Hamilton Fish

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Hamilton Fish

While some on all sides clamored for war, U.S. Secretary of State Hamilton Fish kept a steady grip on the often hostile diplomatic dispute, and helped avoid a war. In a private letter to his son, Fish expressed his personal feelings: “…I have thought of the tens of thousands of wives who might have been made widows, and of the hundreds of thousands of children who might have been made orphans, in an unnecessary war undertaken for a dishonest vessel. There is a national evil worse than war, but unless the national honor, or the national existence, require war… then the nation should do all that it can to avoid the terrible evil. That is what I have endeavored to do.”

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