Philip Livingston
Stefan Bielinski

Philip Livingston was born in Albany in January 1716. He was the fourth son born to Philip Livingston and Catharina Van Brugh Livingston. He grew up in a very large family his father's Albany townhouse on the Elm Tree Corner in Albany and at the family estate called Clermont down in the Hudson Valley.

young Philip Livingston He graduated from Yale College in 1737. He began a business career in New York City and soon was involved in a number of Manhattan-based civic organizations.

He was named among the heirs in the will filed by his father in July 1748. This son was left the house he lived in and his father's store in New York.

He married Christina Ten Broeck in 1740. The marriage produced three children between 1741 and 1745. The couple resided in Manhattan and had a farm in Brooklyn. However, he maintained an Albany presence and was elected assistant alderman in the first ward in 1743, 1744, and 1745. He also added to his Albany real estate holdings with his first ward house still on the city assessment rolls in 1767.

He was a New York City alderman during the 1750s and a member of the provincial Assembly for Manhattan from 1759 to 1768. On the eve of the Revolution, he was a prominent member of the conservative colonial opposition to new British restrictions and taxes!

Philip Livingston - the signerAfter serving on a number of New York City-based resistance committees, he was elected to the Continental Congress in 1774. As a delegate to the Second Continental Congress in 1776, he signed the Declaration of Independence.

Suffering from dropsy, his health declined. In the Spring of 1778, he visited friends in Albany for the last time. Although he took his seat in Congress in May, his condition worsened. Philip Livingston died in York, Pennsylvania on June 12, 1778.

His name still is legendary in Albany today. Livingston Avenue and Philip Livingston Magnet Academy are named for him!


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of this Philip Livingston is CAP biography number 5004. This profile is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.Because he signed the Declaration of Independence, this Philip Livingston has been the subject of a number of biographical portraits. Several Livingston articles have appeared on the Internet. Few have considered his life in its Albany context.

The first portrait appears unattributed on a family website. The second image was painted about 1771 when the subject was fifty-five years old. It is attributed to Abraham Delanoy and hangs today at the Clermont State Historic Site. It is described by Ruth Piwonka in A Portrait of Livingston Manor, 1686-1850 (1986), pp.52-53.

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first posted: privaely 2002; last revised 12/20/12