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Peter Van Brugh Livingston

Peter Van Brugh Livingston

American patriot
Peter Van Brugh Livingston
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American patriot
From United States of America
Gender male
Birth 3 November 1710, Albany, Albany County, New York, U.S.A.
Death 28 December 1792, Elizabeth Township, New Jersey, U.S.A. (aged 82 years)
The details


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.

Early life

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.

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. His grandfather's sister, Catharina Van Brugh, married Hendrick van Rensselaer, the son of Jeremias van Rensselaer, patroon of Rensselaerswyck. 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.

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.


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.

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

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 in 1775 and 1776-77. He was also Chairman of the Committee of Safety from September 1776 to March 1777. In 1776, he was appointed Treasurer by the Provincial Congress, and remained in office until 1778, after the establishment of the State Government.

Personal life

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:

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

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


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

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