|Chair of the Republican National Committee|
June 7, 1934 - June 22, 1936
|United States Ambassador to Italy|
April 2, 1924 - August 3, 1929
|United States Ambassador to Luxembourg|
October 29, 1923 - March 25, 1924
|United States Ambassador to Belgium|
May 3, 1922 - March 25, 1924
Warren G. Harding
|United States Under Secretary of State|
March 8, 1921 - March 6, 1922
|President||Warren G. Harding|
|United States Ambassador to Mexico|
March 3, 1917 - January 25, 1919
|Charles B. Warren|
|United States Ambassador to Chile|
September 9, 1910 - March 9, 1916
|President||William Howard Taft|
|Thomas Dawson (Minister)|
Henry Prather Fletcher
April 10, 1873
Greencastle, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||July 10, 1959 (aged 86)|
Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Resting place||Arlington National Cemetery|
(m. 1917; her death 1941)
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Unit||1st United States Volunteer Cavalry|
Fletcher was born in Greencastle, Pennsylvania in 1873 to Louis Henry Fletcher (1839-1927) and Martha Ellen (née Rowe) Fletcher (1840-1896). His siblings included James Gilmore Fletcher (1875-1960), David Watson Fletcher (1880-1957) and Florence Fletcher (1883-1957). He was the fourth cousin once removed of William McKinley.
Shortly after beginning to practice law, the Spanish-American War broke out and the United States declared war on Spain in 1898. Fletcher joined Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders as a private in Troop K. He served in the U.S. Army, both in Cuba and in the Philippines for two years.
After returning from the Philippines, he entered the diplomatic service under President Roosevelt's administration as secondary secretary of the United States legation in Havana, Cuba. In 1903, he was transferred to Peiping and then, in 1905, as secretary to the legation in Lisbon, Portugal. In 1907, he returned to China and was negotiated an agreement whereby US capital was allowed to participate on equal terms with European capital for the first time.
As a reward, President William Howard Taft named him US Minister to Chile in 1909. He was in that position until 1914, by which time the mission had been raised to the status of an Embassy, making him the first United States Ambassador to Chile. He served in that role until March 9, 1916.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson appointed him United States Ambassador to Mexico, his term coinciding with the height of World War I. On January 19, 1917, the German Secretary of State, Arthur Zimmermann, sent a message to Mexico promising Texas, New Mexico and Arizona to Mexico if it entered the War on German's side. The note was intercepted in Washington and made public and is considered one of the immediate causes for the United States entering the war six weeks later. He presented his credentials on March 3, 1917 and served as ambassador in Mexico until January 25, 1919, when he returned to the United States.
In 1920, after directing the State Department's Latin American affairs for a year, he resigned and was appointed Under Secretary of State by President Warren G. Harding, serving from March 8, 1921 to March 6, 1922, under Secretary Charles Evans Hughes.
Thereafter, he served as Ambassador to Belgium from 1922 until 1924 under both Harding and his successor, Calvin Coolidge, who became President after Harding's death in 1923. In 1923, he was sent to the Pan-American Conference in Santiago, taking the place of Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, who had declined to go. At that time, the United States Secretary of State was ex officio chair of the Pan-American Conference, although that changed in Santiago after Latin American criticism.
On April 22, 1930, President Hoover appointed him chairman of the United States Tariff Commission after the Tariff Act of 1930. He was said to have accomplished more work in one year than what had been done in the previous seven.
In 1917, he married Beatrice Bend (1874-1941), a daughter of George H. Bend, a member of the New York Stock Exchange who had gone bankrupt. Bend's sister, Amy Bend (1870-1957), was married to Cortlandt F. Bishop in 1899. Henry and Beatrice did not have any children.
He died in 1959 at his home in Newport, Rhode Island, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He left an estate worth $3,000,000, and donated his personal papers to the Library of Congress. He also left a portrait of George Washington, by Edward Savage, to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C..
| United States Ambassador to Chile
| United States Ambassador to Mexico
Charles B. Warren
| United States Under Secretary of State
| United States Ambassador to Belgium|
| United States Ambassador to Luxembourg|
| United States Ambassador to Italy
|Party political offices|
| Chair of the Republican National Committee