Fisher Ames

Ames, Fisher, 1758–1808, American political leader, b. Dedham, Mass.; son of Nathaniel Ames. Admitted to the bar in 1781, he began political pamphleteering and by a speech in the Massachusetts convention that ratified the federal Constitution started on the road to becoming a leading Federalist. As a Congressman (1789–97) and after his retirement he was high in party councils, a staunch follower of Hamilton, and a vicious opponent of Jefferson. Of Ames's able speeches perhaps the best known was that made in 1796 when the House was disposed to nullify Jay's Treaty by withholding appropriations; he spoke for the treaty. He was the archetype of the New England conservative of his period, a strong proponent of order and of the rights of property.

See biography by W. E. Bernhard (1965).

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