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HAMILTON FISH - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 11/21/1891 - HFSID 3074

Signed autograph letter (1891) to another prominent Republican, George Edmunds, who had just retired from the US Senate. Fish dispenses caustic criticism of the Senate, the Supreme Court, and "certain high dignitaries" (probably President Harrison).

Sale Price $1,190.00

Reg. $1,400.00

Condition: lightly creased, otherwise fine condition
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HAMILTON FISH
Signed autograph letter (1891) to another prominent Republican, George Edmunds, who had just retired from the US Senate. Fish dispenses caustic criticism of the Senate, the Supreme Court, and "certain high dignitaries" (probably President Harrison).
Autograph Letter Signed: "Hamilton Fish", 3 pages, 4x6 conjoined leaves. New York, 1891 November 21. On black-bordered stationery to the Hon. George F. Edmunds, Washington, D.C. In full: "In the inability of a personal greeting, nothing is more agreeable to me than a letter in your hand writing - And yet I have been a long time in acknowledging that of 18. Oct - partly, because I did not know how soon you would be in going to Aiken - partly because time has brought to me a constantly present [illegible] & a very lame wrist, & a stiff thumb makes writing a slow work. I wish that you had stopped at Garrison, on the way from Vermont to New York. The Autumn was enjoyable & bright - & my daughter (Mrs Benjamin) would have been delighted to show to Mr & Miss Edmunds some of our mountain views, & I would have croaked over my lack of confidence in the Supreme Court, with their 'Legal tender' & one or two other decisions - my diminished confidence in the Senate, in the absence of one to whom I have looked for sound judgment & communicative action & my not yet established confidence, in certain high dignitaries - Puritanism & Jingoism make a curious team - and I should have sought from you to explain the reconsideration of the principle of the McKinley Bill, & the new hobby of 'Reciprocity' - (I believe that is the name) - Extremes, they say, sometimes meet - but it is a strange companionship. I trust that you will enjoy the winter in Aiken - but you will be missed from Washington I [illegible] my kindest & most respectful regards to Mr & Miss Edmunds & be assured that I remain Very sincerely Yours". Edmunds had resigned from the U.S. Senate on November 1, 1891, twenty days before Fish wrote this letter. In 1890, William McKinley (who would be elected U.S. President less than five years after this letter was written) had chaired the committee that framed a tariff known as the McKinley Bill. HAMILTON FISH (1808-1893) served New York as Governor (1849-1850), Congressman (1843-1845) and Senator (1851-1857) and was Grant's only Secretary of State (1869-1877). He proved a capable Secretary, peacefully resolving several thorny international disputes. His son, grandson and great-grandson, each named Hamilton Fish, represented New York in the House of Representatives. Although Fish does not mention President Benjamin Harrison by name, the reference to "Puritanism & Jingoism" [bellicose nationalism] being practiced by "certain high dignitaries" was almost certainly aimed at him. In the year this letter was written, the US Navy seized several Canadian fishing boats in a boundary dispute over the Aleutian Islands, and Harrison - with Secretary of State Blaine out of town - drafted a harshly worded demand for reparations from Chile for injuries to US sailors there. Republican Senator from Vermont from 1866-1891, GEORGE FRANKLIN EDMUNDS (1828-1919) was President Pro Tempore of the Senate and next in line to the presidency from March 3, 1883 to March 3, 1885. He was also a member of the Electoral Commission that decided the election of 1876. Edmunds was Chairman of the Republican Conference in the Senate from 1885 to 1891, and Fish implies that Edmunds' retirement will be a great loss to that body. Lightly creased with folds, light vertical fold nicks the flourish of the "H" in Hamilton. Light vertical stain on first page touches 13 lines of writing (all legible). Docketed on verso of integral leaf (unknown hand, possibly Edmunds'). Overall, fine condition.

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