Henry Beekman Livingston, Jr. (1748 - 1828) MP

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Birthplace: Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, Province of New York
Death: Died in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York, United States
Occupation: Wrote "Account of a visit from St. Nicholas", poet, writer, farmer, Maj. in the Revolutionary War.
Managed by: Andrew William Ward
Last Updated:

About Henry Beekman Livingston, Jr.

A Patriot of the American Revolution for NEW YORK with the rank of MAJOR. DAR Ancestor # A070795

http://www.poemhunter.com/major-henry-livingston-jr-2/biography/

Henry Livingston Jr. was born in New York on 13th October 1748 into one of the important colonial and revolutionary families of New York.

Known for his encyclopedic knowledge and his love of literature, Henry Livingston went on to work as a farmer, surveyor and Justice of the Peace. He was also one of the first New Yorkers to enlist in the Revolutionary Army in 1775, and he accompanied his cousin's husband, General Montgomery, in his campaign up the Hudson River to invade Canada. Following this campaign, Livingston was involved in the War as a Commissioner of Sequestration, appropriating lands owned by British loyalists and selling them for the revolutionary cause.

Livingston's first wife, by which he had four children, was called Sarah Welles. However she died in 1783. Livingston then, ten years later, went on to marry Jane Patterson. With Patterson, Livingston had a further eight children!

It was in the period following his first wife's death in 1783, that Livingston published most of his poems and prose, anonymously or under the pseudonym of R. T. His verse has since been described as "good-natured" and was included in a number of respected journals at the time.

His most famous poem is considered to be Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas (commonly known as 'Twas the Night Before Christmas), although for many years this was thought to be the work of the author Clement C. Moore!

Livingston died on 29th February 1828.

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http://www.iment.com/maida/familytree/henry/

Henry Livingston (1748-1828) lived his entire life in Poughkeepsie NY. Unlike his famous theologian brother, Rev. John Henry, and his more political brother, Gilbert, Henry wanted a quiet life, close to the land and the river where he was born. While his sisters married more political animals (Gen. Melancthon Lloyd Woolsey and unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Jonas Platt), Henry stayed home on his Locust Grove estate, joyfully raising a large family in an atmosphere of learning, writing, drawing and music. He left when he had to -- for the Revolutionary War, for surveying jobs, to check out a college for a son. And, of course, he spent a good bit of time attending the theater in the City.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Livingston_Jr.

Major Henry Livingston Jr. (1748 – 1828) was born into a prominent family in Poughkeepsie, New York, United States. His father was from Scotland and his mother from Holland. His grandfather was Gilbert Livingston son of Robert Livingston the Elder. A brother was John Henry Livingston. He married in 1774 to Sarah (or Sally) Welles. A year later, two weeks after his first child (Catherine) was born, he joined the American Revolution. Henry suffered greatly from the death of his wife in 1783. This tragedy left him alone to raise their three children. [Henry and Sarah had four children, but one son had died at 13 months old.] On the tenth anniversary of his wife's death, however, he remarried. He and his second wife, (Jane Patterson), had eight children together. Then in 1828, at the age of eighty, he died. Some of his descendants have claimed that he is the true author of "A Visit From St. Nicholas."

Unlike the man who has been recognized by most people as the true author of "A Visit From St. Nicholas," Clement Clarke Moore, Henry Livingston was not well known. Most of his poetry was written for himself and his family and therefore was not published. His published works were clever, amusing, funny, and good–natured. He was an imaginative and creative person whom it is hard not to like. His personality is a big part of Donald Foster's argument in Author Unknown, in which he states his opinion that Henry Livingston is the true author.

Although Henry Livingston never claimed authorship of "A Visit From St. Nicholas," many of his descendants, including his great great great great great grand daughter Mary Van Deusen, are determined to prove that he wrote it. Some of his other works have also been promoted by those who want to prove his authorship. -------------------- Henry Livingston Jr. was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, on Oct. 13, 1748. The Livingston family was one of the important colonial and revolutionary families of New York. The Poughkeepsie branch, descended from Gilbert, the youngest son of Robert Livingston, 1st Lord of Livingston Manor, was not as well off as the more well-known branches, descended from sons Robert and Philip. Two other descendants of Gilbert Livingston, President George Walker Herbert Bush and his son, President-Elect George W. Bush, though, have done their share to bring attention to this line. Henry's brother, Rev. John Henry Livingston, entered Yale at the age of 12, and was able to unite the Dutch and American branches of the Dutch Reformed Church. At the time of his death, Rev. Livingston was president of Rutgers University. Henry's father and brother Gilbert were involved in New York politics, and Henry's granduncle was New York's first Lt. Governor. But the law was the natural home for many of Henry's family. His brother-in-law, Judge Jonas Platt, was an unsuccessful candidate for governor, as was his daughter Elizabeth's husband, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Smith Thompson. Henry's grandson, Sidney Breese, was Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court.

Known for his encyclopedic knowledge and his love of literature, Henry Livingston was a farmer, surveyor and Justice of the Peace, a judicial position dealing with financially limited criminal and civil cases. One of the first New Yorkers to enlist in the Revolutionary Army in 1775, Major Henry Livingston accompanied his cousin's husband, General Montgomery, in his campaign up the Hudson River to invade Canada, leaving behind his new wife, Sarah Welles, and their week-old baby, on his Poughkeepsie property, Locust Grove. Baby Catherine was the subject of the first poem currently known by Major Livingston. Following this campaign, Livingston was involved in the War as a Commissioner of Sequestration, appropriating lands owned by British loyalists and selling them for the revolutionary cause. It was in the period following Sarah's early death in 1783, that Major Livingston published most of his poems and prose, anonymously or under the pseudonym of R. Ten years after the death of Sarah, Henry married Jane Patterson, the daughter of a Dutchess County politician and sister of his next-door neighbor. Between both wives, Henry fathered twelve children. He published his good-natured, often occasional verse from 1787 in many journals, including Political Barometer, Poughkeepsie Journal, and New-York Magazine. His most famous poem, "Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas," was until 2000 thought to have been the work of Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863), who published it with his collected poems in 1844. Livingston died Feb. 29, 1828.

For more information on and poems by Livingston, see his descendant Mary S. Van Deusen's Web site www.henrylivingston.com. -------------------- The author of "The Night Before Christmas"

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Maj. Henry Livingston, Jr.'s Timeline

1744
May 18, 1744
Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut Colony
1748
October 13, 1748
Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, Province of New York
1774
August 18, 1774
Age 25
Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, New York, USA
1776
November 25, 1776
Age 28
Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, NY, USA
1778
July 31, 1778
Age 29
1780
July 2, 1780
Age 31
Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, NY, USA
1794
May 18, 1794
Age 45
1796
October 4, 1796
Age 47
?
1798
November 17, 1798
Age 50
1800
December 4, 1800
Age 52
?