Niles, Thomas(1825–94) publisher; born in Boston, Mass. Called the "boldest printer in Boston," he cofounded a printing house in 1855; putting out a pirated edition of Thomas De Quincey's Klosterheim ahead of another publisher, he soon developed a substantial list. In 1863 he joined Robert Brothers and built that firm into a leading publisher with his savvy acquisitions, including works of the popular (now-forgotten) English poet Jean Ingelow, inspirational novels by J. H. Ingraham, and Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. He also commissioned Louisa May Alcott to write Little Women.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.