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Henry P. Fletcher

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Henry Fletcher
Henry P. Fletcher.jpg
Chair of the Republican National Committee
In office
June 7, 1934 – June 22, 1936
Preceded byEverett Sanders
Succeeded byJohn Hamilton
United States Ambassador to Italy
In office
April 2, 1924 – August 3, 1929
PresidentHerbert Hoover
Calvin Coolidge
Preceded byRichard Child
Succeeded byJohn Garrett
United States Ambassador to Luxembourg
In office
October 29, 1923 – March 25, 1924
PresidentCalvin Coolidge
Preceded byWilliam Phillips
Succeeded byWilliam Phillips
United States Ambassador to Belgium
In office
May 3, 1922 – March 25, 1924
PresidentCalvin Coolidge
Warren G. Harding
Preceded byBrand Whitlock
Succeeded byWilliam Phillips
United States Under Secretary of State
In office
March 8, 1921 – March 6, 1922
PresidentWarren G. Harding
Preceded byNorman Davis
Succeeded byWilliam Phillips
United States Ambassador to Mexico
In office
March 3, 1917 – January 25, 1919
PresidentWoodrow Wilson
Preceded byHenry Wilson
Succeeded byCharles B. Warren
United States Ambassador to Chile
In office
September 9, 1910 – March 9, 1916
PresidentWilliam Howard Taft
Preceded byThomas Dawson (Minister)
Succeeded byJoseph Shea
Personal details
Henry Prather Fletcher

(1873-04-10)April 10, 1873
Greencastle, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedJuly 10, 1959(1959-07-10) (aged 86)
Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery
Beatrice Bend
(m. 1917; died 1941)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Unit1st United States Volunteer Cavalry
Battles/warsSpanish-American War

Henry Prather Fletcher (April 10, 1873 – July 10, 1959) was an American diplomat who served under six presidents.[1]

Early life

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).[2] He was the fourth cousin once removed of William McKinley.[3]

Fletcher planned to attend Princeton University, but his family could not afford to send him, therefore, he studied law and shorthand in his uncle's law office.[2]

Shortly after beginning to practice law, the Spanish–American War broke out and the United States declared war on Spain in 1898.[4] Fletcher joined Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders as a private in Troop K.[5] He served in the U.S. Army, both in Cuba and in the Philippines for two years.[2]


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.[4]

As a reward, President William Howard Taft named him US Minister to Chile in 1909.[6] 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.[7][6] He served in that role until March 9, 1916.[8][9]

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson appointed him United States Ambassador to Mexico, his term coinciding with the height of World War I.[10] 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.[11] 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.[4][12]

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.[4][13][14][15]

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.[16]

From April 2, 1924, to August 3, 1929, he was appointed by Coolidge and served as the Ambassador to Italy.[17] He was on close terms with the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini.[18][19][20]

Later career

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.[2]

From 1934 to 1936, he was the chairman of the Republican Party[21] and was a delegate to the Republican national conventions in 1936 and 1940.[22][23]

Personal life

In 1917, he married Beatrice Bend (1874–1941),[24] a daughter of George H. Bend, a member of the New York Stock Exchange who had gone bankrupt.[25] Bend's sister, Amy Bend (1870–1957), was married to Cortlandt F. Bishop in 1899.[26][27][28] Henry and Beatrice did not have any children.[2]

He died in 1959 at his home in Newport, Rhode Island,[29][2] and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He left an estate worth $3,000,000,[30] 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.[31]



  1. ^ "Mrs. Henry Prather Fletcher (Beatrice Bend, 1874–1941)". New-York Historical Society. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "HENRY FLETCHER, DIPLOMAT, 86, DIES; Envoy for Almost 30 Years Served Six Presidents * G.O.P. Chairman '34-36". The New York Times. 11 July 1959. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  3. ^ Folly, Martin; Palmer, Niall (April 20, 2010). The A to Z of U.S. Diplomacy from World War I through World War II. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9781461672418. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d "Mr. Fletcher's Career". The New York Times. 26 June 1929. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  5. ^ Bisher, Jamie (February 17, 2016). The Intelligence War in Latin America, 1914–1922. McFarland. ISBN 9781476620268. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Denial by Minister Fletcher". The New York Times. 5 March 1913. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  7. ^ "CARRANZA PARTY NOW RECOGNIZED; Colombia and Nicaragua Act with Seven States of Pan-American Conference. FLETCHER FOR AMBASSADOR Envoy, Now In Chile, Practically Decided Upon;- Arredondo to Represent Carranza". The New York Times. 20 October 1915. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  8. ^ "CHILEANS HONOR FLETCHER.; Retiring Ambassador, Who Is Banquet Guest, Will Leave on March 8". The New York Times. 5 March 1916. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Names Shea for Chilean Post". The New York Times. 4 March 1916. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  10. ^ "ENVOY FLETCHER GOES TO MEXICAN CAPITAL; Increasing Bandit Activities May Interrupt Trip of the American Ambassador". The New York Times. 11 February 1917. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  11. ^ "MEXICO REASSURED BY ENVOY FLETCHER; Issues a Cordial Statement to People to Counteract Reports of Our Suspicions. ONLY FOES CAN CAUSE RIFT He Urges Americans in the Country to Take Care to Maintain a Proper Attitude". The New York Times. 25 April 1917. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  12. ^ "FLETCHER COMING HOME.; Ambassador to Mexico Will Not Discuss Purpose of His Visit". The New York Times. 4 July 1917. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  13. ^ "BRIAND COMING HERE FOR POWERS' MEETING; French Premier's Decision, Believed, Means Lloyd George Will Attend Also. SENDS WORD BY HERRICK Harding Backs Request for $200,000 Congress Appropriation for Parley". The New York Times. 16 August 1921. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  14. ^ "HUGHES HAS EXPERT ON RUSSIAN AFFAIRS; He Appoints Montgomery Schuyler of New York as Chiefof That Division.ALSO GETS TREATY EXPERTLeland Harrison, Who Was With Peace Negotiators, Is MadeAid to Fletcher". The New York Times. 12 April 1921. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  15. ^ "HUGHES GETS FACTS ON FOREIGN POLICY; He and Fletcher Have a Three Hour Conference With Colby and Davis. DISCUSS PRESENT STATUS New Administration Must Fact Issues Involving All Great Powers and the League". The New York Times. 4 March 1921. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  16. ^ Schoultz, Lars (1998). Beneath the United States: a history of U.S. policy toward Latin America ([Fourth printing]. ed.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University: Harvard University Press. pp. 285–286. ISBN 0-674-92276-X.
  17. ^ "FLETCHER RESIGNS AS ENVOY TO ITALY; Hoover in Acceptance Praises His Services as a Diplomat, as Does Stimson. FAREWELL SAID TO KING Fletcher Credited With Hopes of Higher Posts--May Enter Pennsylvania Politics". The New York Times. 26 June 1929. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  18. ^ "HENRY P. FLETCHER HOME.; Former Ambassador to Italy Says He Is Out of Public Life". The New York Times. 14 August 1929. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  19. ^ "Fletcher Sees Mussolini". The New York Times. 31 August 1926. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  20. ^ Times, Arnaldo Cortesi Wireless To The New York (19 July 1929). "MUSSOLINI HAILS FLETCHER AS FRIEND; Premier, in Letter Stressing His Amity, Regrets Ambassador's Plan to Retire. THANKS HIM FOR ITALY II Duce Recalls Our Envoy's Work in Strengthening the Ties Between the Nations". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  21. ^ Auld, George P. (14 April 1936). "MR. FLETCHER'S SCIENTISTS; Republican Quest for Knowledge Evokes Observations". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  22. ^ "USE OF THE HATCH ACT". The New York Times. 8 August 1940. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  23. ^ Fletcher, Henry P. (4 August 1935). "NEW DEAL AND THE CONSTITUTION.; Chairman of the Republican National Committee, in a Radio Speech From Washington". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  24. ^ "MRS. HENRY B. FLETCHER; Wife of Ex-U. S. Ambassador Dies in Greencastle, Pa". The New York Times. 10 September 1941. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  25. ^ "HENRY P. FLETCHER, AMBASSADOR, WEDS; American Envoy to Mexico Marries Miss Beatrice Bend in Old Westbury, L.I. ROMANCE BEGAN IN CHINA Bridegroom's Father and Four Brothers at Ceremony in W.D. Straight's Country Home". The New York Times. 26 July 1917. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  26. ^ "AN ENGAGEMENT ANNOUNCED". The New York Times. 11 September 1899. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  27. ^ "Bishop-Bend Engagement Confirmed". The New York Times. 12 September 1899. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  28. ^ "Ex libris: Amy Bend Bishop". Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 2 September 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  29. ^ "Obituary 2 -- FLETCHER". The New York Times. 12 July 1959. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  30. ^ "$3,000,000 Left by Fletcher". The New York Times. 2 August 1959. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  31. ^ "LEGACY TO U. S. LIBRARY; H. P. Fletcher, Former Envoy, Wills His Personal Papers". The New York Times. 17 July 1959. Retrieved 11 May 2017.

External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Chile
Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Mexico
Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Under Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Belgium
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Luxembourg
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Italy
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Chair of the Republican National Committee
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 1 January 2022, at 03:56
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