Hamilton Fish II

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Hamilton Fish II
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 21st district
In office
March 4, 1909 – March 3, 1911
Preceded bySamuel McMillan
Succeeded byRichard E. Connell
Assistant Treasurer of the United States
In office
Preceded byConrad N. Jordan
Succeeded byGeorge S. Terry
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
In office
Preceded byGeorge R. Malby
Succeeded byJames M. E. O'Grady
Member of the New York State Assembly from Putnam County
In office
January 1, 1889 – December 31, 1896
Preceded byHenry Mable
Succeeded byEmerson W. Addis
In office
January 1, 1876 – December 31, 1879
Preceded byWilliam H. Christopher
Succeeded byGeorge McCabe
In office
January 1, 1874 – December 31, 1874
Preceded byWilliam S. Clapp
Succeeded byWilliam H. Christopher
Personal details
Born(1849-04-17)April 17, 1849
Albany, New York
DiedJanuary 15, 1936(1936-01-15) (aged 86)
Aiken, South Carolina
Resting placeSaint Philip's Church Cemetery
Garrison, New York
Political partyRepublican
Emily Maria Mann
(m. 1880; died 1899)
Florence Delaplaine
(m. 1912; died 1926)
Children5 (including Hamilton Fish III)
Parent(s)Julia Ursin Niemcewicz Kean
Hamilton Fish
ResidenceRock Lawn
EducationColumbia College (1869)
Columbia Law School (1873)

Hamilton Fish II (April 17, 1849 – January 15, 1936) was an American lawyer and politician who served as Speaker of the New York State Assembly and a member of the United States House of Representatives.[1]

Early life[edit]

Fish was born in Albany, New York, on April 17, 1849, while his father was serving as Governor of New York.[2] Fish was the son of Julia Ursin Niemcewicz Kean (1816–1887)[3] and Hamilton Fish (1808–1893).[4] He graduated from Columbia College of Columbia University in 1869 and was a member of St. Anthony Hall.[5] He also received a Master of Arts degree from Columbia.[6][7]

His paternal grandparents were Elizabeth (née Stuyvesant) Fish and Nicholas Fish (1758–1833), a leading Federalist politician and notable figure of the American Revolutionary War,[4] who named his father after their friend Alexander Hamilton.[8][2] In 1903, he succeeded his brother Nicholas Fish II as a hereditary member of the Society of the Cincinnati.[2]


After graduating from Columbia, he served as private secretary to his father for two years.[2] He then returned to Columbia and attended Columbia Law School, graduating in 1873.[9] From 1873 to 1874 he was aide-de-camp to Governor John Adams Dix with the rank of colonel.[10]

He was elected to twelve terms as a member of the New York State Assembly,[2] representing Putnam County, in 1874, 1876, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1893, 1894, 1895 and 1896. He was the Republican leader in 1890 and Speaker in 1895 and 1896.[1]

He was selected in 1903 to serve as assistant treasurer of the United States in charge of the Wall Street sub-treasury in the administration of Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt's first choice, Robert Bacon, declined the position. He withdrew his second choice, William Plimley, after objections from several senators and New York bank presidents to the appointment of a political aide who had no relevant experience. Roosevelt then nominated Fish, who was promptly confirmed.[11] He resigned from the Treasury in 1908 to run for the United States House of Representatives against Andrew C. Zabriskie.[2] He defeated Zabriskie and was elected to represent New York's 21st district and served for a single term from March 4, 1909, until March 3, 1911. He was defeated for reelection.[1]

For many years Fish was considered to be one of the top Republican bosses in the State of New York, controlling Putnam County.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In 1880, Fish was married to Emily Maria Mann (1854–1899) at St. John's Church in Troy, New York.[12] She was the daughter of Francis N. Mann (1802–1880) and Mary J. (née Hooker) Mann (1822–1875).[13] Before her death in 1899,[14] they were the parents of:[4]

  • Janet Fish (1883–1970), who died unmarried.[15]
  • Julia Kean Fish (1884–1960),[16] who married William Lawrence Breese (1883–1915) in 1908.[17] He was killed in World War I.[18] His older sister, Eloise Lawrence Breese (1882–1953), was married Gilbert Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 2nd Earl of Ancaster (1867–1951), and his younger sister, Anne Breese (1885–1959), who was married to Lord Alastair Robert Innes-Ker (b. 1880), the second son of James Innes-Ker, 7th Duke of Roxburghe and a first cousin of Winston Churchill. Lord Alastair's brother, Henry Innes-Ker, 8th Duke of Roxburghe, also married an American, Mary Goelet (1878–1937), the daughter of the New York real-estate millionaire Ogden Goelet.[19] His younger brother, Lord Robert Edward Innes-Ker (1885–1958) married the actress Jose Collins.[20]
  • Emily Rosalind Fish (1886–1975),[21] who married John Wilson Cutler (1887–1950), an investment banker,[22] in 1910.[23]
  • Hamilton Stuyvesant Fish III (1888–1991), also a U.S. Representative,[24] who married Grace Chapin Rogers (1885–1960), daughter of Brooklyn Mayor Alfred C. Chapin in 1921. After her death in 1960, he married Marie Blackton in 1967. After her death in 1974, he was married to Alice Desmond from 1976 until their divorce in 1984. He married for the fourth time in 1988 to Lydia Ambrogio, whom he remained married to until his death at the age of 102.[25]
  • Helena Livingston Fish (1893–1970), who married Henry Forster (1889–1989),[26] a son of Frederick Prentiss Forster and Edith (née Allen) Forster, in 1920.

After his first wife's death, he married Florence Delaplaine (1849–1926)[27] in 1912.[28][29][30] Florence, a widow of both James Beekman (1848–1902), a great-grandson of James Beekman, and Gustav Amsinck (1837–1909), was the daughter of Isaac C. Delaplaine and Matilda (née Post) Delaplaine (1821–1907).

In the late 19th century, he purchased the Rock Lawn and Carriage House at Garrison, New York.[31]

Fish died at the home of his daughter, Julia,[2] in Aiken, South Carolina, on January 15, 1936.[32][33][34][35] He was buried at Saint Philip's Church Cemetery in Garrison.[36]


Through his daughter Julia, he was the grandfather of William Lawrence Breese Jr. (1909–2000), founder and chairman of the Longview Foundation for Education in World Affairs and International Understanding,[37] and Hamilton Fish Breese (1910–1920).[18]

Through his son Hamilton, he was the grandfather of Hamilton Fish IV (1926–1996),[38] a thirteen-term U.S. Representative from New York who held office from 1969 to 1995,[39] and Lillian Veronica Fish married David Whitmire Hearst (1915–1986),[40] son of William Randolph Hearst.[41]


  1. ^ a b c d "FISH, Hamilton – Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "HAMILTON FISH, 86, DIES IN AIKEN, S.C.; Father of Representative and Son of Governor Had Himself Served in Congress. ONCE ASSEMBLY SPEAKER Aide to His Father as Secretary of Treasury Under Grant-Member of Noted Families" (PDF). The New York Times. 1936. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  3. ^ "FUNERAL OF MRS. FISH" (PDF). The New York Times. 4 July 1887. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Burke, Arthur Meredyth (1908). The Prominent Families of the United States of America. Genealogical Publishing Com. p. 385. ISBN 9780806313085. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  5. ^ Negus, W. H. (1900). "Delta Psi". In Maxwell, W. J. (ed.). Greek Lettermen of Washington. New York, New York: The Umbdenstock Publishing Co. pp. 231–234.
  6. ^ Robert A. McCaughey, Stand, Columbia: a History of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2003, page 260
  7. ^ Delta Psi fraternity, Catalog of the Members of the Fraternity of Delta Psi, 1906, page 17
  8. ^ Corning (1918), pp. 12–15.
  9. ^ Charles G Shanks, The State Government for 1879, 1879, page 101
  10. ^ New York Secretary of State, Legislative Manual, 1873, page 258
  11. ^ "HAMILTON FISH TO BE ASSISTANT TREASURER; Appointed to New York Office Instead of William Plimley. President Withdraws Nomination of Latter on Receipt of Charges Forwarded from This City" (PDF). The New York Times. 19 March 1903. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  12. ^ "MARRIED. Fish -- Mann" (PDF). The New York Times. 29 April 1880. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  13. ^ "HAMILTON FISH, JR.'S, WEDDING" (PDF). The New York Times. 29 April 1880. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  14. ^ "DIED. Fish" (PDF). The New York Times. 16 March 1899. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  15. ^ Times, Special To the New York (19 November 1970). "Janet Fish, Heiress Who Turned To Nursing as Career, Dies at 87" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  16. ^ "DEATHS Breese" (PDF). The New York Times. 27 August 1960. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  17. ^ "MISS JULIA FISH TO WED W.L. BREESE; Second Daughter of Hamilton Fish Engaged to a Son of Mrs. Higgins of London, CEREMONY IN THE SPRING Mr. Breese Has Large Mining Interests in Alaska--He Is James L. Breese's Nephew" (PDF). The New York Times. 13 December 1907. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  18. ^ a b "NEW YORKER DIES AT FRONT.; W. L. Breese, Killed in Battle, Held an English Commission" (PDF). The New York Times. 17 March 1915. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  19. ^ "DUKE OF ROXBURGHE MARRIES MISS GOELET; Second American Heiress to be Made a Duchess in St, Thomas's WOMEN MOB HER CARRIAGE Extraordinary Demonstration Near the Church by Faminine Sightseers Keeps Police Busy -- Reception at Mrs. Goelet's Home" (PDF). The New York Times. 11 November 1903. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  20. ^ "Lord R. Innes-Ker weds Jose Collins; Brother of Duke of Roxburghe Married to Musical Comedy Actress in London. Ceremony was a Secret. Bride, Daughter of Late Lottie Collins, Won First Success Herein "The Merry Countess." New York Times, 4 November 1920, p. 16], (citation only)([1] full article)
  21. ^ "MRS. JOHN W. CUTLER". The New York Times. 1975. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  22. ^ "JOHN CUTLER DIES; LONG A BANKER, 62; Member of Smith, Barney & Co. Was Director of I.T. & T. -- '08 Harvard Quarterback". The New York Times. 19 March 1950. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  23. ^ "MISS EMILY R. FISH TO WED.; Daughter of Hamilton Fish to Marry John Cutler of Brookline, Mass". The New York Times. 12 May 1910. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  24. ^ "FISH, Hamilton, Jr. – Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  25. ^ Pace, Eric (1991). "Hamilton Fish, in Congress 24 Years, Dies at 102". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  26. ^ "Henry Forster, 100, Real-Estate Executive". The New York Times. 14 September 1989. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  27. ^ "NIECES AND NEPHEW GET FISH ESTATE; They Will Receive Italian Villa, the New York Home and Much Valuable Jewelry. HAMILTON FISH EXECUTOR He Receive the Use of $400,000 During His Lifetime -- Other Minor Bequests". The New York Times. November 4, 1926. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  28. ^ "HAMILTON FISH TO WED MRS. AMSINCK; His Engagement to Widow of Guetav Amsinck Will Likely Be Announced This Week. BRIDE-TO-BE TWICE WIDOW Her First Husband Was James H. Beekman -- Mr. Fish, ex-Assistant U. S. Treasurer, Is a Widower". The New York Times. 6 February 1912. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  29. ^ "HAMILTON FISH'S WEDDING.; His Marriage to Mrs. Florence D.B. Amsinck to Take Place In June". The New York Times. 30 April 1912. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  30. ^ "HAMILTON FISH'S WEDDING.; His Marriage to Mrs. Gustav Amsinck Is Set for June 25". The New York Times. 14 June 1912. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  31. ^ Elise M. Barry (April 1982). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Rock Lawn and Carriage House". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  32. ^ Society of the Cincinnati (1938). Roster of the Society of the Cincinnati. The Society. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  33. ^ The New International Year Book. Dodd, Mead and Company. 1937. p. 512. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  34. ^ Hadden, Briton (1923). "Died". Time Magazine. Time Incorporated: 2. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  35. ^ "Hamilton Fish Dies in Aiken, S.C." Newport Mercury. January 17, 1936. p. 2. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  36. ^ Spencer, Thomas E. (1998). Where They're Buried: A Directory Containing More Than Twenty Thousand Names of Notable Persons Buried in American Cemeteries, with Listings of Many Prominent People who Were Cremated. Genealogical Publishing Com. p. 238. ISBN 9780806348230. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  37. ^ "William Lawrence Breese, 91, Dies". Washington Post. 23 March 2000. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  38. ^ "Hamilton Fish (1926–1996) Congressional Papers, 1968–1994". www.nysl.nysed.gov. New York State Library. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  39. ^ Levy, Claudia (24 July 1996). "13-TERM CONGRESSMAN HAMILTON FISH JR. DIES". Washington Post. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  40. ^ "David W. Hearst, 70, Publishing Executive". The New York Times. 13 May 1986. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  41. ^ Pace, Eric (24 July 1996). "Hamilton Fish Jr., 70, Dies; Part of a Political Dynasty". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 September 2017.

External links[edit]

New York State Assembly
Preceded by
William S. Clapp
New York State Assembly
Putnam County

Succeeded by
William H. Christopher
Preceded by
William H. Christopher
New York State Assembly
Putnam County

Succeeded by
George McCabe
Preceded by
Henry Mable
New York State Assembly
Putnam County

Succeeded by
Emerson W. Addis
Political offices
Preceded by Speaker of the New York State Assembly
1895 - 1896
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 21st congressional district

1909 - 1911
Succeeded by