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CHAPTER I

children [Prov, 13. 22.]: and a history of many of the descendants of Mr. Livingston would afford a fine illustration of the truth of Solomon's declaration. In the history of New-York, by an author of some reputation, the following notice is taken of him and his family, as that was, at the time, known in this country "Mr. John Livingston, one of the commissioners from Scotland, to king Charles II while he was an exile at Breda. He was a clergyman distinguished by his zeal and industry, and for his opposition to episcopacy became so obnoxious, after the restoration, to the English court, that he left Scotland, and took the pastoral charge of an English presbyterian church in Rotterdam. His descendants are very numerous in this province, and the family in the first rank for their wealth, morals, and education. The original diary in the handwriting of their common ancestor is still among them, and contains a history of his life. [Smith's Hist, of N. Y. page 150.]"

The work from which this quotation is made, was published in 1756; and up to this day, they have maintained, as a family, the same elevated station in society: the name of Livingston has been, generally speaking, associated with all that is respectable in character honourably connected

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with the literature, jurisprudence, and politics of the state and nation.

There is hardly a family, so ancient and numerous, viewed in all its branches, more estimable for talent, and virtue, and important public services; or possessing a greater weight of character a weight of character obtained by a course of meritorious conduct, through several successive generations, by great intellectual distinction, and in some instances, by pre-eminent piety superadded.

Robert Livingston, the son of John, and great grandfather of the subject of this Memoir, came over to America, it is probable, soon after his father's death. The history above quoted, contains a copy of the report of a committee of council made in 1753, to the Governor of N. Y., from which it appears, that the patent for the manor of Livingston was granted in 1686 [Smithes Hist, page 287.]. The same work states, that he was "a principal agent for the convention," which met in Albany in 1689 [Smith's Hist, of N. Y. page 110]; and in another place it is said, that "the measures of the convention were very much directed by his advice," and that "he was peculiarly obnoxious to his adversaries, because he was a man of sense and






        
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