US Passport Legation Switzerland – Nicholas Fish

US Passport Switzerland Fish

US Passport Switzerland Fish

A large one-page folio, 32 x 47 cm, was issued to Miss Alice L. Blaney, a citizen of the United States of America, traveling in Europe to attend the University of Zurich. Bern, Switzerland, Legation of the United States 1st day of December 1878. Passport number 111.

Alice was 25 years young (born 1853), hence during the American Civil War, she was around the age of eight when the war started and about 12 years when the war ended. Alice was 5.5 feet and had blue eyes. U.S. Passport Switzerland Fish

US Passport Switzerland Fish

But the following lines make the document attractive, and that’s why I love passport history, as there is always a story behind a travel document. And this story is quite something! U.S. Passport Switzerland Fish

Fish, Nicholas (1848-1902) — of New York, New York County, N.Y. Born in New York, New York County, N.Y., February 19, 1848. Republican. Lawyer; U.S. Chargé d’affaires to Switzerland, 1877-81; U.S. Minister to Belgium, 1882-85; banker; Presidential Elector for New York, 1896. Member, Society of the Cincinnati. Quarreled with Thomas J. Sharkey, a private detective, on the second floor of the Ehrhardt Brothers saloon; Sharkey struck him so that he fell down the stairs into the street with a skull fracture; died the next day, without regaining consciousness, at Roosevelt Hospital, Manhattan, New York County, N.Y., September 16, 1902 (age 54 years, 209 days). Sharkey was later convicted of second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to ten years in prison. Interment at St. Philip’s Cemetery, Garrison, N.Y. U.S. Passport Switzerland Fish

Nicholas Fish (1846–1902)

State of Residence: New York

  1. Charge d’Affaires (Switzerland) 
    Appointed: June 20, 1877
    Presentation of Credentials: August 7, 1877
    Termination of Mission: Presented recall on August 24, 1881
    Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned on October 30, 1877, after confirmation. U.S. Passport Switzerland Fish
  1. Minister Resident (Belgium) U.S. Passport Switzerland Fish
    Appointed: April 28, 1882
    Presentation of Credentials: July 5, 1882
    Termination of Mission: Presented recall on October 6, 1885

Relatives: Son of Hamilton Fish (1808-1893) and Julia (Kean) Fish (1816-1887); brother of Hamilton Fish, Jr. (1849-1936); married to Clemence S. Smith-Bryce; father of Hamilton Fish (1874-1898; sergeant in the U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, the “Rough Riders,” in the Spanish-American war; killed in battle); uncle of Hamilton Fish, Jr. (1888-1991); grandson of Nicholas Fish; granduncle of Hamilton Fish, Jr. (1926-1996); great-grandson of John Kean (1756-1795); great-grandnephew of Robert Gilbert Livingston and Philip Peter Livingston; great-granduncle of Hamilton Fish (1951-) and Alexa Fish Ward; second great-grandson of Gilbert Livingston and Peter Van Brugh Livingston; second great-grandnephew of John Livingston, Robert Livingston (1688-1775), Robert Livingston (1708-1790), Philip Livingston and William Livingston; third great-grandson of Robert Livingston, the Elder; (extract)… U.S. Passport Switzerland Fish

Longest serving German Ambassador in the USA


FAQ Passport History
Passport collection, passport renewal, old passports for sale, vintage passport, emergency passport renewal, same day passport, passport application, pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट

1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?

The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...

2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?

Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...

3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?

"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...

4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?

Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?

Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.

6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?

During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?

Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?

Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.

10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?

A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?

First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...

Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.

Question? Contact me...