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Encyclopedia > Benjamin Ames

Benjamin Ames, born in Andover, Massachusetts and Harvard educated, moved to Bath, Maine in 1806 and was admitted to the bar in that same year.


He had the good fortune early in his career to secure as his patron none other than William King, "The Sultan of Bath." This relationship was to propel him to success as both a lawyer and a politician but it was also to eventually be his undoing.


Appointed County Attorney for Lincoln County by Governor Sullivan in 1807, he held that post until 1811 when he was appointed Judge of the Common Pleas Court by Governor Gerry, a post which he held until 1814.


In 1820 he was elected as a Representative from Bath to the First Maine Legislature and subsequently chosen as its Speaker. Thus it was that the fourth President of the Maine Senate was also the first Speaker of the Maine House.


He served as Governor of Maine from 1821 to 1822 as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party.


In 1824 Ames was elected Senator from Lincoln County and served then as Senate President.


In 1827 he was again elected to the Maine House from Bath, a term which proved to be his last in public service. Even though he became one of the busiest lawyers in Maine, Ames was evidently never much of an orator; being described by one of his contemporaries as: "dry as a remaining biscuit after a voyage."


Sometime following his term as Senate President, Ames allied himself with the Wingate faction against King in an intraparty patronage squabble. The particular bone of contention between King and Ames was the Collectorship of the Port of Bath.


The quarrel grew in intensity and notoriety when each accused the other of supplying the enemy during the War of 1812. The long-range effects for Ames were disastrous. His business suffered and he fell into debt. Indebtedness evidently caused him to move to Cincinatti in 1827 where he practiced law for about two years.


On his way home to Bath in 1829, he suffered a stroke from which he never fully recovered, dying at his brother-in-law’s house in Houlton on September 25, 1835 at the age of fifty-seven.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Ames, Athens County, Ohio History (3794 words)
Ames, who had been tenderly reared in the family of a New England clergyman, but whose energy and character were equal to any occasion, describe the hardships of her tedious journey from Massachusetts to Ohio, in the year 1799, which she made all the way on horseback, carrying an infant in her arms.
Ames has not kept pace with some other parts of the county in population, being now ninth in that regard; but in respect of the character of her population, business enterprise, moral and educational movements, etc., she is second to none.
The population of Ames in 1820 was 721; in 1830 it was 857; in 1840 it was 1,431; in 1850 it was 1,482; in 1860 it was 1,335.
Mencius [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] (4812 words)
It is interesting to note the apparent link between powers of suasion - essential for any itinerant Warring States shi, whether official or teacher - and "flood-like qi." The goal of Mencian self-cultivation is to bring one's qi, xin, and yan (words) together in a seamless blend of rightness (yi) and ritual propriety (li).
More recently, the philosophers Roger Ames and Donald Munro have developed postmodern readings of Mencius that involve contemporary developments such as process thought and evolutionary psychology.
Ames, Roger T. "Mencius and a Process Notion of Human Nature," in Mencius: Contexts and Interpretations, ed.
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