George Washington


Who were the original members of Washington’s cabinet?

Washington sought to form a group of key advisors to assist him in leading the new federal government. He chose Alexander Hamilton as secretary of the treasury, Thomas Jefferson as secretary of state, Henry Knox as secretary of war, Edmund Randolph as attorney general, and Samuel Osgood as postmaster general. Hamilton, Jefferson, Knox, and Randolph regularly counseled Washington on a wide range of matters. As postmaster general, Osgood did not participate in those discussions.

Hamilton led the Department of the Treasury, Jefferson led the Department of State, Randolph led the Department of Justice and Knox led the Department of War (now called the Department of Defense). Congress approved of these executive branch agencies.


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