Fisher Ames (April 19, 1758-July 4, 1808) was a Representative in the United States Congress from the 1st Congressional District of Massachusetts. He was born in Dedham, Massachusetts and attended the town's school while also receiving private instruction. In 1774 he was graduated from Harvard College and began work as a teacher. While teaching school Ames also studied law, was admitted to the bar, and commenced practice in Dedham in 1781.
In 1788, he served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He became a member of the Massachusetts convention that ratified the United States Constitution that same year.
Ames was elected to the First, Second and Third Congresses and as a Federalist to the Fourth Congress. He served in Congress from March 4, 1789 to March 3, 1797. During the First Congress, he was chairman of the Committee on Elections. In 1796, he was not a candidate for renomination but resumed the practice of law in Dedham. He stayed in politics and was member of the Governor's Council from 1798 to 1800. In his new role, Ames offered one of the great orations on the death of President Washington. He also published a number of essays, critical of Jeffersonian Republicanism.
In 1805, Ames was chosen president of Harvard University. He declined because of failing health. Four years later, in 1808, he died in Dedham on July 4. He was interred in the Old First Parish Cemetery after a public funeral in Boston.
Despite his limited number of years in public service, Fisher Ames ranks as one of the more influential figures of his era. Ames led Federalist ranks in the House of Representatives. His acceptance of the Bill of Rights garnered support in Massachusetts for the new Constitution. His greatest fame however may have come as an orator. Ames offered one of the first great speeches in American Congressional history when he spoke in favor of the Jay Treaty.