Nathaniel Niles was born on April 3, 1741, in Kingston, Rhode Island. He attended Harvard College and graduated from Princeton College in 1766. He studied law, medicine and theology and preached in Norwich and Torrington, Connecticut. He also invented a process for making wire and erected mills in Norwich. After the Revolution, Niles moved to West Fairlee, Vermont. He became a member of the state house of representatives in 1784. From 1784 to 1788, Niles was a a supreme court judge in Vermont and served as a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1791. Upon the admission of Vermont as a state to the Union, Niles was elected as an anti-administration candidate to the Second and Third Congress. He stayed in politics and served as a member of the state house of representatives from 1800-1803 and 1812-1815. He was also a member of the governor's council from 1803 to 1809, as well as a presidential elector on the Jefferson ticket in 1804, and on the Madison ticket in 1813. Niles died on October 31, 1828, in Fairlee, Vermont.