John Van Ness Yates (December 1779 – January 10, 1839) 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 held a number of offices in Albany, and was one of the first trustees of the Albany United Presbyterian Church. 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). He was buried in Albany Rural Cemetery.