Family Tree Tuesday – Robert R. Livingston IV
Robert R. Liviingston IV was an American lawyer, politician, diplomat from New York, and a Founding Father of the United States. He was a member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence, although he was recalled by his state before he could sign the final version of the document. Livingston was the first Chancellor of New York from 1777 to 1801 which at the time was the highest judicial officer in the State and is known as “The Chancellor”. He negotiated the Louisiana Purchase while he was U.S. Minister to France from 1801-1804. It is a little known fact that Livingston was blind at the time of the Louisiana Purchase and after.
Robert R. Livingston IV was born on November 27, 1746 to Judge Robert Livingston and Margaret Beekman. Judge Robert Livingston was a prominent politician, and a leading Whig in New York in the years leading up to the American Revolution. He was a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress of 1765, and, in 1775, a member of the Committee of One Hundred, which briefly governed New York City. Margaret Beekman was heir to immense tracts of land in Dutchess and Ulster New York counties.
Edward Livingston was one of Robert Livingston IV’s brother, he was an influential figure in the drafting of the Louisiana Civil Code of 1825, a civil code based largely on the Napoleonic Code. He represented both New York and later Louisiana in Congress and he served as the U.S. Secretary of State from 1831 to 1833.
Livingston IV’s brother-in-laws were Richard Montgomery, Morgan Lewis and John Armstrong, Jr. Montgomery was the husband of Janet Livingston. He was an Irish born soldier who first served in the British Army and later became a Major General in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He is most famous for leading the failed 1775 invasion of Canada. Lewis married Gertrude Livingston. He was an American lawyer, politician and military commander and was the son of Francis Lewis, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Armstrong Jr. had married Alida Livingston, he was an American soldier and statesman who was a delegate to the Continental Congress, U.S. Senator from New York, and Secretary of War.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase in 1904 the U.S. Post office issued a series of postage stamps, one of them having the engraved image of Livingston taken from a Gilbert Stuart oil painting of 1794.
Check out Robert Livingston IV’s family tree and see how you may be related!