1764 - 1836 (71 years)
Has more than 100 ancestors and 4 descendants in this family tree.
||Edward Livingston |
||26 May 1764
||23 May 1836
||Montgomery Place, Barrytown, Dutchess county, NY
||19 Aug 2008 |
He was graduated at the College of New Jersey, A.B., 1781, A.M., 1784; studied law with John Lansing in Albany, N.Y., and with his brother, Robert R. Livingston, in New York city, and was admitted to the bar in 1785. He was a representative from New York in the 4th, 5th and 6th Congresses, 1795-1801, when he opposed the administration of President Washington, and instigated the investigation and proposed the resolution calling upon the President for a copy of the instructions given to John Jay in reference to the treaty with Great Britain. The resolution was adopted in the House by a vote of 62 to 37, but the copy of the instructions was withheld by the President on the advice of his cabinet. In the fourth presidential election when the tie vote between Jefferson and Burr threw the election in the House, he voted for Jefferson, and when his term expired as representative in Congress, 3 March 1801, he was selected by President Jefferson as U.S. Attorney for the district of New York, and Governor Clinton in August 1801, made him Mayor of New York City. In 1803 he laid the corner stone of the city hall and during the same year he rendered conspicuous service in the yellow fever epidemic. In his visits to the sufferers he contracted the disease, and after his recovery found that his affairs had been so badly conducted by his business agent as to cause a deficit of $43,666.21, for which he was responsible to the government. He resigned both his offices, confessed judgment to the amount of $100,000 and gave up his property to cover the loss. He left New York for New Orleans in December 1808, reaching that city in February 1804, where he opened a law office and also engaged in land speculation, his fees being mostly paid in land. He prepared a new code of procedure that was adopted by the legislature in 1805 and remained in force till 1825, when his revised code was adopted. He gained the ill-will of President Madison by favoring the scheme of Burr and of General James Wilkinson for the conquest of Mexico and by defending its projectors in the courts. He became the legal adviser of the Lafittes, said to be connected with smugglers, and when they gave timely notice of the designs of the British against New Orleans, he was the first to give credence to their report and his faith in their truthfulness was shown by his entrusting his wife and child to the care of Pierre Lafitte during the battle of New Orleans. He was the President of the Committee of Public Defense, drew up the resolutions, and aroused the people of the state to a sense of their danger. He was the right hand of General Jackson in his preparations for the attack by General Pakenham; served on General Jackson's staff before and during the battle and drew up the address to the army. He was elected a representative in the Louisiana State Legislature in 1820, and was a representative from the New Orleans district in the 18th, 19th and 20th Congresses, 1823-29; and a U.S. Senator from Louisiana from 7 December 1829, till the close of the 21st Congress, 3 March 1831, when he resigned to accept the portfolio of state in the cabinet of President Jackson, made vacant by the resignation of Martin Van Buren. The state papers of Jackson's administration and the nullification proclamation of 10 December 1832, were credited to his pen. He resigned from the cabinet in 1833 to accept the mission to France, and while there he accomplished the settlement of the French spoilation claims. In 1835 he returned to the United States, leaving his son-in-law, T. P. Barton, as chargé d'affaires. In 1836 he appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court at Washington, where he argued the claims of the city of New Orleans against the U.S. government. He was bequeathed by his sister Janet, widow of General Richard Montgomery, the "Montgomery Place," above Barrytown on the Hudson river, N.Y., and on his return from France he made his home there.
Edward Livingston received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Columbia in 1823, from Transylvania University in 1824 and from Harvard in 1834. He was a corresponding member of the Institut de France; a member of the American Philosophical Society, and a trustee of Columbia College, 1793-1806. His name was one of the eleven in "Class J, Judges and Lawyers," submitted, October, 1900, for a place in the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, New York University, and received seventeen votes, the class standing in order of preferment: Marshall, Kent, Story, Choate and Livingston. He is the author of: Judicial Opinions, Mayor's Court, City of New York, 1802 (1803); Report of the Plan of the Penal Code of Louisiana (1822); System of Penal Law for the State of Louisiana (1826); System of Penal Law for the United States (1828). These were published as Complete Works on Criminal Jurisprudence (1873). See Life by Charles H. Hunt (1864), and Recollections by Augusta D'Avezac in the Democratic Review (1840)