On November 26, 1791, George Washington convened his department secretaries: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmund Randolph for the first cabinet meeting. Washington waited two and a half years into his presidency to call his cabinet because the US Constitution did not create or provide for such a body. Faced with diplomatic crises, domestic insurrections, and constitutional challenges Washington decided he needed a group of advisors he could turn to. He modeled his new cabinet on the councils of war he had led as commander of the Continental Army. Author: Lindsay M. Chervinsky. Hardback; 432 pages.