The Secretary to the President (sometimes dubbed the president's Private Secretary or Personal Secretary) was a former 19th and early 20th century White House position that carried out all the tasks now spread throughout the modern White House Office. The Secretary would act as a buffer between the President and the public, keeping the President's schedules and appointments, managing his correspondence, managing the staff, communicating to the press as well as being a close aide and advisor to the President in a manner that often required great skill and discretion. In terms of rank it is a precursor to the modern White House Chief of Staff.
Every American President had a private secretary, but the position was not an official one until the McKinley administration. At the time of its peak the Secretary to the President was a much admired government office held by men of high ability and considered as worthy as a cabinet rank; it even merited an oath of office. Three private secretaries were later appointed to the Cabinet: George B. Cortelyou, John Hay and Daniel S. Lamont.
During the nineteenth century, Presidents had few staff resources. Thomas Jefferson had one messenger and one secretary (referred to as an amanuensis in the common parlance of the time) at his disposal, both of whose salaries were paid by the President personally. In fact, all Presidents up to James Buchanan paid the salaries of their private secretaries out of their own pockets; these roles were usually fulfilled by their relatives, most often their sons or nephews. James K. Polk notably had his wife take the role.
It was during Buchanan's term at the White House in 1857 that the United States Congress created a definite office named the "Private Secretary at the White House" and appropriated for its incumbent a salary of $2,500. The first man to hold such office officially and to be paid by the Government instead of by the President, was Buchanan's nephew J. B. Henry. By Ulysses S. Grant's presidency, the White House staff had grown to three.
By 1900, the office had grown in such stature that Congress elevated the position to "Secretary to the President", in addition to including on the White House staff two assistant secretaries, two executive clerks, a stenographer, and seven other office personnel. The first man to hold the office of Secretary to the President was John Addison Porter whose failing health meant he was soon succeeded by George B. Cortelyou. Radio and the advent of media coverage soon meant that Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson too expanded the duties of their respective secretaries to dealing with reporters and giving daily press briefings.
Under Warren G. Harding, the size of the staff expanded to thirty-one, although most were clerical positions. During Herbert Hoover's presidency however, he tripled the staff adding two additional private secretaries to the President (at a salary of $10,000 each – increased from $7,200) added by Congress. The first Hoover designated his Legislative Secretary (the senior Secretary now informally referred to by the press as the President's "No.1 Secretary" ), the second his Confidential Secretary, and the third his Appointments and Press Secretary.
In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt converted Hoover's two extra secretaries into the permanent White House Press Secretary and Appointments Secretary, but from 1933 to 1939, as he greatly expanded the scope of the federal government's policies and powers in response to the Great Depression, Roosevelt relied on his "Brain Trust" of top advisers. Although working directly for the President, they were often appointed to vacant positions in agencies and departments, from whence they drew their salaries since the White House lacked statutory or budgetary authority to create new staff positions. It wasn't until 1939, during Franklin D. Roosevelt's second term in office, that the foundations of the modern White House staff were created using a formal structure. Roosevelt was able to get Congress to approve the creation of the Executive Office of the President reporting directly to the President which included the White House Office. As a consequence, the office of Secretary to the President was greatly diminished in stature (mostly due to the lack of a sufficient replacement to Roosevelt's confidant Louis McHenry Howe who had died in 1936) and had many of its duties supplanted by the Appointments Secretary.
In 1946, in response to the rapid growth of the U.S. government's executive branch, the position of Assistant to the President of the United States was established, and charged with the affairs of the White House. Together with the Appointments Secretary the two took responsibility of most of the President's affairs and at this point the Secretary to the President was charged with nothing other than managing the president's official correspondence before the office was discontinued at the close of the Truman administration.
In 1961, under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the president's pre-eminent assistant was designated the White House Chief of Staff. Assistant to the President became a rank generally shared by the Chief of Staff with such senior aides as Deputy Chiefs of Staff, the White House Counsel, the White House Press Secretary, and others. This new system didn't catch on straight away. Democrats Kennedy and Johnson still relied on their appointments secretaries instead and it was not until the Nixon administration that the Chief of Staff become a permanent fixture in the White House, and the appointments secretary was reduced to only functional importance. In the 1980s the job was re-designated to the White House Office of Appointments and Scheduling.
|Tobias Lear1||George Washington|
|1789–1791||Maj. William Jackson2|
|1797–1801||William Smith Shaw||John Adams|
|1801–1803||Cpt. Meriwether Lewis||Thomas Jefferson|
|1804–1805||William A. Burwell|
|1816–1817||James Payne Todd|
|1817–1820||Joseph Jones Monroe||James Monroe|
|1820–1825||Samuel L. Gouverneur|
|1825–1829||John Adams II||John Quincy Adams|
|1829–1831||Andrew Jackson Donelson||Andrew Jackson|
|1831–1837||Andrew Jackson Donelson|
|1837–1841||Abraham Van Buren||Martin Van Buren|
|1841||Henry Huntington Harrison||William Henry Harrison|
|1841–1845||John Tyler, Jr.||John Tyler|
|1845–1849||Joseph Knox Walker||James K. Polk|
|1849–1850||Cpt. William Wallace Smith Bliss||Zachary Taylor|
|1850–1853||Millard Powers Fillmore||Millard Fillmore|
|1853–1857||Sidney Webster||Franklin Pierce|
|1Washington had several young assistant secretaries who made copies of his correspondence. Among these were|
Robert "Bob" Lewis, Howell Lewis, Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., and George Washington Craik.
3His wife, it is said, too was his personal secretary.
|1857–1859||James Buchanan Henry||James Buchanan|
|1859–1861||James Buchanan II|
|1861–1865||John G. Nicolay||Abraham Lincoln|
|1861–1865||Maj. John Hay1|
|1865–66||Col. William A. Browning||Andrew Johnson|
|1865||Col. Reuben D. Mussey, Jr.1|
|1866–1869||Brig. Gen. Robert Johnson|
|1866–1869||Col. William G. Moore1|
|1869–1873||Robert M. Douglas2||Ulysses S. Grant|
|1873–1876||Col. Levi P. Luckey2|
|1876–1877||Ulysses S. Grant, Jr.2|
|1869–1872||Col. Horace Porter1|
|1869–1873||Brig. Gen. Frederick Tracy Dent1|
|1869–1876||Col. Orville E. Babcock1|
|1877–1881||William King Rogers||Rutherford B. Hayes|
|1881–1882||Joseph Stanley-Brown||James Garfield|
|1882–1885||Fred J. Phillips|
|1885–1889||Col. Daniel Scott Lamont||Grover Cleveland|
|1889–1893||Maj. Elijah W. Halford||Benjamin Harrison|
|1893–1896||Henry T. Thurber||Grover Cleveland|
|1As Military Secretary.
2 Grant was closer to his Military Secretaries who did most of the work normally associated with the Private Secretary.
|1897–1900||John Addison Porter||William McKinley|
|1900–1903||George B. Cortelyou|
|1903–1909||William Loeb, Jr.|
|1909–1910||Fred W. Carpenter||William Howard Taft|
|1910–1911||Charles D. Norton|
|1911–1912||Charles D. Hilles|
|1913–1921||Joseph Tumulty||Woodrow Wilson|
|1922–1923||George B. Christian, Jr.||Warren G. Harding|
|1923–1924||C. Bascom Slemp||Calvin Coolidge|
|1929–1933||Walter H. Newton1
|1929–1931||George Edward Akerson1|
|1933–1936||Col. Louis McHenry Howe||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|1941–1943||Col. Marvin H. McIntyre|
|1944–1952||William D. Hassett2|
|1952–1953||Beth Campbell Short2|
1President Hoover had three private secretaries. The additional two were later "Appointments Secretary" and "Press Secretary".
2As "Correspondence Secretary to the president"
The appointments secretary was the guardian of the President's time. He had the responsibility of acting as "gatekeeper" and decided who got to meet with him.
Eisenhower appointed Arthur H. Vandenberg Jr. to the position, but he took a leave of absence before Eisenhower's inauguration and later withdrew without ever having served.
|1929–1931||George Edward Akerson1||Herbert Hoover|
|1933–1938||Col. Marvin H. McIntyre2||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|1938–1945||Maj. Gen. Edwin "Pa" Watson|
|1945–1953||Matthew J. Connelly|
|1953–1955||Thomas E. Stephens||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|1955–1957||Bernard M. Shanley|
|1957–1961||Thomas E. Stephens|
|1961–1963||Kenneth P. O'Donnell3||John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson|
|1963–1968||W. Marvin Watson3||Lyndon Johnson|
|1968||James R. Jones3|
|1969–1973||Dwight Chapin||Richard Nixon|
|1974–1976||Warren S. Rustand||Gerald Ford|
|1977–1978||Timothy Kraft||Jimmy Carter|
|1978–1981||Phil J. Wise|
|1As Appointments and Press Secretary.
2Before 1937 the title was only "assistant secretary to appointments".
3De facto White House Chief of Staff.
The Secretary to the President should not be confused with the modern President's personal secretary who is officially an Administrative Assistant in the President's Office.
|1933–1941||Missy LeHand||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|1945–1953||Rose Conway||Harry Truman|
|1953–1961||Ann C. Whitman||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|1961–1963||Evelyn Lincoln||John F. Kennedy|
|1963–1969||Gerri Whittington||Lyndon Johnson|
|1969–1974||Rose Mary Woods||Richard Nixon|
|1974–1977||Dorothy E. Downton||Gerald Ford|
|1977–1981||Susan Clough||Jimmy Carter|
|1981–1989||Kathleen Osborne||Ronald Reagan|
|1989–1993||Linda Casey||George H. W. Bush|
|1993–2001||Betty Currie||Bill Clinton|
|2001–2005||Ashley Estes Kavanaugh||George W. Bush|
|2005–2009||Karen E. Keller|
|2009–2011||Katie Johnson||Barack Obama|
|2011–2014||Anita Decker Breckenridge|
|2017–2019||Madeleine Westerhout||Donald Trump|
Carthage College is a four-year private liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Situated in Kenosha, Wisconsin, midway between Chicago, Illinois, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the campus is an 80-acre arboretum on the shore of Lake Michigan and is home to 3,000 full-time and 200 part-time students.
Carthage awards bachelor's degrees with majors in more than 40 subject areas and master's degrees in two areas. Carthage has 150 faculty. John R. Swallow is the president of Carthage, the 23rd in its history.
Carthage is the coordinator for the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium.James Buchanan Henry
James Buchanan Henry (1833-1915) was a lawyer, writer, Secretary to the President of the United States, nephew and ward of James Buchanan. He was the first man to hold this office after it became an official, paid Government post. He held this position for two years.J.B. Henry was the son of Harriet Buchanan (1802-1840) and the Reverend Robert Henry. At age seven, Henry was adopted by uncle James Buchanan and raised as his ward. Buchanan wanted his nephew to become an attorney like him, and paid for his admittance and education at Princeton in 1850. In 1851 he sent Henry to study law in Philadelphia with John Cadwalader.Prior to Henry, each president paid the wages of his private secretaries out of his own pocket. Some of Henry's duties included drawing the President's salary and paying all of the bills. His post was in the office of the southeast corner room, second floor. He served there between the years 1857 to 1859.
After leaving the White House, he practised law in New York City, where he served as Assistant United States District Attorney.John A. Porter
John A. Porter may refer to:
John Addison Porter (1822–1866), American professor of chemistry
John Addison Porter (Secretary to the President) (1856–1900), first Secretary to the President of the United States
John Porter (sociologist) (1921–1979), Canadian sociologistMount Howe
Mount Howe (87°22′S 149°30′W) is an elongated mountain in Antarctica, 2,930 metres (9,600 ft) high, comprising low connecting ridges and gable-shaped nunataks. It rises at the east side of Scott Glacier, near the head, directly opposite Mount McIntyre. This mountain, including its small southern outlier, apparently is the southernmost mountain in the world. It was discovered in December 1934 by the Byrd Antarctic Expedition geological party led by Quin Blackburn, and was named by Admiral Byrd for Louis McHenry Howe, secretary to the President of the United States at that time, Franklin D. Roosevelt.Mount Howe harbours the southernmost known indigenous life — a colony of bacteria and yeasts. All bacteria and other life on the ice as far south as the pole appear to be weather deposited strays. The Mount Howe area has the closest blue ice runway to the South Pole (an area with no net annual snow accumulation with an ice surface capable of supporting aircraft landing on wheels instead of skis).Mount McIntyre
Mount McIntyre (87°17′S 153°0′W) is a rocky, flat, projecting-type mountain that forms the northeastern extremity of D'Angelo Bluff in Antarctica. It rises at the west side of Scott Glacier, near the head, directly opposite Mount Howe. The mountain was discovered in December 1934 by the Byrd Antarctic Expedition geological party led by Quin Blackburn, and was named by Admiral Byrd for Marvin H. McIntyre, Secretary to the President of the United States at that time, Franklin D. Roosevelt.Rose Mary Woods
Rose Mary Woods (December 26, 1917 – January 22, 2005) was Richard Nixon's secretary from his days in Congress in 1951, through the end of his political career. Before H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman became the operators of Nixon's presidential campaign, Woods was Nixon's gatekeeper.The American President
The American President is a 1995 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner and written by Aaron Sorkin. The film stars Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, and Richard Dreyfuss. In the film, President Andrew Shepherd (Douglas) is a widower who pursues a relationship with environmental lobbyist Sydney Ellen Wade (Bening) – who has just moved to Washington, D.C. – while at the same time attempting to win the passage of a crime control bill.
Composer Marc Shaiman was nominated for the Original Musical or Comedy Score Oscar for The American President. The film was nominated for Golden Globes for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical for Michael Douglas, Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical for Annette Bening, and Best Comedy/Musical. The American Film Institute ranked The American President No. 75 on its list of America's Greatest Love Stories.