An informal historical study of the office of the Secretary of State from the first Secretary, Robert Livingston, up to the present. This is an analysis of the relations between our Presidents and their Secretaries which ranges from whole-hearted support (as in the cases of Truman and Acheson, Eisenhower and Dulles) to distrust and reluctance to allow the Secretaries to function adequately (a fact more often than one would expect). As a study of the Secretary's power and influence on foreign relations this develops actually into a history of the office itself, not only in its function in regard to foreign affairs but quite often in the part played in domestic affairs as well. Since the office has grown in size, public relations and political contacts, this study brings to light the relative importance of different men in the office. The author has the courage to rate those he feels have best fulfilled their function.