Fonte: The Writers' Almanac.
Jul. 27, 2011
The United States Department of Foreign Affairs was created on this date in 1789. Congress had approved its establishment about a week before, and President George Washington signed it into law on this date, making it the first federal agency created under the new Constitution. The Department of Foreign Affairs had evolved from the previous Committee of Secret Correspondence, which was led by Benjamin Franklin. The site of the nation's capital changed several times prior to 1800, and at this time, Congress was carrying out its business in New York City Hall. The Department of Foreign Affairs' office was located at Fraunces Tavern, on Pearl Street in lower Manhattan. The Treasury and War departments were housed there as well.
The Secretary of Foreign Affairs was given "the custody and charge of all records, books, and papers" of the government. Two months later, in September 1789, the department was assigned domestic, as well as foreign, duties and was renamed the State Department. President Washington then named Thomas Jefferson the first secretary of state; Jefferson reluctantly returned from Paris in January 1790 and assumed the duties of his new office in March. By then, the department had moved to Philadelphia, near Congress Hall, unless there was a yellow fever epidemic, in which case they operated out of Trenton, New Jersey.
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