Robert R. Livingston

by: J. T. Lawson

Robert R. Livingston was a prominent political figure in the early history of the United States. He was born in New York City on November 27, 1746. Livingston's life was benefitted greatly due to his association with two historic figures: John Jay and Thomas Jefferson. Livingston entered Kings College at the young age of 15. While at Kings College he met John Jay who later became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

He was a member of the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1777. He assisted on the design of the Declaration of Independence. He was one of the few persons of his time to travel abroad.

Livingston was a member of the New York Convention and was instrumental in the writing of the New York Constitution. He became the Chancellor or presiding judge of the New York Court Chancery. He served in that post for 24 years. He administered the oath of office to President George Washington in 1789.

From 1781 to 1783 Livingston served as Secretary of Foreign Affairs. From 1801 to 1804 he served as President Jefferson's minister to France and helped to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase.

Livingston was a friend and associate of Robert Fulton who invented the steamboat Clermont.

Livingston was an avid agriculturalist and spent his last years in experimentation with techniques in agriculture.

Livingston died February 27, 1813.