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Ames, Fisher

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.