FISH, Hamilton (1808-1893)
Senate Years of Service: 1851-1855; 1855-1857

FISH, HAMILTON, (father of Hamilton Fish, grandfather of Hamilton Fish, great-grandfather of Hamilton Fish, Jr.), A Representative and a Senator from New York; born in New York City August 3, 1808; attended Doctor Bancel's French School, New York City; graduated from Columbia College, New York City, in 1827; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1830 and practiced in New York City; commissioner of deeds for the city and county of New York 1832-1833; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-eighth Congress (March 4, 1843-March 3, 1845); unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Twenty-ninth Congress; resumed the practice of law; lieutenant governor of New York 1848-1849; Governor of New York 1849-1850; elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1851, to March 3, 1857; was not a candidate for reelection; president general of the Society of the Cincinnati from 1854 until his death; appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as one of the board of commissioners for the relief and exchange of Union prisoners of war in the South; president of the New-York Historical Society 1867-1869; appointed by President Ulysses Grant as Secretary of State 1869-1877; resumed the practice of law and managed his large real estate holdings in New York City; died in Garrison, N.Y., September 7, 1893; interment in the cemetery of St. Philip's Church-in-the-Highlands, Garrison, N.Y.

Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 5 items.

Brooklyn Historical Society
Brooklyn, NY
Papers: 2 letters (January 16, 1845; February 28, 1865); 1 letter as president of the society (December 1, 1868); and 7 letters received (1843-1844, 1849, 1883) in the miscellaneous correspondence of Charles Wenman. Finding aid.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1827-1893. 1,100 items. Includes personal correspondence, printed material regarding Alabama Claims settlement (1871), 2 European travel diaries (1857, 1858), and correspondence relating to the business, functioning, and activities of Columbia College resulting from Fish's service on the Board of Trustees. Also a portrait. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Letters dealing with business matters of his father, Nicholas, after his death and 484 personal letters, ([ca. 1843]-1857) from his college classmate Jonathan Nathan in Fish family papers, ca. 1780-1860; correspondence in Jay family papers, 1828-1943; and a Fish family genealogy, 1824-1942.

Filson Club Historical Society
Louisville, KY
Papers: 1851, 1855. 2 letters.

Georgia Historical Society
Savannah, GA
Papers: Correspondence in John MacPherson Berrien papers, 1779-1942. In part, photocopies of originals at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Finding aid.

Hamilton Fish Library
Garrison, NY
Papers: In the papers of Mrs. Hamilton Fish, 1866-1888. Collection includes letters of Mrs. Fish to Sarah Webster Fish, Fish genealogy, newspaper clippings, steel plate print of Hamilton Fish and Glencliffe, his home in Garrison. Finding aid.

Harvard University
Houghton Library
Cambridge, MA
Papers: Correspondence in Charles Sumner papers, 1829-1895. Available on microfilm.

Knox College
Seymour Library
Galesburg, IL
Papers: 1 letter (March 4, 1875) in Donna Workman autograph collection, 1792-1936.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1732-1914. 108 feet. Correspondence, Department of State files, gubernatorial papers, journals, diaries, subject files, scrapbooks, and printed matter relating to his political career, to family and business affairs, and to the Society of the Cincinnati. Diaries (1869, 1876) on 6 microfilm reels and gubernatorial papers on 18 microfilm reels. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in William Edgar Borah papers, 1905-1940; and Eugene Schuyler papers, 1873-1878, available on 1 microfilm reel. Finding aid.

Maryland Historical Society
Baltimore, MD
Papers: Correspondence in Reverdy Johnson papers, 1846-1876. Finding aid.

Massachusetts Historical Society
Boston, MA
Papers: Ca. 90 items (1844-1891) in various collections.

Museum of the City of New York
New York, NY
Papers: 1847-1889. 5 items. Also portrait.

New Jersey Historical Society
Newark, NJ
Papers: Correspondence in George Perry Morris papers, 1843-1918; William Nelson papers, 1690-1875; Parker family papers, 1680-1936; Joseph P. Bradley papers, 1836-1937; Walter N. Eastburn papers, 1743-1956; Marcus L. Ward papers, 1683-1912; and letters in political papers, 1761-1926.

New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
Papers: In Fish family papers, 1776-1891. Ca. 1,200 items. Chiefly papers of Nicholas and his son, Hamilton Fish. Includes more than 300 letters (1832-1859) from Nicholas to Hamilton concerning legal matters, family affairs, patronage and Whig politics; 100 letters to Hamilton Fish (1833-1859); and 26 letters (1843-1849) to Hamilton Fish from Jonathan Nathan, concerning Whig politics.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Boardman family papers, 1778-1924; Donald F. Clark collection; Elizabeth M. Smith collection; and a weather record, 1877-1885, kept by Fish at his estate "Glenclyffe.''

New York Public Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1 letter (January 25, 1851) in the Henry J. Raymond papers; and correspondence in James A. Hamilton papers, [ca. 1740-1867].

New York State Library
Manuscripts and Special Collections
Albany, NY
Papers: 1834-1850. 1 foot; 97 items. Chiefly reports, case histories, contracts, proposals and other official documents of New York State Commissioner of Alms Houses, and 12 letters to Fish (1842, 1848-1850). Finding aid.
Additional Papers: 51 miscellaneous letters (1831-1887); correspondence in Robert C. Wetmore papers, 1834-1899; Elbridge Gerry Spaulding papers, 1834-1907; Albert D. Shaw papers, 1830-1920; Edwin Denison Morgan papers, 1830-1872; Benjamin Hall papers, 1795-1884; Irving Browning autograph collection, 1678-1966; and Charles Lanman collection, 1829-1969.

Pierpont Morgan Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1839-1890. 8 items.

State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Archives Division
Madison, WI
Papers: Correspondence in Jeremiah Curtin papers, 1861-1869; Charles A. Page papers, 1865-1882; and 3 microfilm reels of originals in Seward collection in Department of State archives.

State University of New York
Poetry and Rare Books
Buffalo, NY
Papers: 2 letters (1886, 1890) to James Manning; 1 letter (March 15, 1850) to Thurlow Weed; and 1 letter (June 26, 1850) to "General'' in the Lockwood collection.

Syracuse University
George Arents Research Library
Syracuse, NY
Papers: 1844-1892. 330 items. Personal and professional correspondence (some photocopies) relating in part to his duties as governor of New York and secretary of state. Also correspondence in John Sherman letters, 1852-1898.

University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library
Rochester, NY
Papers: 200 letters (1839-1876) in various collections. Finding aid.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library
Charlottesville, VA
Papers: 1849-1861. 55 items.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, NY
Papers: Correspondence in James Watson Webb papers, 1819-1967; Evarts family papers, 1753-1960; Charles Burr Todd papers, 1880-1917; Samuel Wells Williams family papers, 1824-1936; Carrington family papers, 1749-1929; and Aaron Columbus Burr papers, 1838-1871.
Research Libraries Information Network In addition to the institutions listed above, items are also cataloged in collections at: Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY; Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn, NY; Brown University, Providence, RI; Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY; Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Horace Mann School, Bronx, NY; Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, KY; New York City Department of Records and Information Services, New York, NY; New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, NY; Putnam County Historical Society, Cold Spring, NY; Radcliffe College, Schlesinger Library, Cambridge, MA; Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia, PA; Rutgers University Libraries, New Brunswick, NJ; St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY; St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, New York, NY; State Historical Society of North Dakota, Bismarck, ND; University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, IA; University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library, Ann Arbor, MI; Virginia State Library and Archives, Richmond, VA; and Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, DE.

  • Chapin, James Burke. "Hamilton Fish and American Expansion.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University, 1971.
  • Corning, Amos Elwood. Hamilton Fish. New York: Lanmere Publishing Co., 1918.
  • Davis, John Chandler Bancroft. Mr. Fish and the Alabama Claims: A Chapter in Diplomatic History. 1893. Reprint. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1969.
  • Nevins, Allan. Hamilton Fish: The Inner History of the Grant Administration. 2 vols. 1936. Rev. ed. New York: F. Ungar Publishing Co., 1957.