NILES, Hezekiah, was born Oct. 10, 1777, at the residence then of James Jefferis (now of John James), on the east side of the main branch of the Brandywine, near Jefferis' Ford. When Howe's army moved from the Head of Elk for Philadelphia, it was generally expected that the march would be by way of Wilmington, Del., and to evade the evils of such a visit Mrs. Niles, being a resident of that place and near her confinement, sought a refuge in the family of James Jefferis, aforesaid, where Hezekiah was born, about four weeks after the military passed by. On this ground he is claimed as a Chester County man. The Hessian auxiliaries of Britain were notorious for maltreating and plundering the inhabitants. They menaced the life of Mrs. Niles for hesitating to surrender her personal property; and her son mentions more than once, in his 'Weekly Register,' that the myrmidons of George III threatened to bayonet him before he was born. When Hezekiah was old enough to engage in a profession he was apprenticed to learn "the art preservative of all arts," and at the close of the last century was one of the firm of Bonsall & Niles, printers and publishers, in Wilmington. In 1801 this firm was employed in publishing a revised edition of the political writings of John Dickinson, in two handsome octavo volumes. The printing establishment in which Mr. Niles was then concerned was unsuccessful. For some time after the failure Mr. Niles was connected with a periodical, to which he contributed amusing essays under the title of "Quill-driving, by Geoffrey Thickneck," and then he became for several years editor of a daily paper in the city of Baltimore. But the great work of his life was his incomparable 'Weekly Register,' a compendium of general intelligence, commenced at Baltimore in 1811, and conducted by H. Niles for a quarter of a century with untiring industry and consummate ability. Referring to it in one of his letters, he says,- "Whatever may be its merits, I can say this, that it is the most laborious publication that, I believe, ever issued by the editorship of one man. A daily paper-of which I had six years' experience-is mere play compared with the toll of this thing." He also compiled a volume entitled "Principles and Acts of the Revolution,&q
Hezekiah Niles was a kind, amiable, sagacious man, an earnest politician, and a zealous Republican. Skilled in the science of political economy, he was at once a ready writer and an accomplished advocate of the protection due to our national industry.
In the latter yars of his life Mr. Niles was disabled by a paralytic
affection, and retired to Wilmington, Del., whither he went, as he said,
"To die and be buried with his kindred." He departed this life
1839, in the sixty-second year of his age.