Born in Orrington, Maine, Chamberlain attended public school before becoming employed in his father's shipyard. Later, he studied law and moved to Connersville, where he completed his studies, gaining admission to the bar in 1832 and commencing practice in Elkhart County in 1833.
Chamberlain was elected prosecuting attorney of the ninth judicial circuit in 1842 and became elected president judge of the ninth judicial district in 1843. He was reelected in 1851 and served until he resigned when he was elected to Congress. He served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1844.
He was interred in Oak Ridge Cemetery.