Peter Van Brugh Livingston

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Peter Van Brugh Livingston
New York State Treasurer
In office
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Gerard Bancker
Personal details
Born (1710-11-03)November 3, 1710
Albany, New York, British America
Died December 28, 1792(1792-12-28) (aged 82)
Elizabethtown, New Jersey, U.S.
Mary Alexander
(m. 1739; her death 1767)

Elizabeth Ricketts
(m. 1771; his death 1792)
Children 12
Parents Philip Livingston
Catharine Van Brugh
Relatives See Livingston family
Alma mater Yale College

Peter Van Brugh Livingston (bp. November 3, 1710 Albany, New York – December 28, 1792 Elizabethtown, Union County, New Jersey) was a Patriot during the American Revolution who was a wealthy merchant and who served as the 1st New York State Treasurer from 1776 to 1778.[1]

Early life[edit]

Peter Van Brugh Livingston was the second surviving son of Philip Livingston (1686–1749), the 2nd Lord of Livingston Manor, and Catharine Van Brugh (b. 1689). His older brother was Robert Livingston (1708–1790) and his younger brothers included Philip Livingston (1716–1778), a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, and William Livingston (1723–1790), a signer of the United States Constitution and the 1st Governor of New Jersey. Livingston graduated from Yale College in 1731, and settled in New York City.[2][3]

Livingston's mother was the only child of his namesake, Pieter Van Brugh (1666–1740), the Mayor of Albany, New York from 1699 to 1700 and from 1721 to 1723.[4] His grandfather's sister, Catharina Van Brugh, married Hendrick van Rensselaer, the son of Jeremias van Rensselaer, patroon of Rensselaerswyck.[5] Livingston's maternal great-grandfather, Johannes Pieterse van Brugh (1624–1697), was one of the early settlers of New Netherland and was prominently connected with the Dutch West India Company.[6]

His paternal grandparents were Alida Schuyler (1656–1727) and Robert Livingston the Elder (1654–1728), and his uncle was Robert Livingston (1688–1775) of Clermont.[2]


After his graduation from Yale, he became engaged in the shipping business with William Alexander, Lord Stirling. He was also engaged in the slave trade with his father. Livingston's mercantile interests involved activities in the West Indies, North Carolina, and Fort Niagara, where he was involved in the fur trade.[7]

In 1748, he became one of founders and original trustees of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), and served until 1761.[8] In 1755, he furnished the supplies for the expedition of Governor William Shirley to Acadia.[9]

In 1775, he was a member of the Committee of One Hundred. He was a delegate to the New York Provincial Congresses, and was President from May 1775 to August 1775 and from September 1776 to March 1777.[10] He was also Chairman of the Committee of Safety from September 1776 to March 1777.[1] In 1776, he was appointed Treasurer by the Provincial Congress, and remained in office until 1778, after the establishment of the State Government.[2][11]

Personal life[edit]

His home in New York City was a large mansion on the east side of what is now Hanover Square, with grounds extending to the East River. Later he removed to Elizabethtown, N.J., and died there at the Liberty Hall.

On November 3, 1739, Peter Van Brugh Livingston he married Mary Alexander (1721–1767), the daughter of James Alexander and Mary Spratt Provoost, and the sister of his business associate, Lord Stirling. Before her death in 1767, they had twelve children, including:[2]

  • Philip Peter Livingston (1740–1810), who was known as "Gentleman Phil," and who married Cornelia Van Horne (b. 1759).[12]
  • Mary Livingston (1742), who died in infancy.[2]
  • Catherine Livingston (1743–1775), who married Nicholas Bayard.[2]
  • James Alexander Livingston (b. 1744).[2]
  • Mary Livingston (b. 1746), who married Capt. John Brown.[2]
  • Peter Livingston (b. 1753), who married Susan Blondel.[2]
  • Sarah Livingston (1755–1825), who married Capt. James Ricketts.[2]
  • William Alexander Livingston (1757–1780), who was killed in a duel.[2]
  • Susan Livingston (1759–1853), who married (1) John Kean in 1789; (2) Count Julian Niemcewicz in 1800, aide to Kosciuzko.[2]
  • Elizabeth Livingston (1761–1787), who married French consul Monsieur Otto.[2]
  • James Alexander Livingston (b. 1763), who died young.[2]
  • Ann Livingston (b. 1767), who died young.[2]

On April 9, 1771, he married Elizabeth Ricketts, the widow of William Ricketts, in Elizabethtown, New Jersey.[2]

Descendants and honors[edit]

Through his eldest son Philip, he was the grandfather of Peter Van Brugh Livingston (1792–1868), who served as the American Chargé d'affaires (i.e. equivalent of the current U.S. Ambassador) to Ecuador from August 12, 1848 until November 12, 1849, appointed by President James K. Polk.[13]

Livingston's daughter Susan Niemcewicz established a scholarship at the College of New Jersey, named in honor of her father.[14][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Shelton, Hal T. (March 1, 1996). General Richard Montgomery and the American Revolution: From Redcoat to Rebel. NYU Press. p. 203. ISBN 9780814780398. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Livingston, Edwin Brockholst (1910). The Livingstons of Livingston Manor: Being the History of that Branch of the Scottish House of Callendar which Settled in the English Province of New York During the Reign of Charles the Second; and Also Including an Account of Robert Livingston of Albany, "The Nephew," a Settler in the Same Province and His Principal Descendants. Knickerbocker Press. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  3. ^ Franks, Abigail (2004). The Letters of Abigaill Levy Franks, 1733-1748. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300137788. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "Peter Van Brugh". The History of the County of Albany, by George Howell, (c)1886, p 658. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  5. ^ O'Callaghan, E.B., ed. (1854). Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York. 4. Albany, NY: Weed, Parson and Company. pp. 802–07. 
  6. ^ Pearson, Jonathan (1872). Genealogies of First Settlers of the Ancient Country Albany 1630-1800. Genealogical Publishing Company. p. 142. 
  7. ^ Dunn, Walter Scott. The New Imperial Economy: The British Army and the American Frontier, 1764-1768, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001, ISBN 9780275971809 p. 125
  8. ^ Chisholm, Hugh (1911). The Encyclopedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information. Encyclopedia Britannica Company. p. 813. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "Livingston, Peter Van Brugh 1710-1792". Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  10. ^ "Address from the New York Provincial Congress, 26 June 1775". The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  11. ^ "Livingston, Peter Van Brugh (1710-1792), [New York Provisional Congress resolution to form county committees]". The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  12. ^ "Letters about P.E.I. - Phillip Livingston, London to father, Peter Can Brugh Livingston, April 26, 1770". The Island Register. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  13. ^ "Van Brugh Livingston - People - Department History". Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs United States Department of State. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  14. ^ United Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A. General Assembly (1826). Minutes - United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. p. 45. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  15. ^ Biddle, Edward; Fielding, Mantle. The Life and Works of Thomas Sully 1783-1872. Wickersham Press. p. 214. Retrieved 14 April 2017. 
  • [1] Political Graveyard
  • Google Book The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (page 35; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)
Political offices
Preceded by
Office created
New York State Treasurer
Succeeded by
Gerard Bancker