Papers : 1695 - 1839.

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LFR .L5W5P3
Category: Family
Creator: Livingston, William, 1723-1790.
Description: 12 microfilm textual records (21 volumes) ; 35 mm
            William Livingston was born in Albany, New York, the son of Philip Livingston (1688-1749), the second lord of Livingston Manor and grandson of Robert Livingston (1654-1728), the first lord of the Manor. Like many families who were divided in their allegiance by the American Revolution, the Livingstons were no exception. William Livingston was the brother of the Loyalist John Livingston (1714-1786), whose three sons were all active Loyalists. John William Livingston (1753-1798) was a Captain in the Kings American Regiment, a Loyalist regiment commanded by Colonel Edmund Fanning. Henry Livingston was an ensign in Colonel Innes' Regiment, Philip J. Livingston was Superintendent of Derelict Property in New York; and Catherine Livingston was the wife of Captain Abraham DePeyster, another captain in the Kings American Regiment.

William Livingston studied law at Yale College and was admitted to the New York bar in 1748. For a time he was active in New York politics representing Livingston Manor in the Assembly, but in 1772 he retired to his country estate in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, where he built a mansion called "Liberty Hall" and began the life of a gentleman farmer. However, as tensions rose with the approach of the American Revolution, he became involved in the New Jersey political scene as a member of the Essex County Committee of Correspondence and one of the delegates to the First Continental Congress. Here he served with his son-in-law John Jay who had married his daughter Sarah. William Livingston was returned as a deputy to the Second Continental Congress and served until 1776 when he became commander of the New Jersey Militia. On 1 September 1776, he was elected by the legislature as the first Governor of New Jersey holding office throughout most of the American Revolution and for a total of fourteen years. After the war he helped draft the federal constitution and was influential in its ratification by the State in 1787.

            In the introductory material at the beginning of the first reel of microfilm, Massachusetts Historical Society librarian, John D. Cushing, explains that the William Livingston Papers consist of two collections and several additional pieces. The first collection was given to the Society in 1922 by Charles L. Nichols, and consists of nine bundles or volumes. The first six bundles are arranged chronologically and the last three by subject content. The second collection was assembled by Theodore Sedgwick and later donated to the Society by the Sedgwick family. It contains four boxes arranged chronologically and a fifth box arranged in alphabetical order. Several bound letterbooks, law registers, and two volumes of oversize manuscripts complete the microfilm edition of the William Livingston Papers.
Originals: The original records are held by the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Archival Ref. No.:
Finding Aids:
            The introductory information at the beginning of each reel of microfilm includes a table of contents that explains the order in which the manuscripts have been microfilmed. However, this listing does not indicate the reel numbers in which the material can be located.  In order to provide this needed guidance, the author of the Loyalist Collection Inventory has created a microfilm shelf list which coordinates the reel numbers, volumes, dates, and brief content descriptions.  This finding aid is available in print with the Loyalist Collection Finding Aids and on the World Wide Web.            
Electronic Finding Aid Record: Livingston, William Papers Document List.pdf
Part Of:
Other With: