Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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NILES, John Milton, postmaster-general, born in Windsor. Conn., 20 August, 1787; died in Hartford, Connecticut, 31 May, 1856. After receiving a common-school education, he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1817, and began to practise in Hartford. In that year he established the Hartford " Times." which he edited, and to which he contributed for thirty years. He was an active Democratic politician and a supporter of state-rights doctrines In 1820 he was appointed a judge of the Hartford county court, which office he held for several years, and in 1829 he was postmaster of the city. He was appointed United States senator in place of Nathan Smith, as a Whig, and subsequently elected to this post, serving from 21 December, 1835, till 3 March, 1839, and again from 4 December, 1843, till 3 March, 1849. From 19 May, 1840, till 6 March, 1841, he was postmaster-general under President Van Buren. In 1851-'2 he travelled in Europe, and he spent his latter years in horticultural pursuits. He bequeathed his library to the Historical society of Connecticut, and left $70,000 in trust to the city of Hartford as a charity fund, the income of which he directed to be annually distributed to the poor. He edited for publication an English work entitled "The Independent Whig" (1816); a " Gazetteer of Connecticut and Rhode Island," with Dr. John C. Pease (Hartford, 1819); " Lives of Perry, Lawrence, Pike, and Harrison" (1820) ; a "History of the Revolution in Mexico and South America, with a View of Texas" (1839) ; "The Civil Officer" (New York, 1840) ; and a new edition of Archibald Robbins's "Journal of the Loss of the Brig 'Commerce' upon the West Coast of Africa," (Hartford, 1842).
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