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to answer the call of the Secretary or Assistant Secretaries, and inquiries from chiefs of Bureaus or clerks, when more particular directions are asked as to the disposition of work. It is for the Chief Clerk to generally supervise the sending of the foreign mails from the Department, and to guard the privacy of the closed pouches, and to enforce discipline in matters looking to the efficiency of the laborers and inuring to the general comfort of the occupants of the building
BUILDINGS OCCUPIED BY THE DEPARTMENT. THE first meeting place of the Congress,
where the plan for the conduct of our foreign affairs was first taken into consideration, was Carpenters' Hall, a building which had been constructed for the Society of House Carpenters, of Philadelphia. It stands at the end of an alley, south from Chestnut street, between Third and Fourth streets. The lower floor, consisting of one large room, was occupied by the Congress, and the rooms in the second story by committees. From Carpenters' Hall the Government went to what has ever since been known as Independence Hall.
As soon as the Department of Foreign Affairs was organized under Livingston, it took possession of a small house in Philadelphia,
owned by Peter L. Du Ponceau, No. 13 South Sixth street, on the eastern side. Livingston's office was in the front room of the second floor, and in the back room were the Under Secretaries, while the clerks and interpreters occupied the room on the ground floor. This building was demolished in 1846. It was occupied as the Office of Foreign Affairs from the latter part of 1781 up to June, 1783, when the Department was practically suspended until Jay took control of it in 1785. .
In January, 1785, the seat of government being moved to New York, the Department of Foreign Affairs found quarters in the famous Fraunce's Tavern, in the long room of which Washington had taken farewell of the generals of the Revolution at the close of the war. Here it remained till 1788, when it moved to the west side of Broadway, in a house owned by Philip Livingston, near the Battery. Later it was moved to another house on the same street on the opposite side.
The capital having been again located at Philadelphia, the Department took up its abode first on Market street, then on the southeast corner of Arch and Sixth streets, then in North Alley, and finally at the northeast corner of Fifth and Chestnut streets, where it remained until it was moved to Washington, except for an interval of three months from August to November, 1798, when it occupied the State House at Trenton, N. J., the office being moved from Philadelphia on account of an epidemic of yellow fever.
On June 1, 1800, the archives were lodged in the Treasury, the only building sufficiently completed to receive them, and August 27 were placed in one of the “six buildings” on Pennsylvania avenue and Twentieth street. In May, 1801, the offices were placed in the large brick building on Seventeenth street, opposite G street, known as the War Office, and here it remained up to December, 1819, with an interval from September, 1814, to April, 1816, when it occupied a building on the south side of G street, near Eighteenth, pending the repair of its former building, which had been demolished in the invasion of the city by the British troops.
In January, 1820, the offices were moved to the corner of Fifteenth street and Pennsylvania avenue, the site now covered by the north wing of the United States Treasury, and there it remained up to October, 1866, when it leased the premises then belonging, as now, to the Washington Orphan Asylum, on Fourteenth street, near S street. It remained there until July, 1875, when it was removed to its present quarters, which constitute the south wing of the State, War, and Navy Building.