An American Aristocracy: The Livingstons
Written by Clare Brandt
A Livingston descendant once called the Hudson Valley, Livingston Valley, and with good reason. The original 1686 Royal patent of 160,000 acres on the east side of New York's Hudson River to Scottish merchant Robert Livingston grew within two generations to nearly one million acres and included vast portions of the Catskill Mountains as well. Intermarriages with other wealthy and influential Hudson Valley families, the Roosevelts, Delanos, Van Rensselaers, Schuylers, Astors, and Beekmans, to name a few created a dynasty and a landed aristocracy on the banks of the new republic s most important river an irony embedded at the core of the American experiment. At one time forty Livingston mansions lined the east shore, and the family s reach into NYS and American politics, economics, and social scene was profound and enduring.
Their influence on early American politics was pervasive, with Livingstons on the Provincial Assembly, as members of the Continental Congress, on the committee to draft a Declaration of Independence, as first Chancellor of New York State and co-drafter with John Jay of the state s Constitution, justice of the NYS Supreme Court, Minister to France the list goes on. And, of course, there was the patron of Robert Fulton who brought a revolution to commerce with the world s first steamship, known as the Clermont after the Livingston estate in Columbia County that is now a State Historic Site Text includes a map of the Hudson Valley showing Livingston family land holdings, and a family genealogy from 1654 to 1964.
Black Dome Press
Softcover, 314 pages