Biographical Sketches of Eminent American Statesmen, with Speeches, Addresses and Letters

By B. F. Perry | Go to book overview

FISHER AMES.

There were few eminent statesmen of his day and time more distinguished as an orator than Fisher Ames, of Massachusetts. In olden times there were brilliant extracts from his speeches published, which were memorized and spoken by schoolboys at their exhibitions throughout the country. He was a fine logician, as well as a wise statesman and eloquent rhetorician. In American Eloquence, by Frank Moore, published in 1858, there are two of Mr. Ames's speeches in Congress, given as models of eloquence and statesmanship. The one on the "Commercial Relations of the United States with Foreign Nations," and the other on "Jay's celebrated Treaty with Great Britain in 1796." In the first he avows himself as the advocate of free trade and opposed to all restrictions on commerce. We ought to be allowed to purchase in the cheapest market and sell in the dearest. He says: "Were I invested with the trust to legislate for mankind, it is very probable the first act of my authority would be to throw all the restrictive and prohibitory laws into the fire; the resolutions on the table would not be spared. But, if I were to do so, it is probable I should have a quarrel on my hands with every civilized nation." These resolutions were introduced by Mr. Madison and advocated by him with great zeal and ability.

The speech on Jay's treaty is indeed a model speech for an American statesman, patriot and orator. It contains thrilling bursts of eloquence, with sentiments of the highest honor and principles of the profoundest wisdom. He says: "The consequences of refusing to make provision for the treaty are not all to be foreseen. By rejecting, vast interests are committed to the sport of

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Biographical Sketches of Eminent American Statesmen, with Speeches, Addresses and Letters
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • P R E F a C E. v
  • Introduction vii
  • An Outline Of Governor Perry's Life. 1
  • Editorial Comments. 13
  • Action of The House of Representatives Of South Carolina. 19
  • Proceedings Of The Greenville Bar. 27
  • Proceedings in The Court of Common Pleas. Greenville, April 6th, 1887. 37
  • Fourth of July Oration. 47
  • An Address 65
  • Address - Delivered Before the Literary Societies of Erskine College, Abbeville District, S. C., on the Fifth Anniversary, Sept. 18, 1844 85
  • Speech 111
  • Speech of B. F. Perry, Of South Carolina. 145
  • Address - To the Democracy of the Fifth Congressional District in South Carolina, May 28, 1860. 153
  • Disunion. 171
  • The National Democratic Convention in Charleston, 1860. 186
  • United States Senator. 190
  • National Restoration. 191
  • Editorials - Approving of the Nomination of Governor Perry for Congress. 204
  • The Ancients and the Moderns. - A Comparison 217
  • Sketches Of Eminent American Statemen. 243
  • John Adams. 248
  • John Rutledge. 254
  • William H. 270
  • Patrick Henry. 279
  • Alexander Hamilton. 289
  • Benjamin Franklin. 308
  • William Pinkney. 329
  • Thomas Jefferson. 339
  • James Madison. 350
  • John Randolph. 382
  • John Jay. 393
  • Oliver Ellsworth. 403
  • William Smith. 410
  • Henry Laurens. 420
  • Gouverneur Morris. 428
  • William Henry Drayton. 441
  • Charles Pickney. 447
  • Arthur Middleton. 454
  • Pierce Butler. 459
  • Theophilus Parsons. 478
  • David Ramsay. 496
  • Fisher Ames. 518
  • Felix Grundy. 546
  • Edward Livingston. 555
  • Wade Hampton. 564
  • Thomas Sumter. 570
  • Colonel Benjamin Cleveland. 577
  • Colonel Benjamin Roebuck. 592
  • Letter from Dr. F. Peyre Porcher. 599
  • Letter from James P. Adams. 600
  • Letter from Col. Joseph N. Brown, an Ex-Confederate Colonel. 601
  • Extract from a Letter Written by a Gentle Man in Charleston to Gov. Perry. 602
  • Monument to Governor Perry. 608
  • Index. 611
  • Errata. 613
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