Livingston, Henry Brockholst - History

Livingston, Henry Brockholst - History

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Livingston, Henry Brockholst (1757-1823) Associate Justice of the Supreme Court: Livingston was born in New York City on November 26, 1757, and graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) in 1774. When the Revolutionary War began, he entered the patriot army with the rank of captain. General Philip Schuyler chose him as one of his aides, so that Livingston became attached to the northern department with the rank of major. Later, Livingston served as an aide to General Arthur St. Clair during the siege of Fort Ticonderoga, and was with Benedict Arnold at Burgoyne's surrender in 1777. After returning to Schuyler's service and achieving the rank of lieutenant-colonel, he became the private secretary of his brother-in-law, John Jay, and went with him to Spain. On the way back to America, he was captured by the British and put in prison in New York. After his release, he began studying law, and was admitted to the bar in 1783. After the evacuation of New York, Livingston established his practice there, dropping his first name from that point on. In 1788, he was appointed a trustee of the New York Society Library. He became an associate judge of the New York Supreme Court in 1802, and was made an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court in 1807. In 1805, he was elected vice-president of the New York Historical Society, and was one of the first corporators of the New York City Public School system. Livingston remained in the Supreme Court until his death, on March 19, 1823, in Washington, D.C.

To George Washington from Henry Brockholst Livingston, 16 June 1782

Considering the various and important objects of your Excellency’s constant attention, it is with the greatest reluctance I prevail upon myself to engage it a single moment by any thing not of some immediate public consequence yet such is my present Situation that I flatter myself your Excy will pardon my freedom in requesting your Attention to it.

On the 11th of March last I sailed from Cadiz, & was taken by an English frigate the 25th of the month following. At New York I was committed to the Provost, and continued in it until the arrival of Sir Guy Carleton who liberated me on parole—Having been absent from America on furlough, without exceeding the term thereof, and having a Lieut. Colonels Commission in pocket, I did not think there could be any impropriety in signing a parole as such, and in being exchanged accordingly. But on perusing the Journals of Congress, I find by Resolutions passed the 31st of Decr 81, and 21st Jany 82—that I am among those Officers who are considered as retiring from Service on half pay, the first day of the present year. Those Resolves your Excy will readily beleive I must have been a perfect Stranger to at the time of my capture, neither of them having had time to reach Madrid when I came away, which was on the seventh of february last—This circumstance will, I trust, exculpate me from any censure, and will induce your Excellency to permit me to be considered as a Lieut. Colonel in any future Exchange agreeable to the tenor of my parole.

I cannot conclude without taking notice of that part of Sir Guy Carleton’s first letter to your Excellency, in which he appears to make a merit of my enlargement, and to think himself entitled therefor to some return on the part of your Excellency—Lest this circumstance may induce a suspicion, that some part of my conduct, while in confinement, may have given the Enemy reason to beleive that I considered my liberation in the light of a favor, or took improper steps to obtain it, I think it incumbent on me to lay before your Excy a narrative of what passed on that Occasion.

Immediately on landing at New-York, Mr Sproat informed me, on the part of General Robertson, that I was to be confined in the Provost, and Mr Chief Justice Smith was sent thither to apologize for my being treated in that manner—I told Mr Smith that throwing a person into a common Jail merely on suspicion of his being the Bearer of important dispatches, appeared to me an unprecedented and a very extraordinary measure, but that as it could answer no purpose to enter into an altercation with him, I should write to General Robertson himself on the Subject and on pen, ink & paper being brought me I wrote him a letter, of which the inclosed is a copy.

In answer thereto, the General sent me a polite message by Major Wymms, the purport of which was that "reasons of state rendered my confinement necessary, but that I might rest assured it would be of very short duration"—The Major concluded by apologizing for my not receiving a written answer, the General’s Time being wholly engrossed by very pressing business—Major Wymms had scarcely retired, when Captain Cunningham the Provost–Marshal, mentioned to me for the first time, Lippincott’s situation, and what had passed between your Excy and Sir Henry Clinton on that subject—He did not seem to speak from authority, but gave me to understand, as politely as he could, that it might be well for me to interest myself on the occasion, as it was impossible to say, to what lengths retaliation might be carried in case your Excy should execute the threat you had thrown out—I was not then apprized of all the circumstances relative to the murder of Captain Huddy, but had I been a total stranger to your Excellency’s character, Cunningham’s own state of the matter must have convinced me of the perfect propriety of your requisition—I told him so and (after laughing at the Idea of any Interest of mine or of my friends being sufficient to induce your Excellency to recede from so just a demand) promised to comply with his request, provided he would first engage to transmit to your Excellency whatever I might think proper to write on the matter—He replied Genl Robertson must first see it—This convinced me, it would be useless to write, from a certainty that my letter would not correspond with his wishes, & of course not be forwarded—I set down however & wrote what is enclosed to my Father.

I had now determined to make no further application to General Robertson, nor did I hear any thing more from Head-Quarters until the arrival of Sir Guy Carleton, who sent for me without my applying to him either verbally or by letter—On being introduced to his Excellency he informed me, in the presence of Mr Smith, of his being much surprized at hearing of my confinement, & very happy to have it in his power so soon to put a period to it—Without leaving time to reply, he acquainted me with his Intention to send his Secretary with a complimentary letter to Congress, and begged of me in order to facilitate Mr Morgan’s Journey to accept of a seat in his carriage—After thanking him for his Attention, I asked whether Mr Morgan had permission from Congress or your Excy to proceed to Philada & on being answered in the negative, told him that I recollected Mr Ferguson’s having been stopped on a like errand for want of such passport, and that Mr Morgan would probably be obliged to return should he undertake the Journey without one. He said the Idea was perfectly new to him he did not conceive any necessity of a flags being furnished with a passport, and if so in Mr Ferguson’s case, my going with his secretary must supersede that necessity in the present one. I observed to him that his Excy must allow there was a wide difference between sending a military flag to an out-post of our army, & sending a person in Mr Morgan’s character thro’ so great a part of the Country to Philadelphia, and that without such a pass I must beg leave to decline the pleasure I should otherwise derive from travelling in that Gentleman’s company. Sir Guy then proposed that his Secretary & myself should go together, and in case of the former’s being stopped, I was to proceed with his dispatches to Congress. This also I refused, telling him, that as it was probable his letters contained some Overtures, I could not consent to charge myself with them, unless his Excellency would assure me they contained an acknowledgment of our Independence, or a promise to withdraw their fleets and armies—That these were the only terms on which Congress had agreed to open a treaty in 78, and that it was not probable they would listen to any thing short thereof now. He seemed somewhat surprized, & after a little hesitation assured me upon his honor that he was vested with no such Powers. that his intended letter to Congress was a matter of mere compliment but if there was any danger of Mr Morgans meeting with difficulties, he would postpone his journey until he could hear from your Excy on the subject. This closed our conversation for that day—The next morning agreeable to his desire, I waited on him again—He received me very politely—talked much of the King’s pacific dispositions, of his own earnest desire of an honorable peace—of his wishes to carry on the war, while it did prevail, more consonant to the dictates of humanity than heretofore he was persuaded of meeting with corresponding sentiments in your Excy that both Countries were interested in supporting the british character that if England & America must separate, it would be their mutual Interest to part like men of honor, & in good humour with each other—After a great deal more to the same purpose, he informed me a barge was ready to take me to Elizabeth-Town—He then put into my hands a letter for my father, some English prints, with a few copies of the Bill & the votes of the house of Commons which he said should be transmitted to your Excellency by another flag—After signing a parole I took my leave.

I hope your Excellency will forgive my having been so very prolix on this occasion, as nothing but an idea of it’s being my duty has led me to be circumstantial in every thing that passed between the Commander in chief and myself during my captivity in New York. I have the honor to be, with the highest Respect, Your Excellency’s Most Obedient and very Humble Servant


There is a modest puzzle regarding Henry Brockholst Livingston's more than sixteen years on the Supreme Court (1806–1823): why was he comparatively silent? Livingston, a New York Jeffersonian, was among the best qualified appointees ever named to the Court. Before his appointment to the New York Supreme Court in 1802, he was at the top of the legal profession, ranked as an equal of his frequent sparring mate, alexander hamilton. Livingston's opinions during his five years on the New York court demonstrated legal erudition, style, and wit. Some of his opinions are still required reading for law students. The New York reports indicate that Livingston had a constant urge to express his thoughts, and he was not only an extremely active dissenter but also constantly rendered seriatim opinions. In his four years of New York judicial tenure, Livingston dissented twenty times, concurred on fourteen occasions, and delivered twenty-four seriatim opinions. Those statistics only begin to indicate the battle on the New York court, largely between Livingston and james kent, both of whom were first-rate jurists. The business of the New York court involved many significant matters but few constitutional questions. Livingston's dissent in Hitchcock v. Aicken (1803) argued that the full faith and credit clause should be interpreted broadly ultimately, the marshall court, including Livingston, agreed with this reasoning in Mills v. Duryee (1813).

In contrast to his active role on the New York court, Livingston was scarcely noticeable on the Marshall Court. In fifteen terms he dissented but three times and delivered only five concurring opinions. The fact that he had not shrunk from confronting some of the ablest judges in the country when on the New York court precludes any notion that he was overwhelmed by john marshall and associates. The difference in Livingston's roles on the state court and the Supreme Court is important largely for what it explains about the Marshall Court's constitutional jurisprudence. By the time of Livingston's appointment, Marshall's practice of having one Justice deliver a single opinion for the Court was settled. The Justices, moreover, willingly stifled their differences, save on questions of great moment, usually constitutional. Within this practice, the Justices' common values, regardless of party affiliation, normally made compromise possible. There are indications that Livingston initially had difficulty in adjusting to the ways of the Marshall Court. In the first few cases he heard, Livingston seemed particularly active in questioning counsel, as if he might have wished to dissent, but did not. Apparently, Livingston's policy preferences blended well with the Marshall Court's general mercantile orientation. While on the New York bench Livingston had served as a precursor for nineteenth-century instrumentalist judges who shaped the law to promote commercial development. In this respect, Livingston resembled a fellow Jeffersonian on the Court, william johnson. Because of the commercial atmosphere of his home community of Charleston, South Carolina, Johnson, like Livingston, had good reason for thinking as his brethren did on commercial questions. Johnson was even more nationalistic than Marshall. Unlike Johnson, however, thomas jefferson apparently did not attempt to goad Livingston into expressing his differences as he had done while a state judge. Another reason that Livingston did not join Johnson and make plural the "first dissenter" may have been that Livingston got along with the rest of the Court much better than Johnson did. When Livingston died, joseph story's rich eulogy to him indicated how fondly he was remembered. Finally, Livingston was a ready adherent to precedent, as he had demonstrated on the New York bench. When a question was settled, Livingston was unlikely to challenge its resolutions, even obliquely. In short, Livingston was a good team player, and our constitutional jurisprudence may be poorer for it. A clear example of the consequences of Livingston's proclivity for compromise is seen in sturges v. crowninshield (1819), in which the Court invalidated a New York insolvent law of 1811 because it had been applied retroactively. On circuit, Livingston had emphatically sustained the same law in Adams v. Storey (1817) yet he proceeded to compromise in Sturges. It seems likely that Marshall did not wish to say in his opinion that the states had concurrent power to pass bankruptcy or insolvency laws, but he did—probably in response to Livingston's urging. Livingston's main role on the Marshall Court and in the development of constitutional jurisprudence was that of a compromiser. His opinions, with few exceptions, are forgettable.

Biography: Henry Brockholst Ledyard

Henry Brockholst Ledyard, railroad executive, regarded as one of the ablest masters of transportation of his time, was a representative of a distinguished American family. He was born in the American embassy in Paris, France, February 20, 1844, a son of Henry and Matilda (Cass) Ledyard and a brother of Lewis Cass Ledyard, a distinguished New York lawyer. His grandfather, General Lewis Cass, was perhaps the most prominent figure in the history of Michigan. His great-grandfather, William Livingston, was a member of the continental congress and at one time governor or New Jersey, while his great-great-grandfather, Philip Livingston, was the second lord of the Manor of Livingston. At the time of the birth of Henry B. Ledyard, his grandfather, General Cass, was United States minister to France and his father, Henry Ledyard, was serving as secretary of the legation in Paris. Returning to Detroit, he became an alderman of the city, serving in 1849 and 1850, and for six years he was a member of the first board of water commissioners, while in 1855 he filled the office of mayor of Detroit.

In pursing his education Henry B. Ledyard became a pupil in the select school for boys conducted by Washington A. Bacon, in Detroit and later he was appointed a cadet at large to the United States Military Academy at West Point by President Buchanan, at which time his grandfather, General Cass, was serving as secretary of state in the president’s cabinet. On the day of his graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1865, Henry B. Ledyard was presented with two commissions, second and first lieutenant, and was assigned to duty with the Nineteenth Infantry, with which he served successively as quartermaster, brigade quartermaster and chief of the commissary officers of the department of Arkansas. Subsequently he was transferred to the 37th Infantry as quartermaster and later to the 4th Artillery and was detailed chief of subsistence on the staff of General Hancock of the department of Missouri. He was in the field in active warfare against the Indians in 1867 and for a year was assistant professor of French at West Point. On the reorganization of the army in 1870, at which time its numbers were materially reduced, he acted on the advice of General Sherman and obtained a six months leave of absence in order to turn his attention to railroading. He became connected with the engineering department of the Northern Pacific Railroad, then under construction, but in the same year became a clerk in the operating department of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. Finding this a congenial field and one which he believed would offer him opportunity for advancement in the future, he resigned his army commission. He made rapid progress, for within two years he was assistant superintendent of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and in the following year was made superintendent of the eastern division. In 1874 he was appointed assistant to William B. Strong, who had become general superintendent of the Michigan Central Railroad Company, and in the following year Mr. Ledyard was made chief engineer as well as assistant general superintendent. Two years later he succeeded Mr. Strong as general superintendent and the following year was advanced to the position of general manager. The Michigan Central at this time was credited with being little better than a third-class road and had a floating indebtedness of a million and a half dollars. Its roadbed, train equipment and buildings were in poor shape and its future outlook was none too bright. A few years later the Vanderbilt interests acquired control of the road and William H. Vanderbilt succeeded to the presidency of the company. It was Mr. Ledyard’s idea to keep away from bond issuing and stock-jobbing, which policies were acceptable to the new owners of the road, and he was given permission to carry out his personal plans and ideas. In 1883 he succeeded to the presidency of the Michigan Central, becoming one of the first of the younger railroad executives to accept the Newman theory of doubling the capacity of cars and having longer trains pulled by more powerful locomotives, thus reducing the cost of freight transportation. In accord with his policy Mr. Ledyard proceeded to demolish every steel railroad bridge in the eastern division and rebuilt scores of miles of trackage and roadbed, eliminating the curves and steep grades as far as possible. When the reconstruction work was completed the company was operating freight trains of eighty cars as against its former maximum of thirty, and the capacity of these cars had been doubled. The entire cost of this work was paid from the earnings.

It was then that Mr. Ledyard entered upon a campaign to create new business for the road and stated to a friend: “I came to the conclusion that to get new business we must provide facilities for men to make new business profitable, to encourage manufacturers to build on our lines by giving them shipping facilities as good as they could get in any other center.” Under his supervision six miles of terminals were built at Riv3er Route before a single industrial plant was located in that district. “Service to all” became his slogan in railroad management and, moreover, his West Point training provided valuable, for he insisted upon the cardinal principle of obedience, never countenanced carelessness and met incompetency by summary dismissal. He always treated his subordinates with candor and respect but never with familiarity. He continued to build and acquired terminals in Detroit until his road was able to show more manufacturing plants on its terminals that all other Detroit roads combined. In 1916 he purchased the Detroit Belt Line Railroad bordered by scores of large factories, including the works of the Ford Motor Company. He found ready solution for intricate business problems and his plans at all times practical, far-reaching and resultant. When the passenger station in Detroit was destroyed by fire, within two hours he was running trains out of the new station which was then being built but which lacked two months of completion. He always recognized merit, faithfulness and ability upon the part of his employees and was ready to accord promotion as opportunity offered. He remained the chief executive of the road until 1905, when he resigned the presidency but became chairman of the board. General Rufus Ingalls, quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac, said of him: “In an emergency he could run a dozen railroads and provision five armies at a time”. While his attention was chiefly concentrated upon the development of railway interests, he was at one time president and afterward chairman of the board of the Union Trust Company and a director of the Peoples State Bank of Detroit.

On the 15th of October, 1867, Mr. Ledyard was united in marriage to Miss Mary L’Hommedieu, a daughter of Stephen L’Hommedieu of Cincinnati, who promoted and was president of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad for a quarter of a century. Mrs. Ledyard died March 30, 1895, survived by four children: Matilda Cass, who was married in 1897 to Baron von Ketteler of Berlin, Germany, who at the time was German minister to Mexico and afterward minister to China, where he was murdered in the Boxer uprising in Pekin in 1900 Henry, an able attorney of Detroit Augustus Canfield, who was killed in action in the Philippines while serving as first lieutenant of the Sixth United States Infantry December 6, 1899 and Hugh, formerly secretary and treasurer of the Art Stove Company of Detroit.

The family circle was again broken by the hand of death when the father, Henry B. Ledyard, passed away at Grosse Pointe Farms, May 25, 1921. His life had been one of intense and intelligently directed activity. Of him it was said: “For two minutes during his funeral obsequies, for the first time in the history of the Michigan Central, all the rolling stock stopped simultaneously by order, in his honor. The crudity which tradition attaches to our strong business men was no part of Henry B. Ledyard’s character. He was a gentleman, in a sense of the work rarely employed today in the United States. He belonged to that valid aristocracy which has almost been swept away by industrialism and all but supplanted by a ruling class whose sole qualification is capital.”

Mr. Ledyard was always keenly interested in the vital questions and issues of the day. He early gave political support to the democratic party but was not in harmony with the party upon the free silver question of 1896 and thereafter voted with the republican party. As a railroad builder, through the encouragement of Detroit’s industrial development, he contributed in notable measure to the upbuilding of the city. There are many concrete proofs of his greatness, of the breadth of his vision and of his ability as an executive. He largely concentrated his efforts and attention on his work with the idea of making his railroad of the greatest possible service to others, but he always kept a mind receptive to the needs of his fellowmen and his opportunities for their improvement. In his will he made liberal bequests to the Children’s Free Hospital Association, to Christ Protestant Episcopal Church and to the Railroad Young Men’s Christian Association of Detroit. He always desired the most beneficial and beneficent influences to be thrown around those in his service. While his business life was characterized by much of the precision of the military commander, those who came within the closer circle of his personal acquaintance had for him the greatest love and respect. The value of his life work as a factor in Michigan’s development can scarcely be overestimated and time will serve to heighten his fame and to gain further recognition of his ability and the value of his services to the state.

Clermont State Historic Site

Henry Brockholst Livingston or Brockholst Livingston as he preferred to be called was born on November 25, 1757, the son of William Livingston, future governor of New Jersey, and his wife Susanna French Livingston. He was educated, eventually graduating from the College of New Jersey in 1774. One of his classmates was James Madison. Brockholst intended to continue his studies but the Revolutionary War got in the way.

In 1779 he left the army on furlough to serve as personal secretary to John Jay, his brother in law and newly appointed minister to Spain. They learned French on the way across the Atlantic. Brockholst also picked up Spanish quickly in Spain. He held the post until 1782 when he returned to America. On the way back to the States, his ship was captured by the British and he was taken to New York as a prisoner. Three weeks later General Guy Carleton arrived in New York City and paroled Brockholst as a lieutenant colonel in the army. Brockholst was shocked to find that in his absence he had been “retired” from the army. He wrote to Washington, unsure if he had violated a rule of war. [2] Washington assured him he had done nothing wrong. [3]

John Jay

Henry began reading the law and in 1783 passed the New York Bar. He was in private practice from 1783-1802. In 1785 he survived an assassination attempt. He wen on in 1790 to deliver a Fourth of July address at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City in front of President Washington and both houses of congress. [4]

In 1798 Brockholst was accosted by a Federalist in the street (Brockholst was an ardent anti federalist) who struck his rather prominent nose. A duel ensued in which the other man was killed. (Read more about that here)

In 1800 Brockholst, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton served as the defense team for Levi Weeks who was accused of murdering Gulielma "Elma" Sands, a young woman who he was either courting or engaged to. Despite overwhelming evidence against Weeks, he was acquitted after five minutes of jury deliberation.

Alexander Hamilton

Aaron Burr

In 1802 Brockholst was made a justice of the New York Supreme Court. A few years later Thomas Jefferson appointed him an associate justice of the Supreme Court in a recess appointment. This was probably a reward for the work Brockholst had done for Jefferson in New York in helping him get elected. He spent a great deal of his time on the bench agreeing with Chief Justice John Marshall. Although he was twice cited for violating judicial ethics. Once for telling John Quincy Adams the decision of a case before it was announced publicly and once for letting an old acquaintance influence one of his decisions.

Talk:Henry Brockholst Livingston

The article says he "received his commission on January 16, 1807" but on the side panel it says his first date in office was the 20th. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:16, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

1. Troup, Robert, and Brockholst Livingston. A Letter to the Honorable Brockholst Livingston, Esq : One of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, on the Lake Canal Policy of the State of New-York. Albany: Packard & Van Benthuysen, 1822 2. ABRAHAM, HENRY J. "President Jefferson's Three Appointments To The Supreme Court Of The United States: 1804, 1807, And 1807." Journal Of Supreme Court History 31.2 (2006): 141-154. America: History & Life. Web. 15 July 2016 3. Dunne, Gerald. "The Story-Livingston Correspondence (1812-1822)." American Journal Of Legal History 10.3 (1966): 224-236. America: History & Life. Web. 15 July 2016. Victoriajones7 (talk) 14:46, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Outline Add section: Virginia-New York Alliance 1. Jefferson's second appointment to the supreme court a. State supreme court judge b. political activist c. member of state assembly

2. Rebellion to the democratic-republican party a. goading of the Federalists

3. Virginia-New York alliance a. political faction from New York joined Jefferson's Virginia supporters. b. Included cousins of Livingston and Aaron Burr among others. c. proved to be vital in Jefferson's 1800-1801 election. Victoriajones7 (talk) 14:47, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

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John H. Livingston, Thomas Jones, Alexander Hamilton, and Brockholst Livingston1 to Richard Morris2

New York, September 8, 1788. Petition by the administrators of Philip Livingston’s estate to Morris, Chief Justice of the State of New York, to examine and to settle a claim made by Livingston’s estate against the estate of Philip Skene,3 a Tory whose lands had been confiscated by New York State.

1 . This document is listed as a “document not found” in PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961– ). description ends , V, 215.

The two Livingstons, H, and Jones wrote this petition in their capacities as administrators of the estate of Philip Livingston, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a New York City merchant, and a member of the Continental Congress, who died in 1788.

John Henry Livingston, who had practiced law in Poughkeepsie, New York, from 1762 to 1764, received the degree of Doctor of Theology from the University of Utrecht in May, 1770. He became minister of the Dutch Reformed congregation in New York City after the American Revolution and in 1784 was elected professor of theology for the General Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1775 he married Sarah, the daughter of Philip Livingston.

Henry Brockholst Livingston was an aide-de-camp to General Philip Schuyler during the American Revolution. In 1779 he went to Spain as the private secretary of John Jay, the new Minister to the Court at Madrid. In 1783 he was admitted to the bar and began to practice law in New York City, using the name Brockholst Livingston. He was the son of William Livingston, one of Philip Livingston’s younger brothers.

Jones was a New York City physician who had married Margaret Livingston, the daughter of Philip Livingston.

When Philip Livingston died his estate was insufficient to meet his debts, and the executors whom he named in his will renounced the administration of the estate. An act passed by the New York legislature on February 25, 1785, entitled “An Act for vesting the Estate of Philip Livingston, late of the City of New-York, Esquire, deceased, in Trustees for the Payment of his Debts, and other Purposes therein mentioned” named Philip Philip Livingston, Philip Livingston’s son and heir, Isaac Roosevelt, and Robert C. Livingston trustees to administer Livingston’s property, pay all debts, and discharge the pecuniary legacies. Roosevelt, a New York City merchant, was president of the Bank of New York from 1786 to 1791. He was the husband of Cornelia Hoffman Roosevelt, whose father, Martin Hoffman of Red Hook, New York, married as his second wife Alida Livingston Hansen, widow of Henry Hansen and younger sister of Philip Livingston. Robert C. Livingston, a New York City merchant, was a son of Robert Livingston, Jr., third lord of the manor, and a nephew of Philip Livingston. The act of 1785 provided that in the case of Philip Philip Livingston’s death, which occurred in 1787, Roosevelt and Robert C. Livingston could grant “to such Person or Persons as may be nominated and appointed with the assents of” the surviving heirs power “to Administer the Goods and Chattels, Rights and Credits aforesaid” and the “Completion of the Trusts aforesaid,” and shall “stand in the Place of said Philip Philip Livingston, Isaac Roosevelt, and Robert C. Livingston” ( New York Laws , 8th Sess., Ch. XXI). The trustees then appointed Jones, John H. Livingston, H, and Brockholst Livingston to administer the estate.

For the text of this petition and additional information concerning this action, see Goebel, Law Practice description begins Julius Goebel, Jr., and Joseph H. Smith, eds., The Law Practice of Alexander Hamilton: Documents and Commentary (New York and London, 1964– ). description ends , I, 253–58.

2 . Morris, who was admitted to the bar in New York City in 1752, was appointed judge of the Vice Admiralty Court having jurisdiction over New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut in 1762. In 1778 he was named to the state Senate from the Southern District, and in 1779 he was appointed Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court.

3 . Philip Skene, founder of Skenesborough (now Whitehall), Vermont, was lieutenant-governor of Crown Point and Ticonderoga and surveyor of His Majesty’s woods near Lake Champlain before the American Revolution. In 1777 he volunteered for service with General Burgoyne’s expedition from Canada, and later in the same year he surrendered with the British army at Saratoga.

Livingston, Henry Brockholst (1757–1823)

Dates / Origin Date Created: 1788 - 1811 Library locations Manuscripts and Archives Division Shelf locator: MssCol 1780 Genres Correspondence Documents Notes Funding: Digitization was made possible by a lead gift from The Polonsky Foundation Type of Resource Text Languages English Identifiers NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b11883985 MSS Unit ID: 1780 Archives EAD ID: 266348 Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): f27856d0-ea35-0133-0d96-00505686d14e Rights Statement The New York Public Library believes that this item is in the public domain under the laws of the United States, but did not make a determination as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. This item may not be in the public domain under the laws of other countries. Though not required, if you want to credit us as the source, please use the following statement, "From The New York Public Library," and provide a link back to the item on our Digital Collections site. Doing so helps us track how our collection is used and helps justify freely releasing even more content in the future.

Livingston, Henry Brockholst - History

National Archives and Records Administration
Dictionary of American Biography
NYPL Papers of William Livingston
Yale Letters of William Livingston

Rejecting his family's hope that he would enter the fur trade at Albany or mercantile pursuits in New York City, young Livingston chose to pursue a career in law at the latter place. Before he completed his legal studies, in 1745 he married Susanna French, daughter of a well-to-do New Jersey landowner. She was to bear 13 children.

Three years later, Livingston was admitted to the bar and quickly gained a reputation as the supporter of popular causes against the more conservative factions in the city. Associated with the Calvinists in religion, he opposed the dominant Anglican leaders in the colony and wielded a sharply satirical pen in verses and broadsides. Livingston attacked the Anglican attempt to charter and control King's College (later Columbia College and University) and the dominant De Lancey party for its Anglican sympathies, and by 1758 rose to the leadership of his faction. For a decade, it controlled the colonial assembly and fought against parliamentary interference in the colony's affairs. During this time, 1759-61, Livingston sat in the assembly.

In 1769 Livingston's supporters, split by the growing debate as to how to respond to British taxation of the colonies, lost control of the assembly. Not long thereafter, Livingston, who had also grown tired of legal practice, moved to the Elizabethtown (present Elizabeth), NJ, area, where he had purchased land in 1760. There, in 1772-73, he built the estate, Liberty Hall, continued to write verse, and planned to live the life of a gentleman farmer.

The Revolutionary upsurge, however, brought Livingston out of retirement. He soon became a member of the Essex County, NJ, committee of correspondence in 1774 a representative in the First Continental Congress and in 1775-76 a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. In June 1776 he left Congress to command the New Jersey militia as a brigadier general and held this post until he was elected later in the year as the first governor of the state.

Livingston held the position throughout and beyond the war--in fact, for 14 consecutive years until his death in 1790. During his administration, the government was organized, the war won, and New Jersey launched on her path as a sovereign state. Although the pressure of affairs often prevented it, he enjoyed his estate whenever possible, conducted agricultural experiments, and became a member of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture. He was also active in the antislavery movement.

In 1787 Livingston was selected as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, though his gubernatorial duties prevented him from attending every session. He did not arrive until June 5 and missed several weeks in July, but he performed vital committee work, particularly as chairman of the one that reached a compromise on the issue of slavery. He also supported the New Jersey Plan. In addition, he spurred New Jersey's rapid ratification of the Constitution (1787). The next year, Yale awarded him an honorary doctor of laws degree.

From the day of his admission to the bar in 1748 Livingston was a leader among those of assured position who liked to be known as supporters of the popular cause. Petulant and impatient of restraint, he soon aroused the resentment of the conservatives by his sweepiang criticism of established institutions. Always more facile in writing than in speech, he delighted to compose satirical verse and witty broadsides which earned him a greater reputation as a censor than as a satirist. A young lady of his acquaintance, alluding to his tall, slender, and graceless figure, named him the "whipping post."
His appeals against the union of church and state aroused the noncomformists and strengthened the liberal party, which was rapidly becoming a Livingston faction in provincial politics. The first important victory of the Livingstons at the polls resulted in driving the De Lanceys from their control of the Assembly in 1758.
In disappointment he penned A Soliloquy (1770), purporting to be a meditation of Lieutenant-Governor Colden, which beneath a thin veneer of satire was an unsparing invective against the provincial representative of British authority.

Never entirely happy in his legal work and temporarily dispirited by the turn of his political fortunes, Livingston determined to retire to his country estate near Elizabethtown, NJ. Years earlier, in his Philosophic Solitude (1747), he had ventured to reveal in verse his longing for the quiet of the countryside. In May 1772 he laid out pretentious grounds, planted an extensive orchard, and erected a mansion known as "Liberty Hall." There he began life anew as a gentleman, but he did not find solitude. The removal to New Jersey was merely a prelude to a career more illustrious than the one just finished in New York politics. Becoming a member of the Essex County Committee of Correspondence, he quickly rose to a position of leadership and was one of the province's delegates to the First Continental Congress. There he served on the committee with his son-in-law, John Jay, and Richard Henry Lee to draft an address to the people of British America. He was returned as a deputy to the Second COntinental Congress, serving until June 5, 1776, when he assumed command of the New Jersey militia. It was a responsibility extremely irksome ot him, yet he discharged his duties with his usual conscientiousness until the legislature under the new constitution elected him first governor of the state. For the next fourteen years he bore the responsibilities of the governorship during the extraordinary conditions of war and reconstruction. The multitudinous duties, civil and military, the threats of the enemy, and the disloyalty of friends harassed his nervous and excitable temper but failed to overcome his spirited support of the patriot cause. Rivington's Royal Gazette dubbed him the "Don Quixote of the Jerseys."

His boundless energy was an incalculable asset during the gloomiest period fo the war. When peace came his messages to the legislature dealt discriminatingly and comprehensively with the problems of reconstruction. He opposed the cheapening of the currency by unrestricted issues of paper money, counseled moderation in dealing with the Loyalists and their property, and looked forward to the day when the question of slavery would be settled on the basis of gradual emancipation. As authority slipped out of the hands of Congress, he called for a revision of the Articles of Confederation, in which he was privileged to participate at the Federal Convention of 1787. Though he was not conspicuous in debate, he ably supported the New Jersey plan and worked for a compromise that would mean success. HIs influence was largely responsible for the alacrity and unanimity with which the state convention ratified the Constitution. Two years later, while he was resting at Elizabethtown, his years of public service came to an end.

Though his life was spent in the excitement of political strife and affairs of state, he longed for the quieter routine of the farmer. After his removal to New Jersey he managed to devote some time to experiments in gardening, becoming an active member of the Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of Agriculture. It was his pleasure to show his friends his vegetables at "Liberty Hall." Among his intimates and in an ever-widening circle of acquaintances he was honored for his high moral courage and his fine sense of social responsibility. The confidential agents of the French government reported to Paris that he was a man who preferred the public good to personal popularity. No better estimate in brief compass remains in the writings of his colleagues than the sketch penned by William Pierce in 1787 (Farrand, post, III, 90).

"Governor Livingston," wrote the Georgian, "is confessedly a man of the first rate talents, but he appears to me rather to indulge a sportiveness of wit than a strength of thinking. He is, however, equal to anything, from the extensiveness of his education and genius. His writings teem with satyr and a neatness of style. But he is no Orator, and seems little acquainted with the guiles of policy."

Gansevoort-Lansing Papers: This collection includes 25,000 manuscripts documenting the careers of the Revolutionary officer General Peter Gansevoort and his descendants.

William Livingston Papers: The correspondence and papers of William Livingston from 1775 to 1782 (950 items).

Henry Brockholst Livingston

Henry Brockholst Livingston (November 25, 1757 – March 18, 1823) was an American Revolutionary War officer, a justice of the New York Court of Appeals and eventually an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Born in New York, New York to Susanna French and William Livingston, Ώ] he received a B.A. from the College of New Jersey, (now Princeton University), in 1774. He inherited the Livingston estate, Liberty Hall (at modern-day Kean University), and retained it until 1798. During the American Revolutionary War he was a lieutenant colonel of the New York Line, serving on the staff of General Philip Schuyler from 1775 to 1777 and as an Aide-de-Camp to Major General Benedict Arnold at the Battle of Saratoga. He was a Private secretary to John Jay, then U.S. Minister to Spain from 1779 to 1782. Livingston was briefly imprisoned by the British in New York in 1782. After the war, Livingston read law to enter the Bar in 1783, and was in private practice in New York City from 1783 to 1802.

Livingston served as a justice on the Supreme Court of New York from 1802 to 1807, where he authored a famous dissent in the case of Pierson v. Post, 3 Cai. R. 175 (1805). Two years later, on November 10, 1806, Livingston received a recess appointment from Thomas Jefferson to a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States vacated by William Paterson. Formally nominated on December 15, 1806, Livingston was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 17, 1806, and received his commission on January 16, 1807. He served on the Supreme Court from then until his death in 1823. During his Supreme Court tenure, Livingston's votes and opinions often followed the lead of Chief Justice John Marshall. In that era, Supreme Court Justices were required to ride a circuit in Justice Livingston's case, he presided over cases in New York State.

Watch the video: Henry Brockholst Livingston Class Valedictorian Jessica Schlemer. Cooley Law School