Guide to the Ames Family Papers, 1872-1927 M0003

Finding aid prepared by Processed by Special Collections staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Patricia White
Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Stanford University Libraries
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, California, 94305-6064
Repository email:
� 1997

Title: Ames Family Papers,
Identifier/Call Number: M0003
Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Language of Material: English
Container: 1
Physical Description: 0.5 Linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1782-1927
creator: Ames, Fisher
creator: Ames, Pelham Warren
creator: Bradford-Ames, Margaret

General note

Numbers in () which follow item/folder descriptions indicate the number of xerox exposures per item/folder.


These papers of the Ames family include correspondence, notes, and financial records of Fisher Ames; correspondence of Margaret Bradford-Ames; military papers, letters, business papers, and notes of Pelham Warren Ames (San Francisco and Boston); and genealogical records.


Fisher Ames (1758-1808) was a statesman, Federalist publicist, orator and Congressman. He was elected to Congress in 1789 and served until 1796. In 1805 he was offered the presidency of Harvard, but declined due to poor health and "advancing age" (47). His son Seth Ames married Margaret S. Bradford; their son Pelham Warren Ames served in the navy during the Civil War and was a lawyer.

Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item] Ames Family Papers, M003, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


Donated by Judge Alden Ames in September, 1959.

Publication Rights:

All rights reside with the Stanford University Libraries. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

Access Restrictions:




Folder 1

Letter from Timothy Pickering, former Sec'y. of State, dated on the Gallatin report and Black Sea trade.(3) 1806,

Folder 2

Note from Spencer Watkins, thanking Ames for money to buy wood. (2) December 16, 1784,

Folder 3

Seven letters to Josiah Quincy on rights of neutrals and politics of the period: (1805-06)


a. Dedham. British had condemned US commerce when laden with colony produce. Consideration of reprisals. Hopes for British treaty. (4) 1805 Nov.27.


b. Dedham. Angry measures of commercial restriction would destroy objects of peace and commerce.(4) 1805 Dec. 16.


c. Dedham. Miscellaneous comments. Federalists cannot attend the legislative caucus. Jefferson will say anything Congress wants him to.(4) 1806 Jan. 20.


d. Dedham. Mourns death of Pitt. Questions about Randolph -- no statesman but no fool. Ames did not accept presidency of Harvard due to health.(3) 1806 Mar. 19.


e. Dedham. Condemnation of Randolph's anti-Federalist speech. Randolph, Burr and others have crawled "at the foot of Jefferson's throne."(2) 1806 Dec. 5.


f. Dedham. "Jefferson only takes care of his popularity, which forbids him to govern at all." General attack on Jefferson. (2) 1806 Dec. 11.


g. Dedham. The "Message" is criticized. It leaves the country without protection. Also, Ames is against repeal of salt tax. Non-importation act mentioned. (2) 1806 Dec. 22.

Folder 4

Draft of letter to Professor Pearson refusing presidency of Harvard (4) (1805).

Folder 5

Fragment of letter, to Mr. Dwight on transfer of Congress from New York. (2) 7-18-1790,

Folder 6

Notes on a report of the Sec'y. of State on the codfishery question . (8)

Folder 7

16 bills and receipts, (32) 1794-1817.

Folder 8

Four bills of John and Nathaniel Ames, sons of Fisher. (7)

Folder 9

Letter from the Library of Congress to Mrs. R. Y. Fitz concerning portraits of Fisher Ames, (2) 1907.

Folder 10

A.D. on the "Political Quack". (2)



Folder 11

Papers re Civil War naval career (26) dated Includes letter from Josephus Daniels, Sec'y of the Navy, dated (33) 1861-1913. 1913 Nov.15.

Folder 12

Five items re admission to Massachusetts Bar: (13)


a. Petition to be admitted as an atty. at law


b. Certificate of applicant


c. Letter from Judge James M. Seawell, SF, 1907 Nov. 18


d. Letter from Ezra R. Thayer transferring move for Ames admission to Hollis R. Bailey, 1907 Nov. 2


e. Letter from the Justices Chambers, Supreme Court of Calif. stating that records upon which the license of Mr. Ames might be renewed have been lost in fire (12-20-1907)

Folder 13

Five items re Spring Valley Water Works (SF water supply) and one re purchase of Sutro Tunnel Co. (16)

Folder 14

Biographical notes on Rear Admiral John G. Walker and architect Henry H. Richardson, written by Ames. Paper on Adm. Nelson (by Ames) and 3 copies of a Spanish translation of Gray's Elegy. Speech by Ames before Commandery (SAR?) on Adm. Lord Nelson. Nelson was not responsible for English victory at Aboukir (sic) Bay. Entanglement with Lady Hamilton left stain on his character. Had propensity for fault-finding and boasting. Jealous of honores conferred upon companions. "All this is sickening." Mention of Caraciola incident. "His nature was hard and his heart was hard." Also violated a flag of truce. (51)

Folder 15

19 copies of "In Memoriam", series printed in at death of Ames. (2 ea.) 1916

Folder 16

Howard A. Clark L.S. to Pelham Ames, and address to Natl. Soc. of the SAR on J. P. Jones.(6) 1908 May 8,



Folder 17

Six letters from her brother, George P. Bradford and one from her sister (Martha)? (25)

Folder 18

Two letters to her sister, Sarah Ripley and one to Mrs. David Dana (10)



Folder 19

Genealogical information on the Ames family and the related families of Bradford, Worthington, Alden, Edwards, Bates, Hodson, Townsend, Foster, Lee, Sale, and Hickling. (13 items) (117)

Folder 20

Abstract of Seth Ames' will and of Frances W. Howland's (sister of Fisher Ames). (4)



Folder 21

Typescript copy of a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to Mrs. Bixby on and clipping re Boston lecture by Pelham Ames. (4) 11-21-1864,

Folder 22

Clipping from London Times literary supplement entitled "The Way of Peace". (4) 9-8-1927

Folder 23

Printed muster roll of Capt. Lincoln's company, 7th Mass. Regiment, of the US Army, dated Gamaliel Bradford was commissioned officer writing the report. (2) March 1782.