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.
2045. Nicholas Fish, m. Clemence S. Brice.
2046. Hamilton Fish, b. Apr. 17, 1859 [sic: 1849].
2047. Stuyvesant Fish, b. June 24, 1851.
óWeygant, The Sacketts of America