HAMILTON FISH - MANUSCRIPT LETTER SIGNED 05/15/1869 - HFSID 291764
Sale Price $450.00
The Secretary of State issues detailed instructions to a diplomatic courier dispatched to Brussels
Manuscript Letter signed: "Hamilton Fish" as Secretary of State, 2 pages (front and verso), 8x13. Department of State, Washington, 1869 May 15. To John Kendrick, Appointed Bearer of Dispatches to Brussels. In full: "The Appointment of Bearer of Dispatches to the Legation of the United States at Brussels, of which you were informed in the letter from this Department of the 7th instant, having been accepted by you, I have now to instruct you to proceed hence by the steamer from New York of the 19th instant, and on your arrival in Brussels, to deliver to Mr. Sanford, the United States Minister there, the packet which you will receive with this instruction. [Item not included.] You will be expected to proceed to your point of destination with proper diligence, and for the time occupied in making the transit you will be allowed compensation at the rate of six dollars per day. You will also be allowed your necessary travel expenses to Brussels, of which you will keep an account, to be supported by vouchers in every instance where they can be obtained. You will present this account to Mr. Sanford who will be instructed to pay you the amount of it. The accompanying special passport may be found useful to you. I am Sir, your obedient servant." 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, including the Alabama Claims settlement with Britain. President Grant was prepared to recommend Fish to the Republican Party as his successor, but Fish preferred retirement His son, grandson and great-grandson, each named Hamilton Fish, represented New York in the House of Representatives. Dispatch bearers were a vital medium for military and diplomatic communication before and during the nineteenth century. The first reliable trans-Atlantic cable had begun operation in 1866, but important documents were still transmitted by couriers who were expected to guard their legally protected diplomatic pouches carefully. Multiple mailing folds. Toned and soiled. Corners lightly worn. Otherwise, fine condition.
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