In 1737 he had been appointed postmaster at Philadelphia, and about the same time he organized the first police force and fire company in the colonies; in 1749, after he had written Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania, he and twenty-three other citizens of Philadelphia formed themselves into an association for the purpose of establishing an academy, which was opened in 1751, was chartered in 1753, and eventually became the University of Pennsylvania; in 1727 he organized a debating club, the " Junto," in Philadelphia, and later he was one of the founders of the American Philosophical Society (1743; incorporated 1780); he took the lead in the organization of a militia force, and in the paving of the city streets, improved the method of street lighting, and assisted in the founding of a city hospital (1751); in brief, he gave the impulse to nearly every measure or project for the welfare and prosperity of Philadelphia undertaken in his day.
He entered the Junto of Rome in 1848 and was elected deputy by Viterbo to the national assembly.
As an ultra Federalist - he was a prominent member of the group known as the Essex Junto - he strongly opposed the purchase of Louisiana and the war of 1812.
Next year she supported the election of the Whig speaker, John Smith, but long resisted the influence and claims of the Junto, as the Whig leaders, Somers, Halifax, Orford, Wharton and Sunderland, were named.
Ames was one of the group of New England ultraFederalists known as the "Essex Junto," who opposed the French policy of President John Adams in 1798, and were conspicuous for their British sympathies.