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Benjamin Ames

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Benjamin Ames October 30, 1778 – September 28, 1835 was the third Governor of the US state of Maine, who served from December 5, 1821 to January 2, 1822


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Family
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links


Ames was born in Andover, Massachusetts He graduated Harvard University in 1803, studied law with Samuel Dana, and attained admission to the bar in 1806 He then relocated to Bath, Maine, where he established a practice Beginning in 1811 he practiced with his brother in law Abel Boynton

Ames served as County Attorney for Lincoln County from 1807 to 1811, and Judge of Common Pleas Court until 1814 During the War of 1812, Ames was commissioned as a major and commanded a cavalry battalion in the Maine Militia

From 1818 to 1828 he served as a member of Bowdoin College's Board of Overseers In 1819 he was a delegate to the constitutional convention that led to Maine's separation from Massachusetts and statehood

In 1820, Ames was also elected to the Maine House of Representatives, and he was selected as that body's first Speaker Upon the resignation of William D Williamson in December 1821, Ames served as governor until Daniel Rose took office in January 1823

Ames was elected to the Maine Senate in 1824, and served as its fifth President With the elections of 1827, he returned to the state House of Representatives

In 1827, Ames became involved in a dispute with former Governor William King over who would be appointed as the federal Collector of Customs for the Port of Bath; the dispute became personal, with each accusing the other of violating the national trade embargo with England to supply the British Army in Canada during the War of 1812 King received the appointment, and served from 1829 to 1834

The prolonged dispute with King caused Ames to lose legal clients; his law practice failed, and he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio In 1829, he decided to return to Maine; while in Providence, Rhode Island, Ames suffered a debilitating stroke He never fully recovered, and he died at the Houlton, Maine home of his brother in law Benjamin A Boynton on September 28, 1835 He was buried at Soldiers Cemetery in Houlton


In 1809, Ames married Mary Boynton of Westford, Massachusetts She died in 1810, and they had no children In 1812, he married Sarah "Sally" Boynton, the sister of his first wife They were the parents of three children, son George, and two daughters


  • Past presidents of the Maine Senate - Benjamin Ames, Democratic-Republican, 1824 Accessed September 13, 2005
  • List of Governors of Maine

External linksedit

  • Biography portal
  • Benjamin Ames at NNDB, accessed September 13, 2005
  • Benjamin Ames at National Governors Association
  • Benjamin Ames at Find a Grave
Political offices
Preceded by
William D Williamson
3rd Governor of Maine
Succeeded by
Daniel Rose

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