 4, 1841.... March 4, 1845. March 4, 1845... March 4, 1849. March 4, 1849... July 9, 1850. July 9, 1850

March 4, 1853. March 4, 1853.

March 4, 1857. March 4, 1857.. March 4, 1861. March 4, 1861.. April 15, 1865. April 15, 1865. March 4, 1869. March 4, 1869... March 4, 1877. March 4, 1877.

March 4, 1881. March 4, 1881.. September 19, 1881. September 19, 1881... March 4, 1885. March 4, 1885. March 4, 1889. March 4, 1889.. March 4, 1893. March 4, 1893.

March 4, 1897. March 4, 1897..... September 14, 1901. September 14, 1901...



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In the “Notes upon the foreign treaties of the United States,” prepared by Hon. J. C. Bancroft Davis, and republished in the volume of Treaties and Conventions concluded between the United States and other Powers, Senate Executive Document No. 47, Forty-eighth Congress, second session, is given, in concise form, the history of the conduct of the foreign affairs of the United States up to the time of the establishment of the Department of State. From these notes the following statement has been gathered:

On the 29th of November, 1775, Congress appointed a “Committee of Secret Correspondence," whose duty it would be to correspond with the friends of the colonies in other parts of the world. From the date of the appointment of this committee until the autumn of 1781, the management of the foreign affairs of the country was in the hands of committees of Congress. Robert R. Livingston, of New York, was then appointed “their Secretary of Foreign Affairs,” and took the oath of office on the 20th of October, 1781. Livingston resigned in June, 1783, and Elias Boudinot, the President of Congress, acted officially as Secretary in the interim.

General Thomas Mifflin was chosen President of Congress on the 3d of November, 1783, at the beginning of a new Congress, and as such succeeded to Boudinot as ad interim Secretary. John Jay was elected Secretary May 24, 1784, but did not qualify until December 21, 1784, and he remained the Secretary of Foreign Affairs until the adoption of the Federal Constitution. On September 15, 1789, the President approved "An act to provide for the safe-keeping of the acts, records, and seal of the United States, and for other purposes, in the first section of which it was provided “that the Executive Department denominated the Department of Foreign Affairs shall hereafter be denominated the Department of State, and the principal officer therein shall be called the Secretary of State." Jefferson was appointed Secretary of State September 26, 1789, but did not enter upon the duties of his office until March 21, 1790. Jay, notwithstanding he had been selected to be Chief Justice, continued to fill the office of Secretary until Jefferson entered upon its duties, although never commissioned as such under the new government.a

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The following list contains the names of the different Secretaries, the Presidents by whom appointed, and the dates of their respective commissions:

Secretaries of State.



September 26, 1789.
January 2, 1794.

December 10, 1795.

May 13, 1800.
March 5, 1801.

Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia...

George Washington Edmund Randolph, of Virginia ....

.do Timothy Pickering, of Pennsylvania (Secretary

do of War).

John Adams. John Marshall, of Virginia......

.do Levi Lincoln, of Massachusetts (Attorney-Gen

.do eral), ad interim. James Madison, of Virginia ....

Thomas Jefferson Robert Smith, of Maryland

James Madison.. James Monroe, of Virginia ..

do Richard Rush, of Pennsylvania (Attorney-Gen- James Monroe.

eral), ad interim, John Quincy Adams, of Massachusetts.

..do Henry Clay, of Kentucky.

John Quincy Adams
James A. Hamilton, of New York, ad interim .....do...
Martin Van Buren, of New York.

Andrew Jackson
Edward Livingston, of Louisiana

.do Louis McLane, of Delaware..

March 5, 1801
March 6, 1809.
April 2, 1811.
March 10, 1817.

March 5, 1817.
March 7, 1825.
March 4, 1829.
March 6, 1829.
May 24, 1831.
May 29, 1833.



June 27, 1834.

March 3, 1841.

March 5, 1841.

May 9, 1843.

June 21, 1843.

June 24, 1843.

February 29, 1844.

March 6, 1844.
March 6, 1845.

March 7, 1849.

John Forsyth, of Georgia......

Martin Van Buren J. L. Martin, of North Carolina (chief clerk), .....

...do ad interim.

William H. Harrison Daniel Webster, of Massachusetts.

John Tyler. Hugh S. Legaré, of South Carolina (Attorney

...do General), ad interim. William S. Derrick, of Pennsylvania (chief ..do

clerk), ad interim.
Abel P. Upshur, of Virginia (Secretary of the .do

John Nelson, of Maryland (Attorney-General), .do

ad interim.
John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina...

.do James Buchanan, of Pennsylvania.

James K. Polk.

(Zachary Taylor. John M. Clayton, of Delaware

Millard Fillmore Daniel Webster, of Massachusetts ...

....do Charles M. Conrad, of Louisiana (Secretary of .do

War), ad interim.
Edward Everett, of Massachusetts..
William Hunter, of Rhode Island (chief clerk),

ad interim
William L. Marcy, of New York

Franklin Pierce. Lewis Cass, of Michigan....

James Buchanan. William Hunter, of Rhode Island (chief clerk), do

ad interim. Jeremiah S. Black, of Pennsylvania

.do William H. Seward, of New York,

| Abraham Lincoln

Andrew Johnson Elihu B. Washburne, of Illinois..

Ulysses S. Grant. Hamilton Fish, of New York..

.....do. William M. Evarts, of New York.

Rutherford B. Hayes.

(James A. Garfield James G. Blaine, of Maine

Chester A. Arthur. Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey.


July 22, 1850.
September 2, 1852.

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Secretaries of State.



March 6, 1885.
March 5, 1889.
June 4, 1892.


June 29, 1892.
February 24, 1893.

Thomas F. Bayard, of Delaware

Grover Cleveland James G. Blaine, of Maine ...

Benjamin Harrison
William F. Wharton, of Massachusetts (Assistant .....do

Secretary), ad interim.
John W. Foster, of Indiana ...
William F. Wharton, of Massachusetts (Assistant .do

Secretary), ad interim.
Walter Q. Gresham, of Illinois

Grover Cleveland Edwin F. Uhl, of Michigan (Assistant Secretary), .do

ad interim. Richard Olney, of Massachusetts..

do John Sherman, of Ohio.....

William McKinley William R. Day, of Ohio.

do Alvey A. Adee, of the District of Columbia (Second Assistant Secretary), ad interim.

William McKinley. John Hay, of the District of Columbia

Theodore Roosevelt

March 6, 1893.
May 28, 1895.

June 8, 1895.
March 6, 1897.
April 26, 1898.
September 17, 1898.


September 20, 1898.

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