Fisher Ames

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Fisher Ames (April 19, 1758July 4, 1808) was a Representative in the United States Congress from Massachusetts.

Sourced

  • I consider biennial elections as a security that the sober, second thought of the people shall be law.
    • Speech on Biennial Elections before the Convention of Massachusetts (January 1788), reported in Seth Ames, John Thornton Kirkland, Works of Fisher Ames with a Selection from His Speeches and Correspondence (1854) p. 7.
  • Madison has inserted in his amendments the increase of representatives, each State having two at least. The rights of conscience, of bearing arms, of changing the government, are declared to be inherent in the people. Freedom of the press too. There is a prodigious great dose for a medicine. But it will stimulate the stomach as little as hasty pudding. It is rather food for physic. An immense mass of sweet and other herbs and roots for diet drink.
    • Letter to F.R. Minoe, June 12, 1789, reported in Life and Work of Fisher Ames, vol. I, 52-54.
  • The gentleman puts me in mind of an old hen which persists in setting after her eggs are taken away.
    • Reported in Memoirs of Theophilus Parsons (1859). Ames is reported to have said this while opposing Parsons as counsel in a legal case.
  • The rights of conscience, of bearing arms, of changing the government, are declared to be inherent in the people. Freedom of the press, too.
    • Letter to George Richards Minot (June 12, 1789), reported in Fisher Ames, Seth Ames, John Thornton Kirkland, Works of Fisher Ames: With a Selection from His Speeches and Correspondence (1854), p. 54.
  • Why then, if these books for children must be retained, as they will be, should not the bible regain the place it once held as a school book ? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the sacred book, that is thus early impressed, lasts long ; and, probably, if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.
    • Published in Palladium (January 1801), reported in Fisher Ames, John Thornton Kirkland, Works of Fisher Ames (1809), p. 134-35.

Unsourced

  • A monarchy is a merchantman which sails well, but will sometimes strike on a rock, and go to the bottom; a republic is a raft which will never sink, but then your feet are always in the water.
  • We are, heart and soul, friends to the freedom of the press...It is a precious pest, and a necessary mischief, and there would be no liberty without it.
  • A government by the passions of the multitude, or, no less correctly, according to the vices, and ambitions of their leaders is a democracy.

External links

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