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possessed a natural dignity, which seldom failed to impress those into whose company he was thrown. He appeared to enjoy the pleasures of private life, yet in his manners he was less familiar, and in his disposition less affable, than most men. Few men, however, were more respected. He was eminently a practical man. The projects to which he gave his sanction, or which he attempted, were those which judgment could approve. When his purposes were once formed, he seldom sound reason to alter them. His firmness and resolution were not often equalled.
In his political character, there was much to admire. IHe was uniform and independent. He manifested great candour and sincerity towards those from whom he happened to differ; and such was his well known integrity, that his motives were rarely, if ever, impeached. He seldom took part in the public discussion of a subject, nor was he dependent upon others for the opinions which he adopted. His views were his own, and his opinions the result of reason and reflection. If the public estimation of a man be a just criterion by which to judge of him, General Floyd was excelled by few of his contemporaries, since, for more than fifty years he was honoured with offices of trust and responsibility by his fellow citizens.
Philip Livingston was born at Albany, on the fifteenth of January, 1716. His ancestors were highly respectable, and for several generations the family have held a distinguished rank in New-York. His great grandfather, John Livingston, was a divine of some celebrity in the church of Scotland, from which country he removed to Rotterdam in the year 1663. In 1772, or about that time, his son Robert emigrated * America, and settled in the colony of New-York. He was fortunate in obtaining a grant of a tract of land in that colomy, delightfully situated on the banks of the Hudson. This tract, since known as the Manor of Livingston, has been in possession of the family from that time to the present. Robert Livingston had three sons, Philip, Robert, and Gilbert. The first named of these, being the eldest, inherited the manor. The fourth son of this latter is the subject of the present memoir. The settlement of New-York, it is well known, was commenced by the Dutch. For many years scarcely any attention was paid by them to the subject of education. They had few schools, few academies, and, until the year 1754, no college in the territory. Such gentlemen as gave their sons a liberal education, sent them either to New-England, or to some foreign university. But the number of liberally educated men was extremely small. As late as 1746, their number did not exceed fifteen in the whole colony. The subject of this memoir, and his three brothers, were included in the number. The author is ignorant where the brothers of Mr. Livingston received their education, but he was himself graduated at Yale College, 1737. Soon after leaving college he settled in the city of NewYork, where he became extensively engaged in commercial operations. Mercantile life was, at this time, the fashionable pursuit. Mr. Livingston followed it with great ardour; and, having the advantage of an excellent education, and being distinguished for a more than ordinary share of integrity and sagacity, he was prosperous in an eminent degree. In 1754, he was elected an alderman in the city of NewYork. This was his first appearance in public life. The office was important and respectable. The population of the city was ten thousand eight hundred and eighty-one souls. Mr. Livingston continued to be elected to this office for nine successive years, by his fellow citizens, to whom he gave great satisfaction, by his faithful attention to their interests. In 1759, Mr. Livingston was returned a member from the city of New-York to the general assembly of the colony, which was convened on the thirty-first of January of that year. This body consisted of twenty-seven members, representing a population of about one hundred thousand inhabitants, the number which the colony at that time contained. At this period, Great Britain was engaged in a war with France. A plan had been formed for the reduction of Canada by the United Colonies. For this object, it was proposed to raise twenty thousand men. The quota of New-York was two thousand six hundred and eighty. This number the general assembly directed to be raised, and appropriated one hundred thousand pounds for the support of the troops, and ordered an advance of one hundred and fifty thousand pounds to the British commissariat, for the general objects of the expedition. Similar measures were adopted by the other colonies, which, together with the assistance of the mother country, led to the capture of several important posts in Canada; and, in the following year, to the subjugation of the whole territory to the British power. In this assembly, Mr. Livingston acted a distinguished part. His talents and education gave him influence, which was powerfully exerted in promoting the above important measures. He also suggested several plans, which were calculated to improve the condition of the colony, particularly in relation to agriculture and commerce. He was deeply impressed with the importance of giving to the productions of the country a high character in the markets abroad, and of increasing the facilities of communication with other countries. In respect to these and other subjects, he possessed a well informed mind, and was desirous of pursuing a most liberal policy. Previous to the revolution, it was usual for the respective colonies to have an agent in England, to manage their individual concerns with the British government. This agent was appointed by the popular branch of the colonial assemblies. In 1770, the agent of the colony of New-York dying, the celebrated Edmund Burke was chosen in his stead. Between this gentleman and a committee of the colonial as*embly, a correspondence was maintained. As the agent
of the colony, he received a salary of five hundred pounds. He represented the colony in England, and advocated her rights. Hence the office was one of great importance. Not less important were the duties of the committee of correspondence. Upon their representations, the agent depended for a knowledge of the state of the colony. Of this committee Mr. Livingston was a member. From his communications, and those of his colleagues, Mr. Burke doubtless obtained that information of the state of the colonies, which he sometimes brought forward, to the perfect surprise of the house of commons, and upon which he often founded arguments, and proposed measures, which were not to be resisted. The patriotic character and scrtiments of Mr. Livingston, led him to regard, with great jealousy, the power of the British government over the colonies. With other patriots, he was probably willing to submit to the authority of the mother country, while that authority was confined to such acts as rea son and justice approved. But, when the British ministers began to evince a disposition to oppress the colonies, by way of humbling them, no man manifested a stronger opposition than Mr. Livingston. His sentiments on this subject may be gathered from an answer, which he reported in 1764, to the speech of Lieutenant Governor Colden. In the extract we give, may be seen the very spirit of the revolution, which led to American independence. “But nothing can add to the pleasure we receive from the information your honour gives us, that his majesty, our most gracious sovereign, distinguishes and approves our conduct. When his service requires it, we shall ever be ready to exert ourselves with loyalty, fidelity, and zeal; and as we have always complied, in the most dutiful manner, with every requisition made by his directions, we, with all humility, hope tha his majesty, who, and whose ancestors, have long been the guardians of British liberty, will so protect us in our rights, as to prevent our falling into the abject state of being forever hereafter incapable of doing what can merit either his distinction or approbation. Such must be the deplorable state of that wretched people, who (being taxed by a power subordinate to none, and in a great degree unacquainted with their circumstances) can call nothing their own. This we speak with the greatest deference to the wisdom and justice of the British parliament, in which we confide. Depressed with this prospect of inevitable ruin, by the alarming information we have from home, neither we nor our constituents can attend to improvements, conducive either to the interests of our mother country, or of this colony. We shall, however, renew the act for granting a bounty on hemp, still hoping that a stop may be put to those measures, which, if carried into execution, will oblige us to think that nothing but extreme poverty can preserve us from the most insupportable bondage. We hope your honour will join with us in an endeavour to secure that great badge of English liberty, of being tared only with our own consent ; which we conceive all his majesty's subjects at home and abroad equally entitled to.” The colony of New-York, it is well known, was, for a time, more under the influence of the British crown than several others, and more slowly, as a colony, adopted measures which hastened forward the revolution. But all along, there were individuals in that colony, of kindred feelings with those who acted so conspicuous a part in Massachusetts and Virginia. Among these individuals, none possessed a more patriotic spirit, or was more ready to rise in opposition to British aggressions, than Philip Livingston. The sentiments which he had avowed, and the distinguished part which he had all along taken, in favour of the rights of the colonies, marked him out as a proper person to represent the colony in the important congress of 1774. In the deliberations of this body he bore his proper share, and assisted in preparing an address to the people of Great Britain. Of the equally distinguished congress of 1776, Mr. Livingston was a member, and had the honour of giving his vote in favour of that declaration, which, while it was destined to perpetuate the memory of the illustrious men who adopted it, was to prove the charter of our national existence. In the following year, he was re-elected to congress by the state