Sarah Fisher Ames

Life Dates

Born Sarah Clampitt in Lewes, Delaware, Ames studied art in Boston and spent time in Rome with her husband, the accomplished portraitist, Joseph Alexander Ames. One of approximately 2,000 women nurses who volunteered during the American Civil War, she became the director of a wartime hospital in Washington, D.C. It is through this career or her efforts as an antislavery advocate that Ames came to meet President Abraham Lincoln, who she reportedly knew Lincoln "in an intimate and friendly way,”. Lincoln would go on to sit in formal sessions for Ames to be able to model or sketch his features to be used referenced to produce five marble busts of the President, one of which stands in the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol Building.

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