Fish, Hamilton

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Fish, Hamilton

biographical name

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Hamilton Fish.—Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

(born Aug. 3, 1808, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died Sept. 6, 1893, New York City) U.S. secretary of state (1869–77). He served New York state as lieutenant governor (1847–48), governor (1849–50), and U.S. senator (1851–57). As secretary of state in the administration of Pres. Ulysses S. Grant, he helped draft the Treaty of Washington (1871), which provided for international arbitration of the dispute with Britain over the Alabama claims; he also obtained an agreement with Spain regarding its seizure of the U.S. ship Virginius. As a respected member of Grant's cabinet, he worked to counter graft, improper appointments, and violations of the civil liberties of African Americans.

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