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U.S. Department of State

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Assistant Secretary of State


Creation of this Position

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: A. Dudley Mann
State of Residency: Ohio
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 23, 1853
Entered on Duty: [see note below]
Termination of Appointment: May 8, 1855
Note: The payroll records of the Department of State indicate that Mann's salary as Assistant Secretary of State did not begin until Apr 1, 1854.

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: William Hunter
State of Residency: Rhode Island
Non-career appointee
Appointment: May 8, 1855
Entered on Duty: May 9, 1855
Termination of Appointment: Oct 31, 1855
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate.

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: John Addison Thomas
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Nov 1, 1855
Entered on Duty: Nov 1, 1855
Termination of Appointment: Apr 3, 1857
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Feb 29, 1856.

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: John Appleton
State of Residency: Maine
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Apr 4, 1857
Entered on Duty: Apr 4, 1857
Termination of Appointment: Jun 10, 1860
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jan 14, 1858.

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: William H. Trescot
State of Residency: South Carolina
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jun 8, 1860
Entered on Duty: Jun 11, 1860
Termination of Appointment: Dec 20, 1860

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: Frederick W. Seward
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 6, 1861
Entered on Duty: Mar 6, 1861
Termination of Appointment: Mar 4, 1869

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: J.C. Bancroft Davis
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 25, 1869
Entered on Duty: Apr 1, 1869
Termination of Appointment: Nov 13, 1871

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: Charles Hale
State of Residency: Massachusetts
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Feb 19, 1872
Entered on Duty: Feb 19, 1872
Termination of Appointment: Jan 24, 1873

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: J.C. Bancroft Davis
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jan 24, 1873
Entered on Duty: Jan 25, 1873
Termination of Appointment: Jan 30, 1874

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: John L. Cadwalader
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jun 17, 1874
Entered on Duty: Jul 1, 1874
Termination of Appointment: Mar 20 1877

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: Frederick W. Seward
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 16, 1877
Entered on Duty: Mar 21, 1877
Termination of Appointment: Oct 31, 1879

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: John Hay
State of Residency: Ohio
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Nov 1, 1879
Entered on Duty: Nov 1, 1879
Termination of Appointment: May 3, 1881
Note: Recommissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 11, 1879.

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: Robert R. Hitt
State of Residency: Illinois
Non-career appointee
Appointment: May 4, 1881
Entered on Duty: May 4, 1881
Termination of Appointment: Dec 19, 1881

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: J.C. Bancroft Davis
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Dec 19, 1881
Entered on Duty: Dec 20, 1881
Termination of Appointment: Jul 7, 1882

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: John Davis
State of Residency: District of Colombia
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jul 7, 1882
Entered on Duty: Jul 8, 1882
Termination of Appointment: Feb 23, 1885

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: James D. Porter
State of Residency: Tennessee
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 20, 1885
Entered on Duty: Mar 21, 1885
Termination of Appointment: Sep 10, 1887

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: George L. Rives
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Nov 19, 1887
Entered on Duty: Nov 21, 1887
Termination of Appointment: Mar 5, 1889
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 15, 1887.

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: Eugene Schuyler
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Note: Not commissioned; nomination withdrawn before the Senate acted upon it.

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: William F. Wharton
State of Residency: Massachusetts
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Apr 2, 1889
Entered on Duty: Apr 11, 1889
Termination of Appointment: Mar 20, 1893

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: Josiah Quincy
State of Residency: Massachusetts
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 20, 1893
Entered on Duty: Mar 21, 1893
Termination of Appointment: Sep 22, 1893

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: Edwin F. Uhl
State of Residency: Michigan
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Nov 1, 1893
Entered on Duty: Nov 11, 1893
Termination of Appointment: Feb 11, 1896

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: William Woodville Rockhill
State of Residency: Maryland
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Feb 11, 1896
Entry on Duty: Feb 14, 1896
Termination of Appointment: May 10, 1897

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: William R. Day
State of Residency: Ohio
Non-career appointee
Appointment: May 3, 1897
Entered on Duty: May 11, 1897
Termination of Appointment: Apr 27, 1898

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: John B. Moore
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Apr 27, 1898
Entered on Duty: Apr 28, 1898
Termination of Appointment: Sep 16, 1898

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: David J. Hill
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Oct 25, 1898
Entered on Duty: Oct 25, 1898
Termination of Appointment: Jan 28, 1903
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 13, 1898.

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: Francis B. Loomis
State of Residency: Ohio
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jan 7, 1903
Entered on Duty: Feb 9, 1903
Termination of Appointment: Oct 10, 1905

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: Robert Bacon
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Sep 5, 1905
Entered on Duty: Oct 11, 1905
Termination of Appointment: Jan 27, 1909
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 6, 1905.

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: John Callan O'Laughlin
State of Residency: District of Colombia
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jan 27, 1909
Entered on Duty: Jan 28, 1909
Termination of Appointment: Mar 5, 1909

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: Huntington Wilson
State of Residency: Illinois
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 5, 1909
Entered on Duty: Mar 6, 1909
Termination of Appointment: Mar 19, 1913

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: John E. Osborne
State of Residency: Wyoming
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Apr 21, 1913
Entered on Duty: Apr 21, 1913
Termination of Appointment: Dec 14, 1916

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: William Philips
State of Residency: Massachusetts
Foreign Service officer
Appointment: Jan 24, 1917
Entered on Duty: Jan 25, 1917
Termination of Appointment: Mar 25, 1920

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: Fred Morris Dearing
State of Residency: Missouri
Foreign Service officer
Appointment: Mar 11, 1921
Entered on Duty: Mar 15, 1921
Termination of Appointment: Feb 28, 1922

Title: Assistant Secretary of State
Name: Leland Harrison
State of Residency: Illinois
Foreign Service officer
Appointment: Mar 31, 1922
Entered on Duty: Apr 4, 1922
Termination of Appointment: Jun 30, 1924
Note: Service as the Assistant Secretary of State ceased on this date; Harrison continued to serve as one of four Assistant Secretaries of State until Apr 1, 1927.


Creation of Position: On Mar 3, 1853, Congress, in a Federal appropriations act (10 Stat. 212), authorized the President to appoint an Assistant Secretary of State, whose duties would be as prescribed by the Secretary of State or as required by law. The Assistant Secretary of State superseded the Chief Clerk as the second-ranking officer of the Department. The Counselor replaced the Assistant Secretary as the second-ranking officer in 1913. Specific duties of the incumbents varied over the years and included such responsibilities as supervising the Diplomatic and Consular Bureaus, general supervision of correspondence, consular appointments, administration of the Department, and supervision of economic matters and various geographic divisions.

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