|Adjutant General of New York|
|David Van Horne|
|Born||August 28, 1758|
New York City, Province of New York
|Died||June 20, 1833 (aged 74)|
New York City, New York
|Children||5, including Hamilton Fish|
|Relatives||Nicholas Fish II (grandson)|
Hamilton Fish II (grandson)
Stuyvesant Fish (grandson)
Stuyvesant Morris (grandson)
Fish was born on August 28, 1758 into a wealthy New York City family. He was the son of Jonathan Fish (1728-1779) and Elizabeth (née Sackett) Fish (d. 1778). His elder sister was Sarah Fish (b. 1755), who married Terrence Riley.[who?]
He attended Princeton University but left before graduating to pursue the study of law at King's College (now Columbia University) through the office of John Morin Scott in New York. There he became actively interested in the organization of the Sons of Liberty.
He served as a division inspector under Major General von Steuben in 1778. He participated in the battles of Saratoga and Monmouth, in Sullivan's expedition against the Native Americans in 1779, and in the Virginia and Yorktown campaigns, in which he served for a time on the staff of the Marquis de La Fayette. Along with Alexander Hamilton, he served in New York Militia Hearts of Oak (1st Battalion/5th Field Artillery Regiment). Nicholas Fish's portrait can be seen at far right bottom row of John Trumbull's Surrender of Lord Cornwallis painting.
Fish was an original member of the New York Society of the Cincinnati and served as its president from 1797 to 1804, and from 1805 to 1806. His son, Hamilton Fish, would serve as the Society's President General from 1854 to 1893.
In 1786, he was appointed Adjutant general of New York State, which position he held for many years. In 1794, he was appointed by Washington supervisor of the Federal revenue in New York City. On two occasions, Fish ran unsuccessfully for United States Congress, losing to Samuel L. Mitchill in 1804 and Gurdon S. Mumford in 1806. Fish also twice ran unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor of New York. In 1810, he was the Federalist candidate, but lost to incumbent John Broome. Broome subsequently died one month into his term in August 1810. Fish ran in a special election for Lieutenant Governor in 1811 to fill the vacancy created by Broome's death, but lost to the then-mayor of New York City, DeWitt Clinton. During the War of 1812, Fish served as a member of the City Committee of Defense.
In 1803, Fish was married to Elizabeth Stuyvesant (1775-1854), the daughter of Petrus Stuyvesant and Margaret (née Livingston) Stuyvesant (1738-1818). She was the sister of Peter Gerard Stuyvesant (both descendants of Petrus Stuyvesant the last Dutch director-general of the colony of New Netherland), and the granddaughter of Gilbert Livingston and great-granddaughter of Robert Livingston the Elder. Together, they were the parents of:
Through his son Hamilton, he was the grandfather of Nicholas Fish II (1848-1902), a U.S. Ambassador to Belgium and Switzerland, Hamilton Fish II (1849-1936), a Speaker of the New York State Assembly and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Stuyvesant Fish (1851-1923), a President of the Illinois Central Railroad who married Marion Graves Anthon (1853-1915)., and New York congressmen Hamilton Fish III and Hamilton Fish IV.