Born in Schenectady, New York, Yates completed preparatory studies and was graduated from Union College at Schenectady in 1802. He studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1805 and commenced practice in Schenectady. He served in the War of 1812 under Gen. Wade Hampton on the northern frontier and was subsequently appointed aide-de-camp to Gov. Daniel D. Tompkins.
Yates was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Fourteenth Congress (March 4, 1815 – March 3, 1817). He served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of State (Fourteenth Congress). He did not seek renomination in 1816. Yates Aided in the construction of the Welland Canal. He moved to Chittenango, New York in 1816 where he later founded the Yates Polytechnic Institute in 1825. He was First Judge of the Madison County Court from 1833 until his death.
- United States Congress. "John B. Yates (id: Y000009)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Preceded by |
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from New York's 13th congressional district