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Chapter 26: Grant and Fish. Fish was the one member of the Cabinet who served during the entire eight years that Grant was President. He entered the Administration on the 11th of March, 1869, and remained until March, 1877, even delaying a few days under Hayes. He had not been Grant's original choice for Secretary of State, but before Washburne's brief term was over, when Wilson declined to take the post, and it was discovered that Stewart, of New York, was ineligible to the Treasury, the President appealed to Fish to help him out of his dilemma. From the day of his election, Grant wrote, he had determined to offer Fish the appointment of Minister to England, but in the re-arrangement of his Cabinet, which was unavoidable, he invited the ex-Governor and Senator to accept the position of Secretary of State. Fish promptly declined the proposition. He had been requested to telegraph his answer and did so of course, but he also wrote, posting the letter with his own hands,