89 Facts About Hamilton Fish


Hamilton Fish was an American politician who served as the 16th governor of New York from 1849 to 1850, a United States senator from New York from 1851 to 1857, and the 26th US secretary of state from 1869 to 1877.


In 1875, Hamilton Fish initiated the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom that ultimately led to statehood for Hawaii by negotiating a reciprocal trade treaty for the island nation's sugar production.


Hamilton Fish organized a peace conference and treaty in Washington, DC, between South American countries and Spain.


Hamilton Fish worked with James Milton Turner to settle the Liberia-Grebo War in 1876.


Hamilton Fish attended Columbia College and later passed the New York state bar.


Hamilton Fish ran for New York's lieutenant governor in 1846, falling to a Democratic Anti-Rent Party contender.


Hamilton Fish gained valuable experience serving on Committee on Foreign Relations.


Hamilton Fish returned to his law practice after the Civil War, and was thought to have retired from political life.


Hamilton Fish took on the State Department with vigor, reorganized the office, and established civil service reform.


Hamilton Fish implemented the new concept of international arbitration, where disputes between countries were settled by negotiations, rather than military conflicts.


Hamilton Fish was involved in a political feud between US senator Charles Sumner and President Grant in the latter's unsuccessful efforts to annex the Dominican Republic.


Hamilton Fish organized a naval expedition in an unsuccessful attempt to open trade with Korea in 1871.


Hamilton Fish died quietly of old age in his luxurious New York State home in 1893.


Hamilton Fish has been praised by historians for his calm demeanor under pressure, honesty, loyalty, modesty, and talented statesmanship during his tenure under President Grant, briefly serving under President Hayes.


Hamilton Fish ably handled the Virginus incident, keeping the United States out of war with Spain.


Hamilton Fish has been traditionally viewed to be one of America's top ranked Secretaries of State by historians.


Hamilton Fish was named after his parents' friend Alexander Hamilton, a Founding Father and the nation's first US Secretary of the Treasury under George Washington.


Nicholas Hamilton Fish was a leading Federalist politician and notable figure of the American Revolutionary War.


Colonel Hamilton Fish was active in the Yorktown Campaign, which featured the final battles of the American Revolutionary War and led to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis and American independence.


In 1827, Hamilton Fish graduated from Columbia College, having obtained high honors.


At Columbia, Hamilton Fish became fluent in French, a language that would later help him as US Secretary of State.


Hamilton Fish served as commissioner of deeds for the city and county of New York from 1831 through 1833, and was an unsuccessful Whig candidate for New York State Assembly in 1834.


On December 15,1836, Hamilton Fish married Julia Kean, a descendant of William Livingston, a New Yorker who went on to become New Jersey's first governor.


For eight years after his defeat as a Representative in the New York State Assembly, Hamilton Fish was reluctant to run for office.


In November, Hamilton Fish was elected to the House of Representatives; having defeated Democrat John McKeon and serving in the 28th Congress from New York's 6th District between 1843 and 1845.


The Whigs at this time were in the minority in the House; however, Hamilton Fish gained valued national experience serving on the Committee of Military Affairs.


Hamilton Fish failed to win a re-election bid for a second term in the House.


Hamilton Fish was the Whig candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1846, but was defeated by Democrat Addison Gardiner who had been endorsed by the Anti-Rent Party.


Hamilton Fish had opposed the Anti-Rent Party for the use of illegal tactics not to pay rent.


Hamilton Fish was then in November 1847 elected to fill the vacancy, and was Lieutenant Governor in 1848.


Hamilton Fish had a favorable reputation for being "conciliatory" and for his "firmness" over the New York Senate.


At 40 years of age, Hamilton Fish was one of the youngest governors to be elected in New York history.


Hamilton Fish advocated and signed into law free public education facilities throughout New York state.


Hamilton Fish advocated and signed into law the building of an asylum and school for the intellectually disabled.


In 1850, Hamilton Fish recommended that the state legislature form a committee to collect and publish the Colonial Laws of New York.


None of the bills that Governor Hamilton Fish vetoed were overturned by the New York legislature.


Finally, when two Democratic Senators who were against Hamilton Fish's nomination were conspicuously absent, the Senate took action and voted.


On March 19,1851, Fish was elected a US Senator from New York and he took his seat on December 1, serving alongside future Secretary of State William H Seward.


Hamilton Fish was a Republican for the latter part of his term and was part of a moderately anti-slavery faction.


Hamilton Fish was a quiet Senator, rather than an orator, who liked to keep to himself.


Hamilton Fish often was in disagreement with Senator Sumner, who was firmly opposed to slavery and advocated equality for blacks.


Hamilton Fish often voted with the Free Soil faction and was strongly against the Kansas-Nebraska Bill.


Hamilton Fish's bill was designed to protect Irish and German immigrants who were dying on merchant ships during oceanic passage to America.


The merchants believed that Hamilton Fish's bill was oppressive to commercial interests over human interests.


Hamilton Fish had several important roles during the American Civil War.


Hamilton Fish was dining with Scott in New York when a telegram reported that Confederates had fired on Star of the West.


Hamilton Fish was appointed chairman of the committee after Dix joined the Union Army.


From 1860 to 1869, Hamilton Fish was trustee of The Bank for Savings in the City of New-York stepping down from that role when he became US Secretary of State.


Hamilton Fish immediately took on the responsibilities of his office with diligence, zeal, and intelligence.


Hamilton Fish remained in office, 13 years Grant's senior, even under ill health.


When Hamilton Fish assumed office he immediately began a series of reforms in the Department of State.


Hamilton Fish introduced indexing of State Department files so subordinates could easily find documents.


Hamilton Fish implemented civil service reform by having State Department applicants be required to pass an entry examination before being appointed consultant.


Hamilton Fish, who desired settlement over the Alabama Claims, did not approve of recognizing the Cuban rebels, since Queen Victoria and her government had recognized Confederate belligerency in 1861.


The resolution went to the House of Representatives and was ready to pass Hamilton Fish worked out an agreement with President Grant to send a special message to Congress that urged not to acknowledge the Cuban rebels.


On June 13,1870, the message written by Hamilton Fish was sent to Congress by the President and Congress, after much debate, decided not to recognize Cuban belligerency.


Hamilton Fish told Grant that the US Senate would not be ready to pass a Santo Domingo annexation treaty.


In October 1869, Hamilton Fish drew up a formal treaty that included: a $1,500,000 payment of the Dominican national debt; Samana Bay would be leased to the United States for $150,000 yearly payment; Santo Domingo would eventually be given statehood.


Hamilton Fish believed senators would vote for annexation only if statehood was withdrawn; however, President Grant refused this option.


President Grant and Secretary Hamilton Fish were interested in establishing an inter-oceanic canal through Panama.


Secretary Hamilton Fish organized a treaty signing on January 26,1870, in Bogota between the United States and Colombia that established a Panama route for the inter-oceanic canal.


Anglophobia led by Charles Sumner was at an all-time high when Hamilton Fish became Secretary of State.


Hamilton Fish, who was determined to improve relations with Britain, along with President Grant and Senate supporters, had Charles Sumner removed by vote from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the door was open for renewed negotiations with Britain.


On February 14,1871, both distinguished High Commissioners representing Britain, led by the Earl of Ripon, George Robinson, and the United States, led by Hamilton Fish, met in Washington, DC, and negotiations over settlement went remarkably well.


When Hamilton Fish took office, he organized the Korean naval expedition and broadened the purposes.


Hamilton Fish had told the fleet not to use force unless the honor of the US flag was infringed by the Koreans.


When news reached the United States of the executions, President Grant and Secretary Hamilton Fish were forced to make an immediate response.


Hamilton Fish found out that the registration was falsified under American ownership the executions of Americans demanded action.


Hamilton Fish coolly handled the situation, calling upon Spanish minister, Admiral Jose Polo de Bernabe in Washington DC, and holding a conference.


Hamilton Fish negotiated the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 with the Hawaiian Kingdom under the reign of King Kalakaua.


The US settled the Liberian-Grebo War in 1876 when Hamilton Fish dispatched the USS Alaska, under President Grant's authority, to Liberia.


The letter was never read at the convention and Hamilton Fish was never nominated.


President Grant believed that Fish was a good compromise choice between the rival factions of James G Blaine and Roscoe Conkling.


Hamilton Fish, who was ready to retire to private life, did not desire to run for president and was content at returning to private life.


Hamilton Fish found out later that President Grant had written the letter to the convention.


President Grant at the close of his second term, and Secretary Hamilton Fish, remained interested in establishing an inter-oceanic canal treaty.


Hamilton Fish was revered in the New York community and enjoyed spending time with his family.


Hamilton Fish resided in Glen Clyffe, his estate near Garrison, New York, in Putnam County, New York, in the Hudson River Valley.


Hamilton Fish's health remained good until around 1884, having suffered from neuralgia.


On September 6,1893, Hamilton Fish had retired from the evening having played cards with his daughter.


On September 11,1893, Hamilton Fish was buried in Garrison at St Philip's Church-in-the-Highlands Cemetery under waving trees on the hills along the Hudson River shoreline.


Hamilton Fish was buried next to his wife and oldest daughter near the grave of Edwards Pierrepont, President Grant's US Attorney General.


Hamilton Fish was a long time member of the New York Society of the Cincinnati by right of his father's service as an officer in the Continental Army.


Hamilton Fish succeeded to his father's seat in the Society upon his father's death in 1833.


In 1848, Hamilton Fish became the Vice President General of the national society and, in 1854, he became its president general.


In 1855, Hamilton Fish was elected president of the New York Society.


Hamilton Fish served as both president general of the national society and president of the New York Society until his death in 1893.


Hamilton Fish II served as assistant to his father at the US State Department.


Hamilton Fish was the first member of that regiment to be killed in action, at the Battle of Las Guasimas, Cuba.