John Van Ness Yates was a New York lawyer, Democratic-Republican politician, and Secretary of State from 1818 to 1826.
He was born in Albany to Robert Yates, a prominent Anti-Federalist attorney and jurist.
He became a lawyer after clerking in the office of John Vernon Henry. He was a captain of a light infantry company in 1806, master in chancery in 1808, recorder of the city 1809-1816, and New York Secretary of State 1818-1826. He co-authored History of the State of New-York: Including Its Aboriginal and Colonial Annals (1826).