Henry Livingston
Henry Livingston, Jr.
Henry Livingston
Prominent Family Connections

Henry's generation       Ancestors' Generations       Descendants' Generations

Henry Livingston Henry Livingston Henry Livingston

Henry Livingston, Jr.  (1748-1828)
Major of the 3rd New York
Commissioner of Sequestration
Commissioner of Bankruptcy
Principal Assessor
Dutchess County Justice of the Peace

While Henry's elder brothers studied law and religion, Henry knew that his path would be like his father's - bound to the land he loved. Before marrying Sarah Welles, Henry Jr. was given a deed of gift of part of his father's land.

Now for news my sweet fellow - first learn with a sigh            Beekman
That matters are carried here gloriously high
Such gadding - such ambling - such jaunting about
To tea with Miss Nancy - to sweet Willy's rout
New parties at coffee - then parties at wine
Next day all the world with the Major must dine
But laugh away sorrow nor mind it a daisy
Since it matters but little my dear brother Bazee
Whether here you are rolling in pastime & pleasure
Or up at New Lebanon taffety measure
If the sweetest of lasses Contentment you find
And the banquet enjoy of an undisturb'd mind
Of friendship & love let who will make a pother
Believe me dear Baze your affectionate brother
Will never forget the fifth son of his mother.
P.S. If it suits your convenience remit if you please
To my good brother Paul an embrace & a squeeze.

Siblings,   Cousins

Gilbert Livingston Gilbert Livingston

BROTHER:  Gilbert Livingston  (1742-1806)
Member of the NY Assembly
Master in Chancery
Member of the New York Constitutional Convention of 1788
Presidential Elector for Thomas Jefferson
Clerk of the County of Dutchess

Gilbert read law with prominent Poughkeepsie attorney Bartholomew Crannell, and married Crannell's daughter Catharine. Gilbert's first law partner was James Kent, the first professor of law at Columbia College and, in 1804, Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court.

After a falling out with Kent, Gilbert partnered with Smith Thompson, who also became New York Supreme Court Chief Justice. Obviously, working with Gilbert was a good career move. Thompson then went on to become a US Supreme Court Justice. Like Gilbert, Thompson married the boss's daughter, Gilbert's daughter Sarah. Thompson later married Henry's daughter Eliza.

Mar 2 '72 "Gilbert Livingston fetch'd away 7 load of hay out of John's meadow- One fag let me have for wintering his bull"

Mar 6 '72 "Gilbert fetch'd away 2 beehives with the bees"

Apr 3 '72 "Gilbert fetch'd 11 bottles of his cherry wine away being all he had"

Jun 19 '72 "Bought of John Freer the Bull that was Gilberts 5-3-0"

Gilbert was given a chapter in Joseph Edgar Chamberlin's 1907 book, "The Ifs of History." What if Gilbert didn't vote for New York to ratify the U.S. Constitution?
     Gilbert letter to Henry
     Gilbert to Henry re Military Commission

John Henry Livingston John Henry Livingston Signature John Henry Livingston Signature

BROTHER:  Rev. Dr. John Henry Livingston  (1746-1825)
BA, Yale University at age 16
Doctor of Divinity (D.D.), University of utrecht
Pastor of Dutch Reformed Church
    Livingston Manor
President and Professor, Theology, Queen's College (later Rutgers)

John Henry entered Yale at the age of 12. An anecdote described him tutoring other students while sitting on their knees.

After first reading law, John Henry turned to religion, traveling to the Netherlands for an education that allowed him to fulfill his dream of bringing together the American and Dutch branches of the Dutch Reformed Church. Recognized as one of the more prominent church theologicans, John Henry published 'Psalms and Hymns', and was professor of Theology and President of Rutgers.

John Henry's wife was his second cousin Sarah, the daughter of Declaration of Independence Signer Philip Livingston.

Original 1st Edition Whole Book Scans
1799 - Sermon - Glory of the Redeemer
1804 - Sermon - Everlasting Gospel
1812 - Funeral Meditations
1814 - Psalms and Hymns
1816 - Incestuous Marriage
1825 - Eulogy
1828 - Memoirs
Jonas Platt Jonas Platt

BROTHER-IN-LAW:  Jonas Platt  (1769-1834)
NY Supreme Court Justice
Clerk of Herkimer County
Oneida County Clerk
Member of the NY Assembly
General of Cavalry in the State militia
Member of the U.S. House
NY state senator
Member of the Convention which framed the NY State Constitution.

Jonas Platt was central in recognizing the ideal canal system for New York - the Erie Canal. He was a NY Supreme Court Justice, sharing the bench with James Kent, Henry's brother Gilbert's law partner. Platt ran for NY Governor in 1810, but was defeated.

Platt was a political mentor for Henry's son-in-law, Arthur Breese. Breese became a partner in Platt's law office, then became Deputy Clerk of Herkimer county when Platt was Clark. Breese followed Platt into the NY legislature, then became Clerk of the NY Supreme Court when Platt became a NY Supreme Court Justice.

     Henry's poem for sister's wedding

Alida Livingston Woolsey

BROTHER-IN-LAW:  Melancthon Lloyd Woolsey  (1758-1819)
Major General of the NY State Militia
Aide to Governor Clinton
first clerk of the Clinton County Court
Collector of Customs, appointed by Washington

Besides being the husband of Henry's sister Alida, Melancthon was Henry's wife Sarah's first cousin. Upon the death of Henry's father-in-law, Rev. Noah Welles, Woolsey sent Welles' son, Melancthon Woolsey Welles, to live with Henry's family until his majority.

Nov 5 '79  "Melanchton Woolsey bought my spanish mare for one thousand dollars payable the 6th of April next with interest at 7 percent"
Andrew Billings Andrew Billings Andrew Billings

        Andrew Billings  (1743-1808)
Served with Henry in Colonel James Clinton's 3rd NY
Washington requested Billings engrave two cannons as gifts to Rochambeau
Detailed to bring the body of Montgomery back from Quebec
Silver cream pitcher in Brooklyn Museum
Silver porringer in Metropolitan

After the death of sister Cornelia's first husband, Dr. Baltus Van Kleeck, Cornelia married Andrew Billings, a silversmith and longtime friend of Henry.

Oct 16 '72
    "Andrew Billings Crdt by 12 sh & 6p for a box bt of him"
Jan 1 '73
    "Paid Andrew Billings 12s6 for a snuff & smelling box bt of him last fall"
May 24 '75
    "Andrew Billings Credt by 9s9 on my giving him an old pair of silver shoe buckles for a
    new pair of the same 0-9-9 "
Jun 18 '75
    "Andrew Billings Credt by making and engraving fare to a seal.
Jul 1 '75
    "Andrew Billings Dr to 11 1/2 lbs old brass"
Aug 19 '75
    Letter to Col James Clinton; ready to leave to join General Montgomery's expedition;
    Captain Dubois with him; maybe also Capt. Billings; need more arms; wants Dr. Cooke
    with regiment
Dec 18 '77
    "Andrew Billings bd by cleaning 2 watches"
Feb 22 '92
    NYPL: Statement of Cornelia Billings, signed before Smith Thompson and Gilbert
    Livingston, delivered in the presence of Smith Thompson and James Kent; Survey map
    with lots of little houses, showing land conveyed from Andrew Billings to Henry Livingston
Mar 3 '92
    NYPL: Andrew Billings appeared before Gilbert Livingston, as recorded by R.H.
    Livingston, Clerk
May 30 '03
    Survey of the land Henry Livingston bought of Andrew Billings, part of the farm of the
    late James Livingston
          Henry on Billing's watch         Poem for Cornelia
John Davenport Davenport Family Window

HUSBAND OF WIFE'S SISTER:  John Davenport  (1751-1830)
Graduated Yale with M.A.
Yale tutor
Major in Revolutionary army
Member of CT House of Representatives
US Representative from CT for 18 years

Following the death in Stamford of Henry's wife Sarah, Henry wrote in his Day Book:

Oct 1 '83 "My daughter Catherine began boarding with Maj. John Davenport at Stanford at the rate of 4 sh NYork money a week - I am to pay for her schooling & cloathing."

Jun 1 '84 "Paid sister Mary Davenport in cash for boarding my daughter Catherine (including a guinea I paid her last winter). I also paid for schooling shoes besides."

Jul 17 '85 "Gave Maj. John Davenport 10 dollars to pay to Mrs. Welles in full for boarding Harry-- I gave him 6 dollars for Mr. Davenport to pay out in necessarys for Caty."

John Davenport married Sarah (Welles) Livingston's sister, Mary Sylvester Welles.

Henry named a daughter Elizabeth Davenport Livingston.

Catharine (Livingston) Breese, remembering living with the Davenports after the death of her mother, named a daughter Mary Davenport Breese.

During LaFayette's tour of America in 1824, he was entertained by John and Mary at the Davenport home.

Philip Van Cortlandt

1st COUSIN:  Philip Van Cortlandt  (1749-1831)
Brigadier General
Member of the Provincial Congress
Delegate to the NY convention ratifying the U.S. Constitution
Member of the NY State assembly
Member of the NY Senate
Member for 8 terms to the U.S. Congress

Both Henry and Philip joined the new Revolutionary Army in 1775, Henry as a Major in the 3rd NY, Philip as Lieutenant Colonel of the 4th NY. In Henry's journal of his war service, he mentions Philip.

"September 6.-Coll'o Cortlandt & myself hir'd a chaise & took a ride to Cohoes, Nestiguine & Schenectady & return'd at noon next day."
and in a letter to his wife Sarah, Henry leads into the first poem of which we have record with the words:
"September 6.-Coll'o Cortlandt & myself Waiting at the Tavern a few minutes for Cortlandt I scribbled the following lines"

Henry writes of a discovery made by Van Cortlandt's 1791 Erie Canal scouting expedition - an ancient Indian defence.

Philip Schuyler Van Rensselaer

    Philip Schuyler Van Rensselaer  (1766-1824)
Mayor of Albany for 20 years
Officer of Banking, Insurance and Transportation Enterprises

Mayor Van Rensselaer was married to Anne De Peyster Van Cortlandt, the daughter of Henry's Aunt Joanna and Uncle Pierre Van Cortlandt.

His mother, Catharine Livingston, was the sister of Sarah Livingston, brother Rev. John Henry Livingston's wife. She was also the daughter of Declaration of Independence Signer Philip Livingston.

Nicholas Fish

Husband of 1st COUSIN:  Nicholas Fish  (1758-1833)
Major of the 2nd NY Regiment
Division Inspector under Maj. Gen. von Steuben
Adjutant General of NY State
Supervisor of the Federal Revenue, NYC

Nicholas Fish married Elizabeth Stuyvesant, the daughter of Henry's aunt Margaret Livingston and Peter Stuyvesant.

Nichoas was the son of Jonathan Fish and Elizabeth Sackett, and the father of Governor Hamilton Fish.

Robert Van Rensselaer

HUSBAND OF 1st COUSIN:  Robert Van Rensselaer  (1740-1802)
Brigadier General during Revolutionary War
Member of Provincial Congress
Member of the NY Assembly
Federalist Presidential Elector, voting for John Adams

General Robert Van Rensselaer was the husband of Henry's 1st cousin, Cornelia Rutsen, the daughter of Henry's aunt Alida and Colonel Jacob Rutsen.

Robert's sister Catharine was married to Henry's commanding officer and cousin, Major General Philip Schuyler.


John Reade

HUSBAND OF 1st COUSIN:  John Reade  (1745-1806)
Ran a freighting business along the Hudson River
John Reade Family Papers - U of DE

John Reade was married to Catharine Livingston, the daughter of Henry's uncle Robert Gilbert Livingston. The marriage was performed by Henry's brother, Rev. John Henry Livingston.

When the estate of James Livingston was sold following his death in 1790, Henry Livingston purchased the southern part of James' estate, and John Reade purchased the northern part. So they were close neighbors.

John Reade and Henry worked together for the re-election of a common friend, David Brooks, to the US House of Representatives.  Brooks lost.

Timothy Dwight

HUSBAND OF WIFE'S 1st COUSIN:  Timothy Dwight  (1752-1817)
Graduate of Yale, with top honors
Principal of Hopkins Grammar School
Tutor at Yale
Chaplain in Parson's Brigade of CT Line
Member of MA Legislature
Pastor of Greenfield Hill Church
Established Greenfield Academy
Yale President
Livingston Professor of Divinity

After giving the funeral oration for Henry's father-in-law, Rev. Dr. Noah Welles, Timothy Dwight married Mary Woolsey, Sarah [Welles] Livingston's first cousin. Later, Rev. Dwight also presided over the funeral of Henry's wife Sarah.

Dwight, like Henry, was a proponent of women's education. He was a songwriter (patriotic song Columbia), poet (Conquest of Canaan, and Greenfield Hill) and, like Henry's brother, Rev. John Henry Livingston, put out a book of Psalms and Hymns.
      Henry's poem for Dwight's son Timmy
      Henry's prose on dinosaur bones at Yale

Richard Montgomery

HUSBAND OF 2nd COUSIN:   Richard Montgomery  (1736-1775)
British soldier serving in North America and Caribbean
Member of NY Provincial Congress
Brigadier/Major General of the NY State Militia

Henry Beekman and Joanna Lopers
  -Colonel Henry Beekman + Janet Livingston
    --Margaret Beekman + Robert R. Livingston, Sr.
      ---Janet Livingston + General Richard Montgomery
  -Cornelia Beekman + Gilbert Livingston
      --Henry Livingston, Sr. + Susannah Conklin
        ---Major Henry Livingston, Jr. + Sarah Welles
Henry Livingston, Sr. acted as an agent for his uncle, Colonel Henry Beekman, an extremely wealthy landowner with a home in New York City. When Henry Jr. was a young bachelor, he would occasionally stay with his uncle in the city while the Hudson was frozen over. Another frequent visitor to Colonel Henry's home was his granddaughter, Janet Livingston, who later married Richard Montgomery, Henry's direct military commander.

Henry's term of service was up following the capture of Montreal, and Henry returned home. Montgomery continued to Quebec, and was killed outside the walls of the city. Henry held his former commander in such high respect that he named a son Edwin Montgomery Livingston.
      Henry's poem

John Jay Sarah Jay Henry's political support

3rd COUSIN:  John Jay   (1745-1829)
Member of the New York committee of correspondence
Member of the Provincial Congress
Helped create the New York State Constitution
Chief Justice of New York
President of the Continental Congress
Minister Plenipotentiary to Spain
Negotiated treaties with the European powers
Secretary of Foreign Affairs
First Chief Justice of the United States
Governor of New York State

Jay was married to Henry's second cousin, Sarah Van Brugh Livingston, the daughter of NJ Governor William Livingston, a close friend of Henry's father-in-law, Rev. Noah Welles.

The friendship between Jay and Henry went back at least to the New York City Social Club to which Henry and his brother John Henry belonged. Henry and John Henry were expelled when the British invaded the city, as were Jay, Gouverneur Morris, Chancellor Livingston, Egbert Benson and Morgan Lewis.

The First Provincial Congress met in Kingston, but was forced out by the British when they burned the city. Jay and the rest of the politicians of rebellion moved into Poughkeepsie to continue their work. Jay moved next door to Henry's brother Gilbert. When the session ended, Jay and his wife stopped with Henry and Sarah, then came again the next year.

Jul 1 '78  "Judge Jay Mrs Jay servant & pair horses here 9 days"

Oct 5 '79  "In the evening Mr Jay came here with his horse"

Oct 6 '79  "Mrs Jay & footman & one other horse"

Jay left his son Peter behind with Jay's father when Jay went to Spain to serve as ambassador. When the senior Jay's home was attacked, he and the boy moved to Poughkeepsie for greater safety. Jay was worried about the active boy's impact on his ailing grandfather, and so wrote to Benson asking if Jay's son could be moved into Henry's household.
Harry Livingston, I imagine, lives in the neighborurhood. His wife is an excellent woman, and in my opinion a rara avis in terra. I believe they both wish me well, and would not refuse to oblige me by taking my son to live with them and treating him as they do their own. In that family he would neither see nor be indulged in immoralities, and he might every day or two spend some hours with his grandfather, and go to school with Harry's children; or otherwise as you may think proper. At any rate he must not live with his grandfather, to whom he would in that case be as much trouble as satisfaction.
When forced to choose where to throw his political support - between John Jay and Chancellor Livingston - Henry supported Jay.
Robert R. Livingston, Jr.

2nd COUSIN:  Robert R. Livingston, Jr.   (1746-1813)
Graduated King's College (now Columbia)
Member of the Continel Congress
Member of Committee that wrote the Declaration of Independence
Chancellor of NY State,
US Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Minister to France

was the owner of the Clement estate, and the brother of Henry's friend John Robert Livingston, to whom Henry wrote on the death of John's wife.

Chancellor Livingston is known for giving the oath of office to George Washington, negotiating the Louisiana Purchase, financing Robert Fulton's steamship, and disappearing while in New York City.

Edward Livingston

2nd COUSIN:  Edward Livingston   (1764-1836)
Graduated Princeton
Mayor of NYC
Influential in drafting of Louisiana Civil Code
Member of US Representatives
Member of US Senate
US Secretary of State

Edward moved to Louisiana in 1804, moving back to New York after inheriting Montgomery Place from his sister Janet.

Feb 3 '73 "Return'd from a jaunt to Livingstons manor Expenses while out L1-2-7"

Sep 23 '88  "Sold my bay mare of 5 year old to John R. Livingston for L20 Am to keep her till his brother Edward calls for her -- to run at his risk in the mean time"

John Robert Livingston

John Robert Livingston

2nd COUSIN:  John Robert Livingston   (1755-1851)
Merchant of Boston
Active in privateering
Petitioned for Hudson River Steamboas

John Robert Livingston deeded 250 acres along the Hudson River to his daughter Margaret Mary and, according to family tradition, built Edgewater, a magnificent mansion, as a wedding present for her. Henry wrote to him on the death of John's wife.

...Upon the whole my dear Sir, altho I approve of your grief, and virtue herself applauds your tears, yet grieve not immoderately

...Your goodness will pardon this letter & the length. – The errors of friendship are ever remitted by the Friendly.
H. Livingston Jr.


Sep 23 '88  "Sold my bay mare of 5 year old to John R. Livingston for L20 Am to keep her till his brother Edward calls for her -- to run at his risk in the mean time"

Henry Beekman Livingston

2nd COUSIN:  Henry Beekman Livingston   (1750-1831)
Colonel of the 4th NY during the Revolutionary War

It seems that this was a particularly unpleasant man, however good a military commander he was.  He was awful to his wife and, when she left, tried to steal their daughter.  His nickname was "The Rake."

He's not listed on this page to show his friendship with Henry.  Henry Beekman Livingston was basically frozen out of the entire Livingston family.

He's here because someone keeps confusing Major Henry Livingston, Jr., with his 2nd cousin, Henry Beekman Livingston.   They are obviously not the same person, and anyone who can help correct this error when they run across it is gratefully thanked.

Morgan Lewis

HUSBAND OF 2nd COUSIN:  Morgan Lewis   (1754-1844)
Graduated Princeton
Colonel throughout the Revolutionary War
Quartermaster General for the Northern Department
Member, NY Assembly
Member, NY Senate
NY State Attorney General
Chief Justice of the NY Supreme Court
Governor of NY
Helped to found New York University

Morgan Lewis was married to Robert R. Livingston, Sr.'s daughter Gertrude. His own father was Francis Lewis, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

James Duane James Duane

HUSBAND OF 2nd COUSIN:  James Duane   (1733-1797)
Member of active revolutionary committees
Member of Continental Congress
Member of NY Provincial Congress
Signed Articles of Confederation
Member of NY Senate
Mayor of New York City
Member of the Convention of 1788
US District Judge of NY

James Duane married, as his third wife, Mary "Polly" Livingston, the daughter of Robert Livingston, 3rd Lord of Livingston Manor, and Mary Thong. After the British evacuated New York City, Duane made his home in the city on twenty acres that later became Gramercy Park.

In 1811, Henry tried to be a peacemaker, using a letter of their son's, James Chatham Duane, as evidence.

Mr. Thorn who is a young gentleman of character & Judge Glen call on me today saying they were going to the Manor & Judge Glen gave me a letter from James Duane. saying that the character of Mrs Thorn was injured by reports spread in the Manor. This he contradicts in the fullest terms - her conduct thro life has been pure and amiable and since I am sure Mr. Duane would not say that unless his mind was perfectly convinced of the rectitude of her assertion.

Freeborn Garrettson

HUSBAND OF 2nd COUSIN:  Freeborn Garrettson   (1752-1827)
Methodist Minister
Presiding Elder for the District North of New York

After Freeborn Garrettson was married to Catharine Livingston, the daughter of Robert R. Livingston, Sr., he centered his ministry in New York, traveling widely as a circuit rider holding revival camp meetings.

Although he was in favor of the revolution, the Methodist Church was more occupied by Loyalists. Because he refused to take up arms, he was temporarily imprisoned.

Because of their evangelism, Methodists were looked at askance by a population that tilted toward Episcopalianism and various forms of Calvinism. Garrettson was also known for his anti-slavery views.

John Armstrong John Armstrong

HUSBAND OF 2nd COUSIN:  John Armstrong   (1758-1843)
Military Aide-de-camp to General Hugh Mercer
Military Aide to General Horatio Gates
Adjutant General of Pennyslvania's Militia
Secretary of the Commonwealth of PA
Delegate to the Continental Congress
Member of the US Senate
US Minister to France, then Spain
Brigadier General in War of 1812
Secretary of War

The son of Major General John Armstrong, Jr. married Alida Livingston, the daughter of Robert R. Livingston, in 1818 and became a gentleman farmer and author. The estate he built, Rokeby, was purchased by his son-in-law, William Backhouse Astor, Sr., the son of John Jacob Astor.

Because of Henry's expertise in land valuation, which had led to his appointments as Commissioner of Sequestration, Commissioner of Bankruptcy and Principal Assessor, Henry was hired by John Jacob Astor for one of the great property lawsuits of New York. He had done some of the original survey of the properties now being fought over. While spending three weeks in New York City testifying on the Astor case, Henry caught a cold. It was late December 1827. Two months later, Henry died.
      Henry's poem

Ancestors,   Aunts and Uncles,   Older Cousins

Henry Livingston, Sr. Henry Livingston, Sr. Henry Livingston, Sr.

FATHER:  Henry Livingston, Sr.   (1714-1799)
County Clerk of Dutchess County
Member of the Provincial Assembly

Henry Livingston, Sr. was the son of Gilbert Livingston and Cornelia Beekman, and the grandson of Robert Livingston, first Lord of Livingston Manor, and Alida Schuyler, and of Hendrick Beekman and Joanna Lopers. Although the letters of some of his siblings show them fairly unlettered, Henry Sr. was well educated, and acted as a surveyor, mapmaker and recorder of legal documents.

Henry was also a romantic, his elopement with Susannah Conklin described by his great granddaughter, Jane Patterson Livingston, the daughter of Henry Jr.'s son Charles.

Susannah and her governess walked up to church in the village. When the Domine was well under way and the congregation getting comfortably drowsy our young maiden told her companion she wished to go out for a few minutes - which of course was not to be objected to - a few minutes - a good many minutes passed and no return - then Miss Governess, fearing her charge might be ill went out too, but nowhere could she be found. At the close of the service others joined in the search without success. At last, when apprehension was at its height, some lounger who had not been to church, said he saw a young girl lifted up on a horse by young Mr. Henry Livingston and they rode off up the north road.

      Henry's drawing of his father's property
Noah Welles

FATHER-IN-LAW:  Noah Welles   (1718-1776)
Fellow of the College [Yale]
Doctor of Divinity from the College of New Jersey

a scholar, theologian, and revolutionary preacher. A Yale graduate, he was up for the presidency of Yale but didn't get it. A close friend of NJ Governor William Livingston, Rev. Welles was made in September, 1774, and in the same year received the degree of .

Welles' father-in-law was another Yale-educated minister, Rev. Benjamin Woolsey, Even though Rev. Welles didn't get the Yale post, Rev. Woolsey's grandaughter's husband did. Rev. Dr. Timothy Dwight, a noted theologian, poet and educator, became Yale President from 1795 to 1817, leading Yale into a religious awakening.
      Henry's poem

Pierre Joanna

UNCLE-BY-MARRIAGE:  Pierre Van Cortlandt  (1769-1834)
Represented Van Cortlandt Manor in Colonial Assembly
Member of Council of Safety
Member of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Provincial Congresses
Member of the Congress which ratified the Declaration of Independence
President of the Congvention which framed the NY Constitution
First Lt. Governor of NY State (17 years)

Pierre Van Cortlandt married Henry's aunt Joanna Livingston. He was a wealthy landowner who was devoted to the cause of liberty.

In November 1783, he entered New York City with General Washington after its evaculation by the British.

Henry was close to at least two of their children, General Philip Van Cortlandt, and Gilbert Van Cortlandt. Among Pierre and Joanne's other children were:

Pierre Van Cortlandt, Jr., who married Governor George Clinton's daughter Catherine. Governor Clinton lived in the house next door to brother Gilbert, which had been confiscated from Gilbert's father-in-law, Bartholomew Crannell.

Anne De Peyster Van Cortlandt, who married Albany Mayor Philip Schuyler Van Rensselaer.

      Henry's poem
James Livingston

UNCLE:  James Livingston  (1728-1833)
Dutchess County Sheriff
Captain in the Provincial Militia
Member of the Provincial Congress
Chairman of the Committee of Safety

James Livingston followed his brother Henry Livingston to Poughkeepsie. His daughter Judith Newcomb Livingston married John Moore, a relation of Clement Moore's father, and the family moved next door to Henry. Their granddaughter married Rev. Clement Moore Butler, the brother of the Harriet Butler who is said to have given the copy of the Christmas poem to the Troy Sentinel.

May 6 '72  "James Livingston Credt by 1/2 bus pease"

Oct 27 '72  "Exchang'd with James Livingston for a 2 years old Heifer
        by 2 yearling Black Bull"

Apr 1 '75  "James Livingston Crdt by 100 apples trees"

May 30 '03  Survey of the land Henry Livingston bought of Andrew
        Billings, part of the farm of the late James Livingston

Robert Gilbert Livingston

UNCLE:  Robert Gilbert Livingston  (1712-1789)
Member of NY Colonial Assembly
Member of NY State Assembly
Delegate to the NY convention ratifying the U.S. Constitution

Robert Gilbert Livingston was Henry's uncle. Inheriting from the Beekman fortune through his mother and extending it through his own business acumen, Robert Gilbert was not an active supporter of the Revolution. In fact, he was one of the few Livingstons with Loyalist sympathies.

Jun 7 '73 "Robert G. Livingston Crdt by Cash in full for surveying done for him last spring. 27-14-0"

Son Robert Gilbert
Jun 14 '73 "Bt of Robert G. Livingston Jun 3 Lottery tickets 1 dollar each to be paid when drawn"

Son Gilbert Robert
Feb 25 '88 "Sold a 2 year old part sorrel mare to Gilbert R. Livingston for twentyfive pounds which he acknowledged before Samuel Hake Jun to be in full for a note of hand given by himself to the said Gilbert R. Livingston on the 27th of March 17xx for L50 payable within 6 months after the termination of the then war subsisting between American & Britian in any money that might be a legal tender- N.B. I paid him; Part year L25 and have his receipt-- He did not take this xx sold with him as he was on a journey but left her with mexx he could fetch her-- This was at xx"

James Livingston

1st COUSIN (1R):  Philip Livingston  (1733-1804)
Graduated Yale with A.B. and A.M.
Aldeman of NYC
Member and Speaker of Provincial Assemly
Member of the Committee of Correspondence
delegate to the stamp-act congress
delegate to the Continental congress
Declaration of Independence Signer
Member of the State Assembly and Senate

Philip Livingston was the father-in-law of Henry's brother Rev. John Henry Livingston. Like John Jay, Philip moved to Poughkeepsie when the New York government did.

William Livingston

1st COUSIN (1R):  William Livingston  (1723-1790)
Graduated Yale
Law Clerk for James Alexander and William Smith
Founded 'Independent Reflector'
Brigadier General of the NJ Militia
Governor of New Jersey
Signer of US Constitution
One of the founders of the NY Society Library

was the close friend of Henry's father-in-law, Rev. Noah Welles, and the father-in-law of Henry's friend John Jay.

Robert R. Livingston, Sr.

1st COUSIN (1R):  Robert R. Livingston, Sr.  (1718-1775)
Member of the NY Provincial Assembly
Judge of the Admiralty Court
Justice of the Colonial Supreme Court
Delegate to the Stamp Act Congress
Member of the Committee of One Hundred

Judge Robert R. Livingston's father-in-law was Col. Henry Beekman.  Colonel Beekman was also the uncle of Henry's father.  Henry Sr. had worked many years as a land agent for his uncle, and Henry Jr. had become familiar with the family, occasionally staying over the winter in Col. Beekman's NYC house.

Feb 3 '73 "Return'd from a jaunt to Livingstons manor Expenses while out L1-2-7"

March 30 '11 Letter to Manor in Albany about Mrs Thorn's reputation."

William Alexander

HUSBAND OF 1st COUSIN (1R):  William Alexander  (1726-1783)
Commissary for British army
Aide-de-camp and Secretary to Governor William Shirley
Surveyor General
Member of the Provincial Congress
Brigadier General in Revolutionary army

Alexander married Sarah Livingston, the daughter of NJ Governor William Livingston, and sister of Janet Livingston, the wife of Major General Richard Montgomery.

Philip Schuyler Burning grain

2nd COUSIN (1R):  Philip Schuyler  (1733-1804)
Member of the NY Assembly
Member of the Continelal Congress
Major General
NY State Surveyor General
Member of NY Senate
US Senator

Schuyler was overall commander of the military unit which Henry joined in 1775. But the Canadian invasion was put under Montgomery because of Schuyler's poor health.

When Henry returned from the invasion, he was ill and took a short stop at the Schuyler's home to recover.

November 27.-This morning we hoisted & stood up towards Ticonderoga That fortress being 15 miles from Crownpoint - It being calm we row’d the vessells up. At 3 in the afternoon we arriv’d under the Fort & saluted it with 13 guns - landed & waited on General Schuyler.

December 2-I was very Ill when I set out from Smiths and riding on a Bearskin without any stirrups, thro a small snow too, did not contribute to alleviate my distemper. I got as far as Saratoga & lodg’d at the Generals, Mrs. Schuyler & her daughter being there.

The daughters were not yet married then, so it's not clear to what daughter Henry refers. Elizabeth went on to marry Alexander Hamilton. Angelica married John Barker Church, a supplier to the American army, and a banker. Catharine married Samuel Bayard Malcolm, John Adams' private secretary. And the youngest, Margaret, married NY Lt. Governor Stephen Van Rensselaer.

Descendants,   Nieces and Nephews,   Younger Cousins

Charles Livingston

SON:  Charles Paterson Livingston  (1794-1878)
Medical Doctor
Surgeon, Black Hawk War
Mayor, Painesville OH

Son Charles moved first to Illinois, where his nephew Sidney Breese was practicing law. Feeling the area not good for his health, Charles came back to Poughkeepsie, married his next door neighbor, Eliza Clement Brewer, and moved with her to Ohio.
     Henry's letters

Arthur Breese

SON-IN-LAW:  Arthur Breese  (1770-1825)
Graduated Princeton
Honorary degree from Yale
Brigade Major in the NY State Militia
Founder of Oneida Bible Society and Utica Academy
Deputy Oneida County Clerk
Member of the NY State Assembly
Surrogate Judge
Clerk of the NY Supreme Court

During LaFayette's travels through America after the revolution, Breese entertained him in Utica.
      Henry's poem
      Henry's letters


Josiah Salisbury

SON-IN-LAW'S SISTER'S HUSBAND:  Josiah Salisbury   (1781-1826)
Graduated Harvard with A.M.
Educated in Edinburgh for the ministry
One of the Founders of the Massachusetts Bible Society
Merchant in Boston

Josiah Salisbury married Abigail Breese, the sister of Arthur Breese, Henry's son-in-law. A large collection of his papers are available at Yale University.

Henry's son, Henry Welles Livingston, was taking Arthur and Catharine's daughter Elizabeth to stay for a year with the Salisbury family in Boston. On his return trip, he fell ill in Hartford CT. The family story is that Henry and Charles hurried to him, the Livingston family awaiting their arrival. But when the two rode in through the gate, the family knew by the black armbands that Henry Welles had died.
      Henry Welles Livingston's last letter

Smith Thompson

HUSBAND OF NIECE & SON-IN-LAW:  Smith Thompson  (1768-1843)
Member of the NY State Legislature
Delegate to the NY State Constitutional Convention
Chief Justice of the NY Supreme Court
Secretary of the Navy
U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Thompson was a law partner of brother Gilbert, and married Gilbert's daughter Sarah, with whom he had four children.   In 1836, three years after Sarah's death, Thompson married Henry's daughter Eliza, with whom he had three more children. Eliza was his hostess for the last seven years of his service on the US Supreme Court.

Smith considered running for US President in 1824, but the lifetime appointment to the US Supreme Court proved more inviting. He did make an unsuccessful run for NY State Governor in 1828.

Thompson hated slavery, and was active in the court case involving the Amistead.

Richard R. Lansing

HUSBAND OF NIECE & SON-IN-LAW:  Richard Ray Lansing  (1789-1855)
Graduated Union College
Read law under Judge Jonas Platt
Clerk of the US District Court
President of Michigan Coal Company
President of Detroit City Gas Company

Lansing published Mineral Coal of Michigan. The interrelationships of the Livingston and Lansing families can seem like a plate of interconnected sphagetti.

-  Henry's granddaughter, Sarah Breese, was married to Barent Bleecker Lansing.
-  The daughter of Henry's sister Helena, Susanna Platt, was married to Barent Bleecker Lansing's brother, Richard Ray Lansing.
-  Upon the death of Susanna, Henry's daughter Eliza (the widow of Smith Thompson, who had been the husband of brother Gilbert's daughter Sarah) married widower Richard Ray Lansing.

Lansing practiced law and was deeply hurt financially by the fire that destroyed his liquor import business.

Obscure Facts: Lansing Michigan was named for him. He prepared the copyright papers for the Book of Mormon.

Melancthon Taylor Woolsey

NEPHEW:  Melancthon Taylor Woolsey  (1780-1838)
Read law under Jonas Platt
Commanded the Oneida
Commanded the Jones
Supervised warship construction in Sackets Harbor NY
Commanded the Constellation
Commanded Pensacola Navy Yard
Commodorein command of the Brazilian Station

Melancthon Taylor Woolsey was born and christened in Poughkeepsie. His godparents were Henry's brother Gilbert and Gilbert's wife Catharine.

In 1918, the Woolsey was commissioned as a Wickes-class destroyer that was named to honor Melancthon Taylor Woolsey.

Melancthon Woolsey Welles

NEPHEW OF WIFE:  Melancthon Woolsey Welles  (1770-1857)
First Prosecuting Attorney for Lorain County [OH]
First Toll Collector at Akron on the Ohio and Erie Canal
First Postmaster at Akron
Justice of the Peace
Deep involvement with Temperance and Anti-Slavery groups
Commissioner of Deeds for the State of Ohio

The Melancthon Woolsey Welles Papers are part of the Western Reserve Historical Society collection.

Henry Alexander Livingston

NEPHEW:  Henry Alexander Livingston  (1776-1849)
Colonel of NY State Militia
Supervisor, Town of Poughkeepsie board
First President of Poughkeepsie Savings Bank
Treasurer, Agricultural Society
Member of the NY State Assembly
Member of the NY State Senate

Henry Alexander Livingston was the son of brother Rev. John Henry and Sarah Livingston, and the grandson of Declaration signer Philip Livingston. Henry Alexander had 18 children - 9 by each of his wives, Elizabeth Beekman and Frederika Charlotte Ulrica Sayers.

Henry A. Livingston purchased the home of his grandfather, Henry Livingston, Sr., preserving the hole in the wall made by the cannon-shot of the British ship sailing north up the Hudson to burn Kingston.

When General LaFayette visited Poughkeepsie in 1824, Colonel Livingston made the address of welcome.

James Platt

Read law with his brother, Jonas Platt
Went into mercantile partnership with Barent Bleecker Lansing
First Mayor of Oswego
Member of State Senate
President of the Northwestern Insurance Company
President of Lake Ontario Bank

Platt was first married to Susan Woolsey, the daughter of Henry's sister Alida and General Melancthon Lloyd Woolsey. Following Susan's death, Platt married Eliza Floyd, the daughter of Declaration of Independence Signer General William Floyd. His last wife was Sarah Breese, the widow of his ex-partner, Barent Bleecker Lansing.

Hamilton Fish

1st COUSIN (1R):  Hamilton Fish  (1808-1893)
Graduated Columbia
NY Commissioner of Deeds
Member, US House of Representatives
Governor of New York
Member, US Senate
U.S. Secretary of State

Hamilton Fish's mother was Henry's 1st cousin.

His wife, Julia Kean, was Henry's 2nd cousin, twice removed. She was the great-great granddaughter of Philip Livingston, 2nd Lord of Livingston Manor.

Their daughter Julia Fish married William Lawrence Breese, Jr., the great grandson of Henry's son-in-law, Arthur Breese.

Stephen Van Rensselaer

1st COUSIN (3R):   Stephen Van Rensselaer  (1764-1769)
Major General of NY State Militia
Member of NY State Assembly
Member of NY State Senate
Lt. Governor of New York

Lt. Governor Stephen Van Rensselaer was married to Margaret Schuyler, the daughter of Henry's military commander, Major General Philip John Schuyler. Margaret's sister was married to Alexander Hamilton.

Stephen was the brother of Major-Gen. Philip Schuyler Van Rensselaer and Anne De Peyster Van Cortlandt. His parents were Stephen Van Rensselaer and Catharine Livingston, the daughter of Declaration Signer Philip Livingston.

His uncle by marriage was Henry's brother, Rev. John Henry Livingston.

Sidney Breese Sidney Breese autograph

GRANDSON:  Sidney Breese  (1800-1878)
Graduated from Union College
Postmaster, Kaskaskia IL
Prosecuting Attorney of 3rd Judicial Circuit
US District Attorney for Illinois
Lt. Col. of Volunteers in the Black Hawk War of 1832
Judge of the Illinois Supreme Court
U.S. Senator from Illinois
Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court

Judge Henry wrote frequently to Sidney, often giving him advice from Henry's own judicial experience.

That you will soon be an HONEST lawyer I am confident. I hope & believe you will be a great one. Study hard my son, but think more. To be a compleat Jurist is a sublime character.
    January 27th 1820
     Henry's letters
Samuel Livingston Breese Autograph Autograph

GRANDSON:  Samuel Livingston Breese  (1794-1870)
Attended Union College
Joined the Navy
Rear Admiral
Commanded the USS Cumberland
Commanded the USS Albany
Commanded the Mediterranean squadron
Commanded Norfolk Navy Yard
Commanded Brooklyn Navy Yard
Lighthouse Inspector
Port Admiral at Philadelphia

Breese's career spanned the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and the Civil War.

Henry wrote to Sidney about his brother Sam.

By the paper I yesterday recd I find that the U.S. ship Hornet arrived at Cadiz on the 14th of April in the short time of 18 days from Boston. Your brother I take it is on board of her-- She carried out W. Forsyth our minister to the Court of Madrid.
    June 13th 1819
     Henry's letters

Barent Bleecker Lansing Barent Bleecker Lansing Signature Barent Bleecker Lansing Signature

HUSBAND OF GRANDDAUGHTER:  Barent Bleecker Lansing  (1793-1853)
Bookkeeper of U. S. Branch Bank of Utica
Cashier of Bank of Belleville, NJ
Cashier of Oneida Bank of Utica

Barent Bleecker Lansing was the brother of Richard R. Lansing, who married brother Gilbert's daughter Sarah, and Henry's daughter Eliza.

" The stores were generally closed on the day of his funeral as a voluntary tribute of respect for one who had many friends and no enemies. Mr. Lansing had a loving and affectionate nature and was distinguished for honesty and truthfulness."
     Henry's letter

Melancthon Brooks Woolsey

GRANDNEPHEW:  Melancthon Brooks Woolsey  (1817-1874)
Commanded Vandalia
Commanded Princess Royal
Commanded Pawnee
Commanded Guerriere
Commodore, South Atlantic Station
Commandant of Pensacola Navy Yard

The USS Woolsey (DD-437) was named to honor Melancthon Brooks Woolsey and his father, Commodore Melancthon Taylor Woolsey.

Edward Elbridge Salisbury

SON-IN-LAW'S SISTER'S SON:  Edward Elbridge Salisbury  (1814-1901)
Graduated Yale University
Professor of Arabic and Sanskrit, Yale
President of American Oriental Society
LL.D. conferred by Yale
Member of the Asiatic Society of Paris
Member of CT Academy of Arts and Sciences
LL.D. conferred by Harvard

An important academic and author, Edward Elbridge Salisbury was the son of Josiah Salisbury and Abigail Breese, the aunt of Henry's Breese grandchildren.

Salisbury's sister Elizabeth was married to Rev. Theodore Dwight Woolsey, Henry Livingston's wife's 1st cousin, once removed.

Theodore Dwight Woolsey

WIFE'S 1st COUSIN (1R):  Theodore Dwight Woolsey  (1801-1889)
Graduated Yale
Tutor at Yale
Professor of Greek, Yale
President of Yale
President of the American Oriental Society
Regent of Smithsonian Institution

Rev. Theodore Dwight Woolsey was the nephew of first Yale President Timothy Dwight, Henry's friend.

His wife Elizabeth was the sister of Edward Eldridge Salisbury, and the niece of Henry's son-in-law, Arthur Breese.

Henry Livingston Lansing

GREAT GRANDSON:   Henry L. Lansing  (1818-1889)
Cashier of The Michigan Insurance
Cashier of Oliver Lee & Co Bank
Treasurer/Secretary of Buffalo and Erie Railroad
Organizer of the Military Association of NY
Brigadier General attached to State Militia's Eighth Division
Chairman of his district's Senatorial Committee

Barent Bleecker Lansing and Sarah (Breese) decided to name two of their sons Henry. After all, why be stingy with a good name?

While clerking in the Ontario Bank in Canandaigua, Henry Livingston Lansing married Catharine, the daughter of the bank's Cashier, Henry Bicker Gibson, one of the richest men in western NY.

Henry Seymour Lansing

GREAT GRANDSON:    Henry S. Lansing  (1823-1882)
Organizer of the Military Association of NY
Captain of the 12 US Infantry
Commanded the 17th Regiment, New York Volunteers
Chief Manager of the American-European Express Company (Paris)
Auditor General of the Centennial Board of Finance, Philadelphia

Henry Seymour Lansing was named by his parents, Barent Bleecker Lansing and Sarah (Breese), for the father of Horatio Seymour, the Governor of NY.

During the Civil War, he captured the first Confederate field piece at the battle of Hanover Courthouse. He retired with a promotion from Colonel to Brigadier General for his temporary command of the Bull Run battlefield from his sickbed.

Charles Walker Morse

HUSBAND OF GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER:   Charles W. Morse  (1823-1887)
Author of Diamond Atlas

Charles Walker Morse, Samuel Finley Breese Morse's eldest son, married Manette Antill Lansing, the daughter of Sarah Breese and Barent Bleecker Lansing, and granddaughter of Arthur and Catharine (Livingston) Breese.

Charles Morse's testimony was crucial to establish S.F.B. Morse's claim to the telegraph patent.

Samuel Finley Breese Morse

Graduated Yale with Phi Beta Kappa honors
Royal Academy Artist
Invented the Telegraph
Invented Morse Code

Two months after Charles Morse's wedding, his father, Samuel Finley Breese Morse married Sarah Elizabeth Griswold, the daughter of Captain Samuel B. Griswold and his wife, Catharine Walker Breese, who was Sarah Breese's sister.

Given that these people have never seen a relative they didn't want to marry, S.F.B. Morse turns out to be the half uncle of Arthur Breese, Henry's son-in-law.

Morse purchased Locust Grove and was surprised to learn that it had belonged to Henry, and that it was where Arthur and Catharine had courted.


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