Who served as the U.S. Secretary of State under Presidents George Washington and John Adams?
President Washington appointed Pickering to the position of Postmaster General in 1791. After briefly serving as Secretary of War, he became the Secretary of State in 1795, and remained in that office after President Adams was inaugurated. President Adams dismissed him in 1800 due to Pickering's opposition to peace with France during the Quasi-War.
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