Gilbert Livingston (1742-1806) was a lawyer and legislator in New York State. He was a member of New York's Provincial Convention, 1775-1777; a delegate to the state's convention to ratify the U.S. Constitution, 1788; and a member of the New York Assembly, representing Dutchess County, 1777-1778 and 1788-1789. Collection consists of correspondence, accounts, legal documents, and land papers of Livingston, members of his family and his law clients; notes; and county records. Correspondence, 1760-1836, concerns legal, real estate, financial, and personal matters. Accounts, 1730-1840; legal documents, 1717-1862; and land papers, 1738-1813, similarly document the affairs of Livingston, his family and clients. Also included are notes on the debates held at the New York Constitutional Convention in 1788; and Dutchess County church, school and public records.
Biographical/historical: Gilbert Livingston, 1742-1806, a member of the powerful landholding and political Livingston family of New York State, was a lawyer in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York. He practiced at first on his own and then in partnership, 1785-1793, with James Kent (1763-1847). Livingston was a member, 1775-1777, of New York's Provincial Convention; a delegate to New York's convention to ratify the United States Constitution, Poughkeepsie, June, 1788 (he was sent to the convention as an Anti-Federalist but eventually did vote for ratification); and a member of the New York Assembly, representing Dutchess County, 1777-1778 and 1788-1789. Livingston was the son of Henry Livingston, 1714-1799, who was Dutchess County Clerk, 1742-1789, and, like his son, Dutchess County's representative to the Assembly, 1759-1868. Gilbert Livingston married Catherine Crannell, 1745-1830. Their daughter, Sarah, married Smith Thompson, 1768-1843, a law student of James Kent who went on to become a New York State legislator and chief justice; United States Secretary of the Navy, 1819-1823; a United States Supreme Court Justice; and, in 1828, a New York gubernatorial contender.
Content: The papers consist of eighteenth and early nineteenth century correspondence, accounts, legal documents, and land papers (relating chiefly to land in Poughkeepsie and vicinity) of Gilbert Livingston; his wife Catherine Crannell Livingston; his father Henry Livingston; his brother Henry Livingston, Jr., uncle Robert Gilbert Livingston, cousin Robert G. Livingston Jr.; son-in-law Smith Thompson; other family members; and Livingston's law clients. Notes on debates that took place at the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1788, and some Dutchess County church, school, and public records are also included.
Correspondence, 1742-1836 (the bulk dates from 1760, early and late letters are addressed to other family members) consists of letters received chiefly from family members and legal clients, and concerns legal, real estate, financial, and personal affairs of Gilbert Livingston's clients, members of his family, and himself.
Accounts, 1730-1840, land papers, 1738-1813, (conveyances, leases, and survey maps of land mostly in Poughkeepsie and vicinity), and legal papers, 1717-1862 (the bulk dates only up to the 1820s) similarly document the affairs of Gilbert Livingston, his family, and his clients.
People represented by correspondents and documents include: John Beardsley (who was married to Catherine Crannell Livingston's sister); Dirck Brinckerhoff; James and Ezekiel Cooper; Gerardus Duyckinck; Catherine Crannell Livingston (letters to her daughter, Sarah Thompson, and a substantial group of legal, financial, and land papers); Gilbert Livingston; Henry Livingston (including accounts and documents, 1744-1795, concerning the construction of the Poughkeepsie courthouse); James Livingston; Robert G. Livingston Jr.; members of the Breese, Mott and Stockholm families; Smith Thompson; and Robert and Stephen Van Rensselaer.
Gilbert Livingston's papers include his notes on the debates held at the New York Constitutional Convention, Poughkeepsie, June, 1788. Debate participants included: James Duane, Gov. George Clinton, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, John Lansing, Gilbert and Robert R. Livingston, Melancthon Smith, and others. Gilbert Livingston's notes for an address to the Convention, June 24, 1788, are also included.
The group of Dutchess County records consist of: act of incorporation of the Village of Poughkeepsie, March 27, 1799; a list of persons who sent children to a school kept by Peter Noxon in Beekman, November 1795-February 1796, with the names of the children and the number of days they attended school; a petition opposing the division of Dutchess County, signed by a group of county residents, February 12, 1785; correspondence and accounts, 1802-1804 of the Dutchess Turnpike Company (in which Gilbert Livingston played a role); a field book (containing surveys) of the navigable waters and part of the roads in the town of Fishkill, Dutchess County, 1797; and some legal and financial papers of Dutch churches in Dover, Fishkill, and Poughkeepsie, 1775-1810.
Funding: Digitization was made possible by a lead gift from The Polonsky Foundation.