DoS 230th Anniversary—Thos. Jefferson—First Secretary of State
Download this free poster to commemorate 230 years of American diplomacy around the world!
Created in 1789 as the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs and later renamed the U.S. Department of State, this cabinet-level agency advises the president on foreign matters and negotiates agreements with foreign countries. The first secretary of state, Thomas Jefferson, portrayed here, had a staff of four clerks, a translator and a messenger, as well as two diplomatic posts (London and Paris) and 10 consular posts. The poster features a detail of a portrait of Jefferson by Gilbert Stuart. The original portrait now hangs in Monticello, the Charlottesville, Virginia, home of Jefferson. A prolific artist, Stuart painted portraits of many of the early 19th century American leaders in both government and society. Stuart was “the most authoritative painter of faces in America” and “instinctively perceived what an American portrait should be,” according to art historian Eleanor Pearson DeLorme.
Today, 75,000 State Department employees serve in 277 countries and at the United Nations. “We use diplomacy to defend … unalienable rights, not just for Americans, but for people all across the world,” says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.