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Hamilton Fish III

AKA Hamilton Stuyvesant Fish

Born: 7-Dec-1888
Birthplace: Garrison, NY
Died: 18-Jan-1991
Location of death: Cold Spring, NY
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Remains: Buried, St. Philip's Church-in-the-Highlands Cemetery, Garrison, NY

Gender: Male
Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Politician
Party Affiliation: Republican [1]

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Congressman from New York, 1920-45

Military service: US Army (1917-19)

In January 1917, Fish was made captain of Company K of the 15th New York Infantry (the Harlem Hellfighters). When his unit received orders to report for training at Camp Wadsworth in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Fish promptly dispatched a telegram to Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt, requesting instead to be shipped directly to the war. "My brother officers believe with me that sending northern volunteer negro troops south would cause recurrence of race troubles. This battalion could render immediate valuable service in France on line of communications where there is great present need to relieve French troops. Why not solve difficult southern problem by letting these northern negro soldiers go where they can be of immediate use and train for firing line quicker than in the south." Fish's suggestion was rejected.

Captain Fish and his men arrived at Camp Wadsworth, and were subject to continuous harassment. Only twelve days later, they were recalled to New York. The Harlem Hellfighters finally arrived in Europe in December.

He was a high-profile proponent of isolationism, becoming an outspoken member of the America First Committee. Fish promoted a doctrine of strict neutrality over the wars in Europe and Asia, and opposed the Lend-Lease Act.

"As much as American citizens abhor racial and religious persecution and ruthless militarism, it is none of our business what form of government may exist in Soviet Russia, Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, or Nazi Germany, any more than it is their business what form of government exists in our own country. We have our own problems to solve in America without becoming involved in the rotten mess in Europe or in the eternal wars of both Europe and Asia."
Later in life, Fish became known for his staunch anti-Communist views and bitter hatred of Roosevelt, who he blamed for America's wholly-optional participation in World War II. These opinions never changed, even after the horrific atrocities of the Holocaust were revealed.

"We could and should have stayed out of the war. There were one hundred million Americans who didn't want war, but Roosevelt's philosophy was internationalism, so he was determined to get us into it. Germany never wanted to fight us, and the talk about Germans invading us or bombing our cities was just Roosevelt-inspired hysteria. Japan never considered fighting us until we provoked them into the Pearl Harbor attack with an ultimatum that left them no way out. Once we were attacked, of course, we had to fight, but Roosevelt asked for the attack."
Interviewed years later by Studs Terkel for The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two, Fish declared:
"I'd led the fight for three years against Roosevelt getting us into war. I was on the radio every ten days. I stopped him until he issued this ultimatum. That is the greatest thing I did do in my life. He would have gotten us into the war six months or a year before Pearl Harbor. We would have been fighting those Germans, plus probably the Russians, because they made a deal with them. Every American family owes an obligation to me because we would have lost a million or two million killed. That's the biggest thing I ever did, and nobody can take it away from me.

"Russia is our enemy and always will be because of jealousy of power. They wouldn't think one minute about pressing the button to kill one hundred million Americans."

[1] Formerly Progressive, switched to Republican.

Father: Hamilton Fish II (Congressman, b. 17-Apr-1849, d. 15-Jan-1936)
Mother: Emily Maria Mann (d. 15-Mar-1899)
Sister: Janet Mary Fish (b. 1883)
Sister: Julia Kean Fish (b. 1884)
Sister: Emily Rosalind Fish (b. 1886)
Sister: Helena Livingston Fish (b. 1893)
Wife: Grace Chapin Rogers (b. 1885, m. 24-Sep-1921, d. 1960)
Son: Hamilton Fish, Jr. (Congressman, b. 3-Jun-1926, d. 23-Jul-1996)
Daughter: Lillian Veronica Fish
Daughter: Elizabeth Stuyvesant Pyne ("Zevah", b. 1922)
Wife: Marie Choubaroff Blackton (m. 1967, d. 1974 cancer)
Wife: Alice Curtis Desmond (m. 1976, div. 1984, d. Oct-1990)
Wife: Lydia Ambrogio (m. 9-Sep-1988)

    High School: St. Mark's School, Southborough, MA (1906)
    University: BA History, Harvard University (1909)
    Military College: Army General Staff College, Langres, France

    Order of Lafayette Founder (1958)
    US Congressman, New York 26th (1920-45)
    New York State Assembly 1914-16
    John C. Paige & Company, Inc. Vice President
    Studebaker dealership, Cold Spring, NY
    America First Committee 1939-45
    American Legion
    Farm Bureau
    Hasty Pudding Club
    National Committee to Keep America Out of War Cofounder (8-Apr-1939)
    Signet Society
    Society of the Cincinnati Hereditary Member
    Veterans of Foreign Wars
    Porcellian Club
    Croix de Guerre 30-Sep-1918
    French Legion of Honor
    Silver Star
    Traveled to Bolshevik Russia 1923
    Traveled to Nazi Germany Castle Fuschl, Salzburg, Austria (14-Aug-1939)
    Traveled to the USSR May-1975

    Reds (3-Dec-1981) · Himself

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