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U.S. Department of State

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Assistant Secretary of State


Creation of this Position

Title: Second Assistant Secretary of State
Name: William Hunter
State of Residency: Rhode Island
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jul 27, 1866
Entry on Duty: Jul 27, 1886
Termination of Appointment: Jul 22, 1886

Title: Second Assistant Secretary of State
Name: Alvey A. Adee
State of Residency: District of Columbia
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Aug 3, 1866
Entry on Duty: Aug 6, 1886
Termination of Appointment: Jun 30, 1924
Note: Title changed to Assistant Secretary of State effective July 1, 1924.


Creation of Position: The Consular and Diplomatic Appropriations Act for the year ending Jun 30, 1867 (Jul 25, 1866; 14 Stat. 226), authorized the President to appoint a Second Assistant Secretary of State. Duties of incumbents varied less over the years than did those of the other Assistant Secretary positions. Responsibilities included: supervision of correspondence with diplomatic officers; preparation of drafts of treaties, conventions, diplomatic notes, and instructions; detailed treatment of current diplomatic and political questions; approval of correspondence for the signature of the Secretary of Acting Secretary; and consultation on matters of diplomatic procedure, international law and policy, and traditional practices of the Department. The Foreign Service Act of 1924 (May 24, 1924; 43 Stat 146) abolished numerical titles for Assistant Secretaries of State.

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