Hon Hamilton Fish
|Father||Nicholas Fish (1758-1833)|
Hamilton Fish was U.S. Secretary of State from 1869 to 1877 during the administration of President Ulysses S Grant. He had earlier served as Governor of New York State for the two years 1849 and 1850, and was a U.S. senator for six years from 1851. He was the first of four Hamilton Fishes to serve in the US House of Representatives.
His son, Hamilton Fish II (1849–1936), served two terms in the House, 1909–1911 and 1923–1925. Hamilton Stuyvesant Fish (1888–1991), son of Hamilton Fish II, and also known as Hamilton Fish Jr., served in the House from 1920 through 1945. Hamilton Fish IV (1926–1996), son of Hamilton Fish III, served in the House from 1969 to 1995.
Hamilton Fish V, son of Hamilton Fish IV, also ran for a House seat in 1988 and 1994 but was defeated both times.
791. Hon. Hamilton Fish, 1808–1893, son of (312) Col., Nicholas and Elisabeth Stuyvesant Fish, was married, Dec. 15, 1836, to Julia Kearn, daughter of Peter Kearn, and granddaughter of Hon. John Kearn, of South Carolina, who was a member of Congress on the Confederation, 1786–9. Hamilton Fish was born in New York City, and there received his instruction preparatory for college at the famous school of Monsieur Bancel, and exiled French Legitimist, from whom he obtained a well grounded and lasting knowledge of the French language, which was of service to him in after years. In 1827 he was graduated from Columbia College with highest honors, and immediately began the study of law with Peter A. Jay, son of Chief Justice Jay. Three years later he was admitted to the bar and formed a partnership with William Beach Lawrence, editor and commentator of Wheaton's International Law. He devoted himself to chancery and real estate practice and gave much time to the study of international law. Outside of his profession he took an interest in political affairs, in promoting movements for advancing the welfare of Columbia College, and the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which he was a member; and also in the establishment of public libraries and other institutions and charities in New York City. In 1842, at the age of thirty-four, he was elected to Congress and served one term. In 1847 he was elected Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York for the unexpired term of one year, occasioned by the resignation of Lieut. Governor Gardner. In 1848 he was elected Governor of said State, beginning his term on the first of January, 1849. On the expiration of his term as Governor he was chosen by the New York Legislature, United States Senator, for the term commencing that year, 1851. On the expiration of his term as Senator, in 1857, he with his family visited Europe and made an extended tour, increasing his knowledge of foreign countries and foreign affairs by personal observation and intercourse, having after attaining his majority come into possession of three separate fortunes, one from his father, one from his mother, and one from his uncle, Petrus Stuyvesant, he was free to use his time and his talents as to him seemed best. He, however, returned to his native land in time to give his earnest and effective aid to the election of Abraham Lincoln. When the Rebellion broke out in the spring of 1861, he united in the formation of the Union Defence Committee, and soon afterwards, when General Dix, its first chairman, went into military service, he became chairman of the committee. This committee in its influence and labors was of immense value to the Union cause. Later in the war of the Rebellion, Mr. Fish was the leading member of the commission appointed by President Lincoln to arrange with the Confederate authorities for the exchange of prisoners. Through the efforts of Mr. Fish and his associates, an arrangement after much difficulty was agreed upon, which continued to the end of the war. In March, 1869, Mr. Fish became Secretary of State and continued in that office throughout the entire eight years of General Grant's terms as President, during which he was General Grant's most trusted advisor. The invaluable services rendered his country by Mr. Fish during these eight years, form an important chapter in the history of this Republic. The degree of LL. D. was conferred upon him in 1850 by Columbia College, in 1869 by Union college, and in 1871 by Harvard University. He was President of the National Society of the Cincinnati for nearly forty years; a trustee of Columbia College for more than fifty years, during thirty-five of which he was their chairman; a trustee of the Astor Library; one of the presidents of the New York Historical Society; and frequently a delegate to the Diocesan and General Conventions of the Protestant Episcopal Church. A fitting tribute to his memory was paid by the Legislature of New York State on the evening of April 5, 1894, at the Capitol, at which the Governor and State Officers were present, and an eloquent oration upon his life and public services was delivered by Senator Edmunds of Vermont.
2046. Hamilton Fish, b. Apr. 17, 1859 [sic: 1849].
2047. Stuyvesant Fish, b. June 24, 1851.
Hon. Hamilton Fish, eldest son of Colonel Nicholas and Elizabeth (Stuyvesant) Fish, was born August 3, 1808, in New York, and graduated from Columbia College in 1827. He was admitted to the bar in 1830, but early turned his attention to political affairs. He became prominent in the Whig party. In 1842 he was elected to the National Congress from the Sixth New York District. In 1846 he was the nominee of his party for the office of lieutenant-governor, with the Hon. John Young as candidate for governor. Although the head of the ticket was elected, the opposition of the anti-renters, whose plans Mr. Fish emphatically condemned, prevented his election. His successful competitor, Addison Gardner, soon resigned the office to accept the position of judge of the Court of Appeals, and Mr. Fish was elected in 1847 in his place. In 1848 Mr. Fish was elected governor of the State by a plurality of nearly 100,000, and in 1851 was chosen United States Senator and served for six years, following which he made an extended tour of Europe. While he was in the Senate, the Republican party was organized, and Governor Fish, as he was always called, became one of its loyal supporters. On the outbreak of the Civil War he took a decided stand in defense of the Union and attained a commanding influence. In 1862 President Lincoln appointed him a member of the Commission to visit the Union prisoners confined in Richmond, with a view to obtaining an exchange, which was eventually effected. He was also chairman of the Union Defense Committee. In 1869 he was called to the cabinet of President Grant, holding the high position of Secretary of State for eight years. Through his skillful and untiring efforts a peace settlement of the Alabama claims was made, through the Treaty of Washington in 1871 and the subsequent Geneva Arbitration in 1872. He became president general of the Order of the Cincinnati in 1854, and so continued until his death. He was also president of the New York Historical Society, of the Union League Club, and of the United Railroad and Canal Company of New Jersey, and from 1859 until 1893 chairman of the board of trustees of Columbia College. Governor Fish served repeatedly as a delegate from the Diocese of New York to the Triennial Conventions of the Protestant Episcopal Church and devoted much of his time to the study of and became an authority in respect of the canon law of the church. After a long, extremely active, and useful life, Mr. Fish passed away at the age of eighty-five years, on September 7, 1893, at his country seat, "Glenclyffe," near Garrison, in Putnam County, New York, leaving behind him the memory of a patriotic citizen and an upright, able and honorable man. Mr. Fish built and for more than forty years lived in a house at the corner of Second Avenue and Seventeenth Street, fronting on Stuyvesant Square, the land occupied by which public park had been given to the city by his uncle, Mr. Peter G. Stuyvesant. The site of Mr. Fish's house and garden is now that of the Maternity Hospital. His country seat, "Glenclyffe," embraced the famous "Beverley House," which had been the headquarters of General Benedict Arnold at the time of the detection of his treason and from which he had fled to the British.
Hamilton Fish married, December 17, 1836, Julia Ursin Niemcewicz Kean, daughter of Peter Philip James Kean, of Ursino, near Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Children of Hamilton Fish and Julia Kean, his wife, were:
1. Sarah Morris, born February 25, 1838; married Sidney Webster, June 7, 1860. He died May 29, 1910. She died February 16, 1923.
2. Elizabeth Stuyvesant, born March 11, 1839; married Frederic Sears Grand d'Hauteville, June 4, 1863. She died March 1st, 1864.
3. Julia Kean, born May 2, 1841; married on Dec. 8, 1868 to Col. Samuel Nicoll Benjamin. He died May 15, 1886. She died Dec. 5, 1908.
4. Susan Le Roy, born Aug. 31, 1844. She married Wm. Evans Rogers, Feb. 13, 1868. She died Jan. 26, 1909. He died March 10, 1913.
5. Nicholas, born Feb. 19, 1846; married Clemence S. Bryce, Sept. 7, 1869. He died Sept. 16, 1902.
6. Hamilton, born April 17, 1849; married 1st Emily Mann, Apr. 28, 1880. She died March 15, 1899. He married second Florence Delaplaine (Beekman) (Amsinck). She died Oct. 22, 1926.
7. Stuyvesant, born June 24, 1851; married Marian Graves Anthon, June 1st, 1876. She died May 25, 1915. He died April 10, 1923.
8. Edith Livingston, born April 30, 1856; married Hugh Oliver Northcote, June 6, 1883. She died Dec. 19, 1887. He died March 30, 1900.
Memoirs [of deceased members of The New England Historic Genealogical Society]
Stuyvesant Fish, A.M., of New York City, a Pilgrim Tercentenary member since 1920, was born in New York City 24 June 1851, the son of Hon. Hamilton and Julia (Kean) Fish, and died there, suddenly, 10 April 1923.
His immigrant ancestor, Jonathan Fish, baptized in England 16 February 1615/16, was at Lynn, Mass., in 1637, soon afterwards went to Sandwich in the Plymouth Colony, moved thence, through Rhode Island, to Oyster Bay, Long Island, and as early as 1659 settled at Newtown, Long Island, then under the Dutch Government, where he died about 1663. His wife's name was Mary. His third son, Nathan Fish, born on Cape Cod 18 December 1650, married Judith ___, and died at Newtown, where he spent his life as a farmer, 1 August 1734. Jonathan Fish of Newtown, eldest son of Nathan and Judith [___], who was born at Newtown 11 October 1680 and died there in November 1723, married Mary ___, and in 1714 gave his homestead as a site for the Presyterian church in Newtown. His only surviving son, Capt. Samuel Fish, who was born at Newtown 24 November 1704 and died there 27 August 1767, married first Agnes Berrien; their eldest son, Jonathan Fish, who was born at Newtown 11 May 1728 and died 26 December 1779, married Elizabeth Sackett; and Col. Nicholas Fish, only son of Jonathan and Elizabeth (Sackett), who was born in New York City 28 August 1758 and died there 20 June 1833, served as an officer in the Revolution from June 1776 to the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, and was appointed by President Washington in 1794 as suupervisor of the revenue, one of the highest posts in the Treasury Department. He became president of the New York Society of the Cincinnati in 1797. He married Elizabeth Stuyvesant, a great-great-granddaughter of the famous Dutch Governor of New Netherlands; and their eldest son was the well-known statesman, Hon. Hamilton Fish, who was born in New York City 3 August 1808 and died at "Glenclyffe," near Garrison, N.Y., 7 September 1893. A graduate of Columbia (A.B., 1827, A.M., 1830) and a lawyer of distinction, Hon. Hamilton Fish was a member of the United States House of Representatives (as a Whig) in the Twenty-eighth Congress (1843–1845), Lieutenant Governor of New York, 1847–1848, Governor, 1849–1850, United States Senator, 1851–1857, joining the newly-formed Republican Party before the expiration of his senatorial term, and Secretary of State under President Grant, 1869–1877. He held also other offices of importance, and was a trustee of Columbia College, 1840–1849 and 1851–1893, president of the New York Historical Society, 1867–1869, and president general of the Society of the Cincinnati, 1854–1893. He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Columbia in 1850, from Union College in 1869, and from Harvard in 1871. He married in New York City, 15 December 1836, Julia Kean, born at Ursino, near Elizabeth, N.J., 19 December 1816, died in New York City 30 June 1887, daughter of Peter and Sarah Sabina (Morris) Kean of Ursino. Their eldest son, Nicholas Fish (1846–1902), diplomatist and banker, A.B. (Columbia, 1867), LL.B. (Harvard, 1869), A.M. (Columbia, 1871), was attached to the United States Legation at Berlin as assistant secretary and secretary, 1871–1877, and was United States chargé d'affaires in Switzerland, 1877–1881, and United States minister in Belgium, 1882–1886; his son, Hamilton Fish, a soldier in the war with Spain, was killed in action in Cuba, 26 June 1898, while serving as second sergeant of Troop K, First Volunteer Cavalry (the so-called "Rough Riders"). Their second son, Hon. Hamilton Fish, A.B. (Columbia, 1869), A.M. (ib., 1872), LL.B. (ib., 1873), born at Albany, N.Y., 17 April 1849, was private secretary to his father while the latter was Secretary of State, a member of the New York Assembly for eleven years, serving as speaker of the House in 1895 and 1896, and Assistant Treasurer of the United States at New York City, 1903–1908, was elected as a Republican Representative from New York in the Sixty-first Congress (1909–1911), and is a member also of the House of Representatives of the present (the Sixty-eighth) Congress (1923–1925).
Stuyvesant Fish, third son of Hon. Hamilton Fish, was a pupil at Mr. Haccius's school at Laney, near Geneva, Switzerland, in 1858, and his education was continued under tutors in 1859 while his parents were travelling in Europe. In 1859 he attended Mr. Elie Charlier's school in New York City, where he remained until 1861, when he entered Mr. Marlborough Churchill's school at Sing Sing, N.Y. In 1867 he was admitted to Columbia University, and received there the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1871 and that of Master of Arts in 1874.
Embarking on a business career, Mr. Fish in a few years gained an inportant place as a railway official and financier. In the fall of 1871 he entered the railway service as a clerk in the New York offices of the Illinois Central Railroad Company; in the following year he was appointed secretary to the president of the road; but in November 1872 he became a clerk in the banking firm of Morton, Bliss & Company of New York and later in the affiliated house of Morton, Rose & Company of London, and then from January 1875 to March 1877 he was managing clerk for Morton, Bliss & Company, with power of attorney. In 1876 he became a member of the New York Stock Exchange, retaining this membership until 1879, and he was also elected a director of the Illinois Central Railroad Company and appointed treasurer and agent for the purchasing committee of the New Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern Railroad Company. In the fall of 1877 he was made secretary of the Chicago, St. Louis & New Orleans Railroad Company, and in March 1882 was elected its vice president. In 1883 he was elected second vice president of the Illinois Central system, in 1884 was its first vice president, and in 1887 was advanced to the presidency of the company, which he held until November 1906. He was president of the Association of Railway Executives from April 1904 to April 1906, chairman of the Seventh Session of the International Railway Congress at Washington, D.C., in May 1905, and a member of the Monetary Commission established by the Indianapolis Monetary Conference of 1897. He was trustee of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, 1883–1906, and the New York Life Insurance & Trust Company, and a director of the National Park Bank and a number of other financial corporations.
In the year preceding his death Mr. Fish was a determined opponent of the method of enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States prescribed by the so-called "Volstead Act," and attacked vigorously the activities of the Anti-Saloon Leaugue.
He was a member of many clubs and societies, among which may be mentioned the Union, St. Anthony, Metropolitan, Racquet and Tennis, Church, Sleepy Hollow, and Down Town Clubs, the Automobile Club of America, the St. Nicholas Society, the New York Historical Society, of which he was recording secretary, and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, of which he was a life member and vice president. In common with many other Pilgrim Tercentenary members of the New England Historic Genealogical Society he accepted an invitation to place on the walls of the stair hall of the Society's building a tablet in memory of an American forbear, and this tablet, commemorating Jonathan Fish, his immigrant ancestor, was erected in 1921.
Mr. Fish married in New York City, 1 June 1876, Marian Graves Anthon, who was born on Staten Island, N.Y., 8 June 1853 and died 25 May 1915, daughter of William Henry Anthon, an eminent lawyer of New York City, and his wife Sarah Atwood (Meert) Anthon. Mrs. Fish was for many years a leader in New York and Newport society. Their first child, Livingston Fish, died in infancy; but their other children, who survive them, are Marian Anthon Fish, wife of Albert Zabriskie Gray, A.B. (Harvard, 1903), Stuyvesant Fish, Jr., A.B. (Yale, 1905), who married Isabell Mildred Dick and has succeeded his father in his Pilgrim Tercentenary membership in the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and Sidney Webster Fish, A.B. (Harvard, 1910, as of 1908), LL.B. (columbia, 1911), who married Olga Wiborg. Mr. Fish's city residence was at No. 25 East 78th Street, New York, and his country seat was at "Glenclyffe," near Garrison on the Hudson.
Funeral services for Mr. Fish were held at Trinity Church in New York City on 12 April 1923, and he was buried in St. Philip's Churchyard, Garrison, where his wife, his parents, and many of his kindred are interred.
Cf. memoir of Stuyvesant Fish, with portrait, in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, vol. 54, pp. 329–331 (October 1923).
—NEHGS Register 78 (1924): 434.
Children of Hon Hamilton Fish and Julia Ursin Niemcewicz Kean
- Sarah Morris Fish b. 25 Feb 1838, d. 16 Feb 1923
- Elizabeth Stuyvesant Fish b. 11 Mar 1839, d. 1 Mar 1864
- Julia Kean Fish b. 2 May 1841, d. 5 Dec 1908
- Susan Le Roy Fish b. 31 Aug 1844, d. 26 Jan 1909
- Hon Nicholas Fish+ b. 19 Feb 1846, d. 16 Sep 1902
- Hon Hamilton Fish II b. 17 Apr 1849
- Stuyvesant Fish+ b. 24 Jun 1851, d. 10 Apr 1923
- Edith Livingston Fish b. 30 Apr 1856, d. 19 Dec 1887
Notes & Citations
- The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Boston: NEHGS), volume 78 (1924): 434-6.
- Charles Weygant, The Sacketts of America, "791. Hamilton Fish, b. Aug. 3, 1808, d. Sept. 7, 1893; m. Julia Kean."
- Stuyvesant Fish, Ancestors of Hamilton Fish and Julia Ursin Niemcewicz Kean, His Wife ((Online image. WorldVitalRecords. From the Quintin Publications Collection), 1929), pp. 48–50.
- The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Boston: NEHGS), volume 78 (1924): 434-6, "He married in New York City, 15 December 1836, Julia Kean, born at Ursino, near Elizabeth, N.J., 19 December 1816, died in New York City 30 June 1887, daughter of Peter and Sarah Sabina (Morris) Kean of Ursino."
- Stuyvesant Fish, Ancestors of Hamilton Fish and Julia Ursin Niemcewicz Kean, His Wife ((Online image. WorldVitalRecords. From the Quintin Publications Collection), 1929), pp. 48–50, has 17 December 1836.
|Appears in||Notable Sacketts|
|Sackett line||6th great-grandson of Thomas Sackett the elder of St Peter in Thanet|
|Charts||Line 3a (American)|
|Last Edited||11 Dec 2021|