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First Name: Robert

Last Name: Niles

Birthplace: S. Kingston, RI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Date of Birth: 02 September 1734

Date of Death: 1818

Rank or Rate: Captain

Years Served:
Robert Niles

•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


Robert Niles
Captain, U.S. Navy

Robert Niles was born on 2 September 1734, the son of Nathaniel and Mary Northrop Niles of S. Kingston, RI.

Captain Robert Niles served in the French and Indian War during 1757, in Captain Gallup's company of Colonel Lyman's regiment. In July 1776, the Connecticut Colony purchased a schooner "the Spy," outfitted it for defense of the coastline and appointed Robert Niles its Captain.

Captain Niles successfully captured several enemy vessels, but his real test came in June 1778 when he was appointed the task to deliver to Benjamin Franklin in France, an official copy of the ratified Treaty with that Kingdom. He skillfully evaded the British vessels that were watching the coast and made the passage of the Atlantic in the shortest time yet known.


Niles married three times: to Abigail Avery, then Mary (last name unknown), and lastly to Hannah Fitch. He and his three wives are interred together in Norwich.

Death and Burial

Captain Robert Niles died in 1818. He is buried at Norwich City Cemetery in Norwich, CT.

Honoree ID: 2907   Created by: MHOH




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