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Hamilton Fish

Hamilton Fish

Hamilton Fish was born in New York on 3rd August, 1808. After graduating from Columbia College in 1827, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1830.

A member of the Whig Party, Fish was elected to the 28th Congress and took his seat in March, 1843. An unsuccessful candidate in the 29th Congress he resumed work as a lawyer. However, he returned to politics when he was elected as governor of New York in 1849.

Fish joined the Republican Party and in 1850 was elected to Congress. During the American Civil War Fish was appointed by Abraham Lincoln as one of the board of commissioners for the relief and exchange of Union Army prisoners of war in the South. He also served as chairman of the Union Defense Committee.

In 1869 President Ulysses Grant appointed Fish as his Secretary of State. During the conflict with Britain over the Alabama, Fish organized the drafting of the Treaty of Washington (May, 1871), the first major international arbitration of modern history.

He left office in 1877 and returned to his work as a lawyer in New York. Hamilton Fish died in Garrison, New York, on 7th September, 1893.


The History of Betta Fish – Origins and Landmark Moments

If you're interested in the history of betta fish, this is the article for you. We look at where they come from, how they travelled to the US and Europe, how they were bred into the many different types, and more besides.

Betta originally didn’t look anything like the spectacular specimens they are today. Prior to the late 19 th Century, they were a murky brown-green hue with much smaller fins.

Scientists discovered they naturally displayed vibrant shades of color when agitated. During the 20 th Century, breeders were able to make this a permanent feature of the fish.

Through experimentation with breeding, betta are now available in a wide variety of colors, including: red, orange, pink, cream, blue, green, black and opaque white.

Nicknamed ‘the jewel of the Orient’, they also have an iridescence when of the blue or green variety.

Breeders have recently been able to create metallic variations, known as the ‘Dragon’. Shades include copper, gold, silver, and rust.

In 2004 in Thailand, Mr. Tea first presented the public with his newly-developed ‘Dragon’ betta, but their silver coloring did not cover their entire body.

In 2005, Mr. Somchat of the Interfish breeder team presented a more impressive second version of the ‘Dragon’.

Around this time, Victoria Parnell-Stark was producing an “Armadillo” range of betta. They had much heavier iridescence and metallic masked faces, proving to be really popular.

In recent years, breeders have also been able to create patterned varieties. A marbling effect has been achieved using colors blue and red with a pale base color.

Another popular pattern is known as ‘butterfly’ coloring. This is where the body contains a solid color and the fins have two different, distinct hues.

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Quiet End to a Political Dynasty Hamilton Fish Jr. Leaves Congress and Takes 150 Years of Family History

Late in the day, the last day of his long tenure on Capitol Hill, Hamilton Fish Jr. was still at his desk revising what was to have been his final speech in the House of Representatives, crossing out long passages and scribbling in new ones in favor of the global trade accord known as GATT. Then he kissed his wife and hurried off to the House floor.

In the visitors' gallery, Mary Ann Fish took a seat in the first row and scanned the crowd. When she finally saw her husband stand and move forward, she turned to her son, John Charles Knauss, and said with great feeling: "John Charles, do you know what this is? This is the last speech of 26 years."

But at just that moment, Speaker Tom Foley announced that the discussion period was over. Mr. Fish folded the speech, tucked it in his pocket and sat back down. Time had run out.

Later, he said he was not at all disappointed.

"I voted right and said my goodbyes," he said, and again kissed his wife and announced a craving for French food. Plenty of his colleagues also cast their last votes that evening, but only Mr. Fish, who represents New York's 19th Congressional District in the Hudson Valley, was retiring a dynasty that stretches back 150 years.

And the Congressman, who is retiring for health reasons at 68, feels certain that he would have kept the seat in the family if only his son, who would have been the fifth Hamilton Fish in Congress, had not insisted on running as a Democrat.

"It would have been a piece of cake," he said. "Hands down. I tried to convince him he could become a progressive Republican, but after about five years, you give up on things like that."

Even so, Mr. Fish said: "I was surprised he wasn't elected as a Democrat. Any other year he would have been."

This being an extraordinary year, however, Mr. Fish spent the better part of a recent morning introducing another Republican, Sue Kelly, as his replacement.

He had a few tips for such newcomers:

First, never, ever put anyone who calls your office on hold.

"Nine other people will get on the line," he said. "And there's nothing more frustrating than calling your own office and being put on hold."

And foremost, embrace sleep deprivation as a life style and advise your staff to follow suit.

"My advice to Mrs. Kelly," he said, "is to bust a gut for the first two years if she wants to be returned."

It also occurred to Mr. Fish that there might be another potential pitfall.

"For a freshman, there is a great deal of testing going on, and I must tell Mrs. Kelly about that," said Mr. Fish, who is both straightforward and without false modesty. "They'll compare her to me."

Indeed, his record is substantial and his reputation enviable in the district, where he has a home in Millbrook. He has been the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee and was among the first Republicans on that committee to break party ranks in impeachment proceedings against President Richard M. Nixon.

An outspoken advocate for human rights, he worked on behalf of Soviet Jews to change immigration laws. He was considered a major player in the passage of legislation like the 1982 Voting Rights Act Extension, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which provided monetary damages for women and minorities in cases of intentional employment discrimination.

"For all these years, Ham Fish has been the Republican leader in the House on civil rights," said Ralph G. Neas, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, who said that many of the nearly two dozen civil rights bills passed in the 80's would not have become law without him. "He has a record that's legendary."

But apparently, even a legend needs a break.

"I'm enjoying the new-found freedom of not having to be so damn enthusiastic about everything," Mr. Fish said, laughing, as the Delta Shuttle from Washington landed in New York. "Like, 'Oh, you're a senior citizen on Social Security? You don't say!' Like you've never heard such a story before."

Which is not to say he has not been happy to help constituents when he could.

"Youɽ be surprised how earthlings shake in their boots merely from a letter on congressional stationery," he said.

His family has considerable practice in the art of making them shake.

An ancestor, Nicholas Fish, began a family tradition by naming his son after his Army pal Alexander Hamilton, and the first of four Hamilton Fishes went to Congress in 1843. That first Hamilton Fish was also Governor of New York and Secretary of State under President Ulysses S. Grant. The second was also Speaker of the State Assembly.

And his forebears were not only prominent, but flamboyant. His father, the third Hamilton Fish in Congress, was famous for opposing communism and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and was voted out of office because he resisted the United States' entry into World War II. He publicly denounced his son's efforts to impeach Nixon, called his grandson a leftist ruined by Harvard, the familial alma mater, and announced to guests at his third wedding, at 87, that the Fish men had a particular talent for marrying well.

Congress has changed dramatically since Mr. Fish's father was able to join his family for dinner every night. Even when Mr. Fish got the job in 1968, defeating a future Watergate burglar, G. Gordon Liddy, in the primary and John S. Dyson, a deputy mayor of New York, in the general election, the Federal Government was smaller, he says, so the demands on members were not nearly so great. And despite what the public may believe, Mr. Fish said, there was actually far less attention to ethical questions in his early years in the House.

In those days, a sort of Congressional Welcome Wagon matched freshmen with more experienced representatives. Mr. Fish and his wife were placed under the wing of George and Barbara Bush.

"Theyɽ tell you the good places to live, where to get your dry cleaning done, and so on," he said, adding that while he was exceedingly fond of Mr. Bush, he did feel that as President, he was terribly insulated.

His favorite chief executive, he said, was Gerald Ford, explaining, "He came from the House, he was easy to get along with and had a big heart."

Over the years, Mr. Fish said, he has been sorry to see Washington increasingly portrayed as a center of crime and corruption, and wonders that anyone wants to run for Congress anymore, or live in what he still considers a perfectly delightful town, despite having his home burglarized on one occasion and another time being robbed at gunpoint.

(A decade ago, he said, he was climbing into his Pinto when approached by a nice-looking man in a jogging outfit who pulled out a revolver and asked for his wallet. But when he explained that he simply couldn't hand over irreplaceable 20-year-old photos, the mugger was willing to accept cash only.)

On the last day the House was in session, Mr. Fish turned a meeting of New York's Republican delegation over to Representative Benjamin A. Gilman of the neighboring 20th district, who called him a role model. He got his final $10 haircut from the House barber, had lunch in the House dining room, asked for an update on several constituent problems and did some work in his office, where boxes were stacked to the ceiling.

"There used to be paintings of four generations of Hamilton Fishes on the walls," he said, nodding in the direction of a vast bare space. Now there is a small mountain of cardboard to be moved to make room for the next resident of this prime piece of congressional real estate.

"And I've known I was retiring since March," he said with a shudder. "Imagine the poor slob who didn't know he was leaving and was defeated."

Mr. Fish was given a diagnosis of lung cancer in 1982 and a bone scan last February showed prostate cancer, which he says is in remission.

"My decision was based entirely on my health," he said, adding that calls to his district offices have since dropped off dramatically. "People said, 'Poor guy, I'm not going to bother him,' and that's not good. I don't need radiation, no chemo, no follow-up, but the statistics are that within three years, I won't have the vitality, so I wouldn't want to stay on."

Now, he says, he is working with Governor-elect George E. Pataki's transition team, and interviewing with law firms in Washington and Poughkeepsie. He won't be around to find out what it feels like to be a member of the majority, but he said that he was probably better suited to the less confrontational, more pragmatic political style of a minority leader.

"I'm not a confrontational person, so I don't know if I would have been a more successful person," as a member of the majority, he said, mulling it for a moment. "I doubt it."


Hamilton Fish: An American Hero Smeared By British Intelligence

Born into a political family that included an officer of the American Revolution and Ulysses Grant’s Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish III (1888-1991) was bound to go places. In the 1912 election, he sided with Theodore Roosevelt over William Howard Taft and after serving as a Progressive member of the New York State Assembly, he went to war.

Officer in the Harlem Hellfighters

Fish had already been a Captain in the military by the time the United States entered war, and was assigned as an officer in the Harlem Hellfighters. There, he became aware of the plight of black Americans, especially when the locals and white soliders in Spartanburg, South Carolina, threatened violence against his troops. Fish instructed his troops to defend themselves if attacked. Ultimately, he was able to consult with the officers of other units and prevent an incident. As a Congressman, Fish would succeed in adding an amendment to the 1940 draft bill that prohibited racial discrimination in enlistments, a stepping stone to the eventual desegregation of the army. For his services in World War I, he was awarded the Silver Star, with the citation “…Constantly exposed to enemy machinegun and artillery fire, his undaunted courage and utter disregard for his own safety inspired the men of the regiment, encouraging them to determined attacks upon strong enemy forces. Under heavy enemy fire, he assisted in rescuing many wounded men and also directed and assisted in the laborious task of carrying rations over shell-swept areas to the exhausted troops” (Taylor).

In 1920, Fish was elected to Congress. During the 1920s, he was somewhat conservative but still at times voted to his Bull Moose roots. In 1922, he sponsored with Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge (R-Mass.) the Lodge-Fish Resolution, which endorsed the Balfour Declaration that called for a permanent home nation for Jews. That year he supported the Dyer Anti-Lynching bill, which if enacted would have established federal penalties for lynching. He would be a sponsor of another such measure in 1940. In 1930, Fish introduced a resolution to form a committee to investigate communism. As part of the committee’s activities, they investigated the ACLU as well as William Z. Foster, the head of CPUSA and the communist presidential candidate. The committee proved mostly unsuccessful in finding substantive evidence and in reporting its findings, the committee advocated granting the Justice Department more power to investigate communists and to strengthen immigration laws to keep communists out. Congress adopted none of these recommendations at the time, but forms of these recommendations would come to pass in the McCarran Internal Security Act in 1950 and the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act in 1952. Fish’s conservatism would grow after the 1932 election, as he came to oppose most measures pushed by the Roosevelt Administration and became one of its loudest critics, although not its most extreme: he supported Social Security and the federal minimum wage. As the country moved closer to war, he became ever more vocal on foreign policy. Although he was not the most extreme non-interventionist, he was the House’s most prominent and wielded some power as the ranking Republican on both the House Rules Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee.

The Campaign to Discredit Hamilton Fish

As the House’s leading opponent of American involvement in World War II, British Security Coordination engaged in an extensive and illegal intelligence campaign to paint Fish as a Nazi sympathizer. The BSC formed a front known as “Fight for Freedom”, and convinced numerous politicians to join, including Sen. Carter Glass (D-Va.) and New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Journalists eagerly cooperated with BSC: on October 21, 1940, columnists Drew Pearson and Robert S. Allen suggested that the Nazis subsidized Fish through inflated rents they paid for property, which was false but damaging: Fish’s margin of victory was cut by over half that election year. On August 28, 1941, Fight for Freedom accused Fish of permitting the distribution through his Congressional frank of an anti-Semitic tract from American fascist William Dudley Pelley, which included an advertisement for the anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Most newspapers didn’t carry the story, but the left-wing PM, which cooperated with BSC, did. FFF also claimed in a press release that Fish stated after he was reached by telephone on the matter that, “But it doesn’t bother me any…There’s been too much Jewism going around anyway…”(Mahl). Fish denied that he knew of or authorized the inclusion of the Pelley tract and his telling of the conversation differed from that of FFF. It is highly unlikely that Fish had authorized such inclusion or said what FFF alleged given his excellent past record on Jewish issues and the organization’s over-arching goal to destroy his political career. However, the issue of franked mail was not over for him.

Matters got worse for Fish on the subject when the Secretary-Treasurer for the Nazi propaganda front organization Islands for War Debts Committee, Prescott Dennett, learned that the feds were going to be raiding his offices. He had been engaging in a scheme to illegally use Congressional franks to distribute speeches by non-interventionist members of Congress to send them across the nation, making Congress into a propaganda machine. Dennett quickly transferred bags of illegally franked mail to Fish’s office (which refused to take the bags, leaving them outside) and the remainder to the America First Committee. PM’s headline on the subject read, “HAM FISH SNATCHES EVIDENCE WANTED IN U.S. NAZI HUNT” (Mahl). It turned out that Fish’s Chief of Staff, George Hill, had been collaborating with Dennett in this scheme. Hill was convicted of perjury as he lied under oath about whether he knew George Sylvester Viereck, Dennett’s boss and the leading Nazi propaganda agent in the U.S.

Unfortunately, Fish also aided in this effort himself by some actions that left a poor impression. First, he met with Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and offered to mediate on the issue of Danzig (a Polish city that was 95% German and had a majority Nazi senate) to which Ribbentrop refused. He then flew to Oslo in the Foreign Minister’s private plane (he apparently had no other way to get to a conference in the city). After stepping off the plane, he proclaimed Germany’s claims in Danzig to be “just”. That he socially knew George Sylvester Viereck also did not help him. Ultimately, the New York state Republican leadership under Governor Thomas E. Dewey tired of Fish’s continued non-interventionism and got him redistricted. Although he won a hard-fought primary in 1944, he lost reelection to centrist Republican Augustus W. Bennet. The worst that could be said for Fish was that he was careless with his associations in his cause to keep America out of foreign wars.

Fish used the remainder of his long life to pursue anti-communist causes and to try to set the record straight. In 1947, he opposed the Truman Administration’s Greek-Turkish Aid measure as imperialist and came to the conclusion that increased foreign commitments would draw the United States into war, which would prove all too correct in Vietnam. He wrote several books on the subject, including Tragic Deception (1983). Fish’s longevity was attributed to the “enormous pleasure” he took in the growth of American conservatism and Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

“Fish, Hamilton”. (2001). The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives.

Mahl, T.E. (1998). Desperate deception: British covert operations in the United States, 1939-44. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, Inc.

Taylor, B. (2018, October 8). Hamilton Fish III and the “Harlem Hell Fighters”. Warfare History Network.


Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC08878.0269 Author/Creator: Bureau Engraving & Printing Place Written: s.l. Type: Engraving Date: 1861-1877 Pagination: 1 print : b&w 15.3 x 20.3 cm.

One engraving entitled "Hamilton Fish" circa 1861-1877. Portrait of Hamilton Fish. Engraver unknown.

Copyright Notice The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

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Our Collection: 170 Central Park West New York, NY 10024 Located on the lower level of the New-York Historical Society


Expanding to a Global Level

In 1968, Clark Hamilton founded an identical company in Bonaduz, Switzerland to enable production of these syringes for the European scientific community. Today Hamilton Bonaduz AG continues to manufacture, design, and create new products in concert with Hamilton Company in the U.S. In 1970 the company in Whittier, California was relocated to Reno, Nevada where it remains today. The two companies work in concert today with competence centers driving innovation in a wide array of products. Starting in 1974 the management was turned over to Steve Hamilton, and with the support of his brothers, continues to drive the companies to this day. The business however has grown not only exponentially in sales, but also into automated liquid handling of chemistries that has benefited the world by enabling the first automated screening of whole blood for AIDs and hepatitis, as well as an unlimited array of other solutions that continue to need automation on a microliter level.

Today the company employs over 2,500 employees and it is growing. Hamilton on a global level is the largest automated liquid handling company in the world. Along the way, many new technologies have emerged in the areas of sensor and measuring technology as well as the founding of a medical company. Hamilton Medical AG, as a separate business, produces world class critical care ventilators with cutting edge technology enabling patient respiratory monitoring for real time ventilator adjustments, providing a superior level of patient care. Hamilton Medical AG and its subsidiary Hamilton Medical, Inc. now are number one in the critical care field of ventilation.


Zinn on World War II

“Howard Zinn has made dishonest use of the discovery of America, slavery, and the Civil War to indict America and promote communist revolution. But in the treatment of World War II, he hits a new low,” writes Grabar. According to Grabar, Zinn’s chapter on World War II insinuates that Adolf Hitler’s Germany was no worse than the United States and her allies and that Japan was a victim of American aggression. He argues that America’s goal wasn’t fighting against totalitarianism, but to maintain its capitalist system.

Zinn argues that not only was America’s cause in World War II tainted by racism at home, but the war effort was actually fueled by racism: Only racial hatred of the Japanese can explain why the majority of Americans mobilized for war.

While Zinn’s book argues that the Japanese were near surrender when the Americans dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Grabar points out that the Japanese version of surrender was anything but peaceful. The military refused to put down their arms, committed to “glorious deaths.” Civilians and soldiers alike planned to resist and continue kamikaze-style attacks. Grabar argues that sacrifices on both sides of the war may have been higher without the use of the bombs.


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Albert Fish is Arrested

Fish overlooked important evidence on the envelope he used to send his gruesome letter to the Budd family. There was a small hexagon shaped emblem in the corner that read “N.Y.P.C.B.A.”. Those letters stood for the New York Private Chauffeur's Benevolent Association. After some questioning by the police, it was discovered an employee took some envelopes home to his boarding house room. He left them behind when he moved out.

Police were able to track down Albert Fish, the next tenant to occupy the room. When Fish returned to his room, police were waiting. Fish pulled a switchblade on the police after his arrest, to no avail. Fish never denied murdering Grace Budd. He did deny raping her, although he admitting to having several strong orgasms while strangling the young girl.


1 A Family Man

During his trial that lasted 10 days, Fish&rsquos attorney, James Dempsey&mdasha former prosecutor and once the mayor of Peekskill, New York&mdashattempted to persuade the jurors that Fish was a family man who was himself the victim of an abusive childhood. Dempsey told the court:

Despite all these brutal, criminal, and vicious proclivities, there is another side to this defendant. He has been a very fine father. He never once in his life laid a hand on one of his children. He says grace at every meal in his house. In 1917, when the youngest one of his six children was three, his wife left him. And from that time down until shortly before the Grace Budd murder in 1928, he was a mother and father to those children. [10]

Dempsey also tried to use an insanity defense. He asked the jurors if a man who had killed and eaten children could really be sane? There was no doubt among the jurors that Fish was insane, but they all found him guilty and sane anyway. The judge sentenced Fish to death.

On January 16, 1936, Fish was sent to the electric chair at Sing Sing prison. His last words were: &ldquoI don&rsquot even know why I&rsquom here.&rdquo

Cheish Merryweather is a true crime fan and an oddities fanatic. She can either be found at house parties telling everyone Charles Manson was only 157 centimeters tall (5&rsquo2&Prime) or at home reading true crime magazines. Twitter: @thecheish


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