AMES, Fisher

AMES, Fisher
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
1758–1808

Biography

AMES, Fisher, a Representative from Massachusetts; born in Dedham, Mass., April 9, 1758; attended the town school of his native city and also received private instruction; was graduated from Harvard College in 1774; while teaching school, studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Dedham in 1781; served in the State house of representatives in 1788; member of the Massachusetts convention called for the ratification of the Federal Constitution in 1788; elected as a Pro-Administration candidate to the First through Third Congresses and as a Federalist to the Fourth Congress (March 4, 1789-March 3, 1797); chairman, Committee on Elections (First Congress); was not a candidate for renomination in 1796; resumed the practice of law in Dedham; member of the Governor's council 1798-1800; chosen president of Harvard University in 1804, but declined to accept because of failing health; died in Dedham, Mass., July 4, 1808; interment in Old First Parish Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

American Philosophical Society

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: In the Benjamin Vaughan Papers, 1746-1900, 13.25 linear feet. Correspondents include Fisher Ames. A finding aid is available in the library and online.

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 1791, 1 item. A letter from Fisher Ames to Colonel Joseph Ward written on February 16, 1791.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New York, NY
Papers: In the John Jay Papers, 1745-1829, amount unknown. in the John Jay collection. The papers contain three letters from Fisher Ames to John Jay written between 1789 and 1796). A finding aid is available in the repository and online..

Dedham Historical Society

Dedham, MA
Papers: 1654-1829. Several hundred items. Includes letters and an account book (1801-1829).

Duke University Libraries
Special Collections Library

Durham, NC
Papers: ca. 1790-1801, 2 items. A letter, 1790, from Fisher Ames to U.S. Judge John Lowell of Massachusetts concerning legislation to prevent frauds in the payment of North Carolina veterans of the Revolutionary War, and reviews the character of John Jay. A letter, 1801, from Fisher Ames to Benjamin Bourne evaluates an unidentified applicant for an editorial position with a Federalist paper.

Harvard University
Houghton Library

Cambridge, MA
Papers: In the James Freeman Clarke Family Papers, 1777-1914, 2 linear feet. Persons represented include Fisher Ames.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: At least 1 item (1789) in the Gratz collection; at least 1 item (1791) in the Society Autograph collection; and at least 1 (undated) item in the Coxe papers.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, ca. 1789-1801, 3 letters. Letters of Fisher Ames, 1789-1801.
Papers: In the Oliver Wolcott Papers, 1759-1837, approximately 10,000 items. Correspondents include Fisher Ames. A finding aid is available in the library.

Marietta College
Dawes Memorial Library

Marietta, OH
Papers: At least 1 item (1791) in the Rufus Putnam papers.

Maryland Historical Society
Special Collections Reading Room

Baltimore, MD
Papers: A letter from Fisher Ames to James Lovell, Jr. written on August 3, 1789. In the letter, Fisher Ames writes regarding news of family and friends, and mentions the appointment of James Lovell, Sr. as a naval officer.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: In the Foster Family Autograph Collection, 1621-1930, 30 document boxes, 4 oversize boxes and 2 volumes. Persons represented include Fisher Ames. A finding aid is available at the repository and online.
Papers: In the Henry Cabot Lodge Papers, 1775-1966, 51 cartons and 2 oversize boxes. Persons represented include Fisher Ames. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.

The Morgan Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1791, 1 item. A letter from Fisher Ames to Nathaniel Appleton written on January 3, 1791. In the letter, Fisher Ames writes that he will communicate Nathaniel Appleton's representation to the "Delegation of the State."
Papers: 1792, 1 item. A letter from Fisher Ames to Thomas Dwight written on September 16, 1792. In the letter, Fisher Ames comments on his marriage, travel plans, Colonel Worthington (his father-in-law), the smallpox in Boston, and political matters.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: In the Rufus King Papers, 1782-1826, 21 linear feet. Correspondents include Fisher Ames.

Rutgers University
Department of Special Collections, Alexander Library and Archives

New Brunswick, NJ
Papers: In the Ebenezer Stevens Papers, 1783-1817, 48 items. Persons represented include Fisher Ames.

Stanford University
Manuscript Division

Stanford, CA
Papers: In the Ames Family Papers, 1782-1927, 0.5 linear foot. Persons represented include Fisher Ames. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.

Yale University Library
Manuscripts and Archives

New Haven, CT
Papers: In the Samuel Blachley Webb Papers, 1756-1819, 7 linear feet. Subjects include Fisher Ames. A finding aid is available in the repository.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Ames, Fisher. An oration on the sublime virtues of Gen. George Washington. 1800. Reprint, Tarrytown, N.Y.: N.p., 1930.

------. The speech of Mr. Ames, in the House of Representatives of the United States, when in committee of the whole, on Thursday, April 28, 1796: in support of the following motion: Resolved, That it is expedient to pass the laws necessary to carry into effect the treaty lately concluded between the United States and the King of Great-Britain. Philadelphia: Printed by William Young, 1796.

------. Speeches of Fisher Ames in Congress, 1789-1796. Boston: Little, Brown, and company, 1871.

------. Works of Fisher Ames: With a Selection from His Speeches and Correspondence. Edited by W.B. Allen and Seth Ames. 1854. Reprint, Indianapolis: Liberty Fund Inc., 1984.

Arkin, Marc M. "The Federalist Trope: Power and Passion in Abolitionist Rhetoric." Journal of American History 88 (June 2001): 75(24).

------. "Regionalism and the Religion Clauses: The Contribution of Fisher Ames. Buffalo Law Review 47 (spring 1999): 763-828.

Bernhard, Winfred E. A. Fisher Ames: Federalist and Statesman, 1758-1808. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1965.

Douglass, Elisha P. "Fisher Ames, Spokesman for New England Federalism." American Philosophical Society Proceedings 103, No. 5 (1959): 693-715.

Farrell, James M. "Fisher Ames and Political Judgment: Reason, Passion, and Vehement Style in the Jay Treaty Speech. The Quarterly Journal of Speech 76, no. 4 (November 1990): 415(20).

Manolesc, Beth Innocenti. "Style and spectator judgment in Fisher Ames's Jay Treaty speech." The Quarterly Journal of Speech 84, no. 1 (February 1998): 62(18).

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