Genealogy of the Livingston Family
By Timothy Alden, published in 1814

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From the book : A collection of American Epitaphs and Inscriptions with occasional notes, pentade 1, volume 5. By Rev. Timothy Alden. S. Marks Printer, New York, 1814; article 1084, p. 265-268.

Numbering added and layout modified for the sake of clarity

The following genealogical record of the Livingston Family is made from documents obligingly furnished the author of this Collection from a respectable quarter.

The rev. John Livingston, well known in ecclesiastical history, was a minister of the gospel, successively, at Killinshie, Strawrawes, Ancran, and Rotterdam. There is a traditionary account of his descent from lord Livingston, earl of Lithgow.

Robert Livingston, the first lord of the Livingston manor on the Hudson, son of the rev. John Livingston, was born at Ancran, in Scotland, 13 December, in the year, 1654. He and his nephew came to America and from them there is a numerous progeny. He married the widow Van Renselaer, a daughter of Philip Schuyler, by whom he had six children;

Volume 1, pages 34-35:
38. (Monument inscription) : This monument is erected by the order of Congress, 25 january, 1776, to transmit to posterity a grateful remembrance of the patriotism, conduct, enterprise, and perseverance of major general Richard Montgomery, who after a series of successes, amidst the most discouraging difficulties, fell, in the attack on Quebec, 31 December, 1775, aged 37 years.
Invenit. et. sculpsit. Parisiis.
J.J. Caffieri. sculptor. regius.
anno. Domini. CD.DCCLXX.VII.

Note. - The monument, adorned with various warlike devices and surmounted with an urn richly gilt, the whole of exquisite workmanship, is placed in the front of St. Paul's Church.

Volume 1, pages 112-113:
115. (Epitaph) : Vault built in 1738. James Alexander, and his descendants, by his son William, earl of Sterling, and his daughters, Mary, the wife of Peter V. B. Livingston, Elizabeth, the wife of John Stevens, Catharine the wife of Walter Rutherford, and Susanna, the wife of John Reid.

Note. - James Alexander, esq. arrived from Scotland, at New York, 1715. He was secretary of the province, and for many years a member of the council. He did not excel as a publick speaker at the bar; but, for sagacity and penetration, he had no superiour in his profession in that part of the country. He departed this life, in 1756.

The honourable William Alexander was a native of the city of New York, but spent a considerable part of his life in New Jersey. He was a major general in the American army, and was distinguished as a brave officer. He was thought by many to be the rightful heir to the title and estate of an earldom in Scotland. He went to the land of his fathers in quest of his supposed right, but did not succeed in obtaining it. Through the courtesy of his friends, however, he was complimented with the title of lord Sterling. Having lived to the age of 57 years, he died, at Albany, in 1783.

Volume 4, pages 244-247:
826. Note - The hon. Robert R. Livingston was born, in 1746, and died, on the 26 of March, 1813. He was a son of the hon. Robert Livingston, who, for a number of years, was one of the judges of the supreme court, but who was finally ejected from office, by governour Tryon, on account of his attachement to the rights of his country and opposition to the unjust, impolitick, and tyranical measures of Great Britain. Mrs. Maria Livingston, widow of the subject of this article, deceased at Washington, 22 March, 1814.

Two persons of the name, Livingston, an uncle and nephew, came from Scotland, to this country, about the middle of the seventeenth century, from whom many families of distinction have descended. One of their ancestors was the celebrated mr. Livingston, whose preaching, on a certain occasion, at the kirk of Shotts, was attendend with most astonishing effects, as recorded by Fleming and others. His portrait is still preserved in the family of the late Philip Livingston, esq.

The subject of this memoir, was educated at the college in New York. He was appointed to the office of recorder in this city, which he accepted and held till dismissed by governor Tryon on account of his political tenets. He had the honour of being a member of the first national congress and was one of the committee for draughting the magna charta of American independence. in 1777, he was one of the convention, which met at Aesopus for the purpose of forming a state constitution, and was chairman of the committee, which prepared this instrument. He was one of the council of safety and was chancellor of the state of New York, from the adoption of its constitution till his appointment to the court of France.

For two or three years, before the peace of 1783, he was secretary of state, for foreign affairs, under the congress of the United States. In 1788, he represented the city and county of New York in the convention for discussing and adopting the federal constitution. He opened the debates of that body with an eloquent and masterly address in favour of the proposed constitution. Had it not been for his efforts, in connexion with those, no less influential, of Jay and Hamilton, the state of New York would unquestionably have rejected it. When Washington was inducted into the office of president of the United States, it devolved upon chancellor Livingston to administer the prescribed oath to that illustrious father of America.

In 1801, he was appointed minister plenipotentiary to the republick of France. Through his negociation, the vast regions of Louisiana were added to the territory of the United States, for the sum of $15,000,000.

The subject of this memoir was the principal founder, and the president, of the New York Academy of Fine Arts, from its establishment to the time of his decease; and, on his suggestion, Bonaparte, when first consul of France, was elected an honorary member of this society. The letter expressing his acceptance of the proffered honour, with his sign manual, is carefully preserved in the archives of the Academy. The institution was enriched by a donation of splendid engravings and other articles, from this wonderful character, which probably could not have been purchased for $10,000. An excellent portrait of the chancellor adorns one of the rooms of this noble institution.

Agriculture, however, was his greatest delight and to this, he devoted the most of his time during the latter years of his life. His experiments so beneficial to the farmer, his written essays on the importance of gypsum as a manure, his patriotick example of introducing the merino sheep into the state of New York, his readiness to co-operate with Robert Fulton, esq. in furnishing the Hudwon with steam boats, affording a safe, rapid, and pleasant conveyance up and down that majestick river, are well known.

A full narrative of the leading events in the life of chancellor Livingston would fill a volume. This article shall be closed with an extract from the oration, still in manuscript, delivered by the rev. Timothy Clowes of Albany, at the request of the Society for the promotion of Agriculture and Arts, of which the chancellor was president from its first formation to the day of his death.

“In the near prospect of death he said that he now found that the truest philosophy consisted in pardon and peace through a Mediator. This peace he enjoyed through the course of his long illness, and so highly did he esteem its heavenly origin, that, he described it, as passing all understanding; nor would he exchange it, he said, for all the health, wealth, and honours, that time could bestow. It was his support under suffering humanity and had taken from him all fear of death.

“while speech remained, he continued to use it for the christian benefit of those around him; particularly for his near relatives, to whom nature had united him by the dearest cords of love. These ties were now soon to be broken and, as his last and best legacy, he besought them to seek religion, through redeeming love, as a source of happiness, here, and a foretaste of their better portion, in the life to come.”

Volume 5, page 187:
1004. Note - The hon. John Cleves Symmes, a gentleman well known for his enterprising spirit, the flattering prospects he once had in view, and for his reverse of fortune, departed this life at Cincinati, in February, 1814. A large and respectable procession attended his remains from the residence of general Harrison to a principal landing place on the Ohio river, where military honours were performed by the infantry company commanded by captain M'Farland. The corpse was taken thence in a barge, to North Bend, and interred on the spot, which mr. Symmes had previously selected.