Adelbert Ames

Gov. Adelbert Ames


May 15, 1868 - March 10, 1870
January 4, 1874 - March 20, 1876

October 31, 1835

April 12, 1933

Military (1st term), Republican

West Point Military Academy

Birth State

National Office(s) Served:

Military Service:

Married Blanche Butler; six children


ADELBERT AMES, the twenty-seventh and thirtieth governor to serve Mississippi, was born in Rockland, Maine on October 31, 1835. His early education was attained in the common schools of his native state. He later attended West Point Military Academy, where he graduated in 1861. Ames had a long and distinguished military career. During the Civil War, he served in the Union Army and rose to the rank of brevet major general for his bravery in numerous battles. He also served during Reconstruction, as lieutenant colonel of the 25th Infantry, and was the military governor of the fourth military district, which included Arkansas and Mississippi. On June 15, 1868, Governor Benjamin G. Humphreys resigned from office. President Johnson then named Ames the provisional governor of Mississippi. He served in that capacity until civil authority was restored on March 10, 1870. Ames then won election to the U.S. Senate, a position he held from 1870 to 1874. He next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in 1873. He was sworn into office on January 4, 1874. During his tenure, a property tax law was sanctioned; and racial unrest led to serious riots and political turmoil. The Democratic legislature brought impeachment charges against several Republicans including Lieutenant Governor Alexander K. Davis, who subsequently was impeached, and against Governor Ames, who made a deal to resign, and all charges against him were dropped. After leaving office on March 20, 1876, Ames retired from political life, and moved to Lowell, Massachusetts. Governor Adelbert Ames passed away on April 12, 1933, and was buried in the Hildreth Cemetery in Lowell, Massachusetts.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Mississippi Historical Society

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Virtual American Biographies