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proofs to the authorities in England. So the charges remained
and afterwards caused much annoyance. Bellomont never for-
gave Livingston for getting him into this trouble. He no longer
considered him the best man in the colony. At every opportunity
he said harsh things of Livingston. " He pinched an estate out
of the poor soldier's bellies. "J The governor was offended when
Livingston set up a saw mill, and wrote to England his suspicions
that Livingston would saw up the trees reserved for the navy.§
Bellomont thought that no person should own more than i,ooo
acres of land, and endeavored to have an act passed by the
Assembly to vacate some of the extravagant grants made by
Fletcher. II

He thought the defeat of this measure was due to Livingston,
who as a great landowner was opposed to it, though he would
-not have been affected by it, his land having been granted by
Governor Dongan.

In Indian affairs Livingston kept well informed, and often
was sent on missions to the Iroquois. He sent spies to Canada to
find out the designs of the French prison, and deserters were
examined by him, and any information obtained was at once
transmitted to the governor.^ He recommended opening up
trade with the western tribes by sending 200 whites, who under-
stood the Indians, to live among them, and build a fort (where
Detroit now is), to protect them and secure the country.** At
.another time he sends the governor a plan for securing the
Iroquois; they should be brought near the English settlements;
forts should be build to protect them; they could be used as
"bush lopers" against the French; trade with them should be
carefully regulated; ministers should be sent to them to keep
them from listening to French priests, and to convert them to
Protestantism "which they much prefer."tt



* Win. Smith, History of New York, 151. I| A^. Y. Col. Docs., IV., 514. 535, 553i 725-

t N. Y. Col. Docs., IV., 583. Ti N. Y. Col. Docs., IV.. S7o; V., 85.

X N Y. Col. Docs., IV., 720. ** N. Y. Col. Docs., IV., 501.

§ N. Y. Col. Docs., IV.. 825. tt A^- V- Col. Docs., IV.. 648.



iQOi.] The Public Career of Robert Livingston. 1 95

Upon one occasion he informed the governor that there was
an intrigue at Albany, between Colonel Schuyler and others, to
keep the control of Indian aifairs in their own hands, and that
they had used Indian goods belonging to the Colony to secure
the sachems to their interests. Bellomont thought that Living-
stan was in the plot also.*

Livingston's changes of political opinions had caused both
parties to distrust him. Bellomont, who now disliked him as
much as he had once liked him, fixed a time for his suspension,
along with Smith and Schuyler, from the council. The reason
for suspension was that they were "no Leislerians."f Bellomont
died on the very night fixed for announcing the dismissal, and
Livingston was saved for a time.

Nanfan, the lieutenant-governor, was absent in Barbadoes
when Bellomont died, and a dispute arose in the council as to who
should act in his place. Livingston, with the minority, supported
the claims of Colonel William Smith as being the oldest member
of the council. The Leislerian majority wanted to elect a pre-
siding officer by vote of the council. Livingston and his friends
refused to appear at the meetings. A statement of the facts was
sent by the majority to the lower house. That body passed a
resolution that the authority devolved upon the council as a
whole, and that the oldest member should be the presiding officer
The majority answered that the lower house had nothing to do
with the matter in dispute. J

The wrangle continued, and the lower house adjourned. A
month later Nanfan arrived.

Under Nanfan Livingston was retained in the council and for
a while was a favorite of the lieutenant-governor, who endorsed
his claims, and gave him a certificate that he was an all round
good citizen, and that in Indian affairs his services were especially
valuable. §

About this time (1701), Livingston addressed a long com-
munication to the Lords of Trade, setting forth the importance
of New York as a barrier against the French and Indians; atten-
tion was called to the encroachments of the French; the condition
of the New York forts was made known; the suggestion was
made that the method of pay and supply of the independent
companies be investigated; he recommend that missionaries be
sent to convert the Iroquois, and thus secure them to the English,
and that forts be built to protect them; he gave information of
the French settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi; the de-
fensive system was explained. A form of colonial government
in three provinces was proposed. The first province was to be
made up of Virginia, Maryland and the Carolinas; the second
province, of Pennsylvania, New Castle, the Jerseys, and part of
Connecticut; the rest of Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hamp-
shire and Massachusetts should compose the third province.

* N. V. Co/. Docs., IV., 7^3-

t .:V. Y. Col. Docs., IV., 849. Doc. Hist. N. Y., III., 378.

X Journal of the General Assembly of N. Y., I., no. N. Y. Col. Docs., IV., 857. Wm.
Smith, History of New York, 160. § A^. Y. Col. Docs., IV., 911.



Iq6 The Public Career of Robert Livingston. [Oct.,

Each province was to raise ^5,000 a year for the common defense,
and the King was to send over military stores and soldiers for
garrison duty at certain specified posts. As a means of securing
the frontier, 200 soldiers were to be discharged every two years,
and lands granted to them on the frontiers. Recruits to the
number of 200 were to be sent from England every two years.
He makes the suggestion that soldiers cannot fight in the woods
according to the manner of fighting in Europe. He proposed
certain regulations for the production of naval stores, and sug-
gested that in time of war a soldier should be appointed as gov-
ernor of each province. In short, he outlined a complete plan of
colonial government, for peace and for war, and there is evidence
that the home authorities acted upon some of his suggestions.*

Livingston had been the moving spirit of the aristocratic
party in its opposition to Leisler, and this, added to his conduct
in the council after the death of Bellomont, made him many
enemies among the Leislerians. On this account he was unable
to secure a settlement of his claims in the province, so he pro-
posed to go to London again, to push his case before the Treasury
and Board of Trade. The Five Nations were now inspired to
request that he be sent to England to represent their troubles to
the Queen, and to get missionaries for them.f The Leislerians
now accused him of seeking a way to get his expenses paid. He
was charged with fraud in the collection of quitrents and excises,
and the assembly ordered an investigation of his accounts. It is
hard to see anything illegal in influencing the Indians to choose
him as their agent, but the assembly seemed to consider it a
particularly grave charge, and a committee appointed to investi-
gate the matter, asked him to purge himself of the accusation by
his own oath. This he refused to do. He denied the authority
of the assembly to investigate his accounts as collector for the
royal revenues, and refused to submit his papers for inspection.
The fact was the papers were not in his possession, having been
turned over to Bellomont shortly before his death, and now his
widow refused to give them up. Livingston, however, said
nothing of this to the committee of investigation, but simply
denied their right to inspect his accounts. The assembly
charged him with the sum of ^18,000 which they said he had
failed to account for, and an act was passed to confiscate his
estate unless he should submit vouchers for that amount by a
certain day. J He failed to do this, and his property was confiscated.

The Leislerians had succeeded in making Nanfan suspicious
of Livingston, and he suspended him from the council giving as
reasons for so doing, that Livingston had never cleared himself
of complicity in the Kidd affair, that he was evidently guilty of
fraud in the management of the excise, that he had refused to
account for the money that had passed through his hands, that
Bellomont had intended to suspend him from the council, and
finally that by leaving New York he had deserted his duty as a
member of the council. §

* N. Y. Col. Docs., IV.. 870. t N. Y. Col. Docs.. IV., Q07.

% Journal of the General Assembly of N. Y.. I., 120, 126, 127. § Doc. Hist. N. Y., III., 378.



iQOi.J The Public Career of Robert Livingston. igy

When Lord Cornbury came out as governor he obtained the
books and papers of Livingston from Lady Bellomont, and the
accounts were found to be correct. The act of confiscation, how-
ever, was not repealed, and Cornbury, who disliked Livingston,
refused to notice his claims against the government. It was
necessary to make a second visit to England. The action of the
Five Nations in choosing him as their agent gave Livingston the
opportunity, and he went to London again in 1702. Near the
coast of England his ship was captured and plundered by a
French privateer. Livingston lost some valuable books and
papers, but managed to conceal the most important ones.* Upon
reaching London he applied himself diligently to the affairs of
the Five Nations, and for a year said nothing of his own business.
He attended meetings of the Society for the Propagation of the
Gospel in Foreign Parts, and made a great display of energy
toward securing missionaries for the Five Nations. Two clergy-
men were at last obtained from the Society for the Propagation
of the Gospel, and sent over to New York.f

In 1704, after arranging the business of the Indians, Living-
ston set to work on his own affairs. An order in council was
obtained confirming him in his various offices, and ordering his
claims to be settled by the New York treasury. J Yet he was not
satisfied. This had been done once before, and the order had
been disregarded by the governor and council. He waited and
worked a year longer, and in 1705 the Queen granted to him
directly a royal commission for all his offices. Yet his troubles
were not ended. Lord Cornbury refused to recognize his com-
missions from the Queen until he had investigated the whole
matter. The investigation dragged on for two years, and not
until 1708 did he obtain his offices again.§ The council again
refused to pay his salary.

In 1709, during the short administration of Lord Lovelace,
Livingston was elected to the assembly from Albany County, and
in 1 7 10 secured the passage of an act repealing the act of 1701
confiscating his estate. ||

Hunter, the next governor, was a Scotchman, and greatly
favored Livingston, his fellow-countryman. All the debts due
him by the government were paid, except his salary as Secretary
of Indian Affairs, to which the council still objected. Now again
the appreciative Five Nations came to the rescue, and asked the
governor to lay the matter before the Queen and request that he
be paid.lF It was not until 17 17 that the arrears of his salary was
paid, and then only on condition that Livingston should never
again ask for a salary.**

* JV. Y. Col. Docs., IV., 1063.

t One of these, the Reverend Thoroughgood Moor, not receiving any support in his mission
to the Indians, went to New Jersey and took the place of a clergyman who was returning to
England. He was so scandalized by the immoral conduct of Lieutenant-Governor Ingoldsby
that he refused to admit him to the Communion. Ingoldsby threw him into jail, but the Rev.
Thoroughgood escaped, and sailed on the first vessel for England. The vessel was lost at sea
with all on board. A'. Y. Col. Docs., IV.. 1074.

X Doc. Hist. N. K, III., 382.^ A^. Y. Col. Docs., IV., 1127.

§ Schuyler, Colonial New York, I., 266.

II Schuyler, Colonial New Yotk, I., 26S. Colonial Laws of N. Y.

^ N.Y. Col. Docs., v.. 272. ** N. Y. Col. Docs., V., 771.



I g8 The Public Career of Robert Livingston. [Oct.,

It is quite interesting to trace the evolution of the office of
Secretary of Indian Affairs while Livingston held it. At first he
was a mere clerk or recorder of the proceedings of a Board of
Commissioners, having no authority whatever. It is not long
before he assumes the title of Secretary of Indian Affairs, and
seldom mentions the superior commissioners. The next step was
to transact business on his own authority. Then he secured a
commission for the office for life from the crown. He had now
left the Board of Commissioners far below, and dealt directly
with the governor and the home government. The protests of
the council and of the governor show how they regarded the in-
creasing importance of the office.

Regular minutes of all conferences with the Indians was kept
from 1675. About 1750, they were collected and bound into four
large volumes, which have since been lost.*

In 17 1 1 several thousand Palatines from Germany, who had
gone to England as refugees, were sent over to New York as
wards of the government. Hunter was directed to set them to
work at producing naval stores. For this purpose he bought
6,000 acres of pine lands from Livingston for ^40° New York
currency, and upon this tract the Palatines were settled. f A con-
tract was made with Livingston to supply the settlers with bread
and beer — one-third of a four penny half penny loaf, and a quart
of beer to each person daily. Later the allowance of beer was
not given to the women and children, but only to the men who
worked. J

Through the efforts of his enemies, Livingston had come to
have in England the reputation of a sharper, and when Hunter's
purchase of land and the bread and beer contract became known,
an investigation was made by the Board of Trade. The Earl of
Clarendon (formerly Lord Cornbury), wrote to the Lords of Trade:
"I think it is unhappy that Colo. Himter at his first arrival in his
government fell into so ill hands, for this Livingston has been
known many years in that province for a very ill man, he formerly
victualled the forces at Albany in which he was guilty of most
notorious frauds by which he greatly improved his estate, he has
a Mill and a Brew house upon his lands, and if he can get the
victualling of those Palatines who are so conveniently posted for
his purpose, he will make a very good addition to his Estate, and
I am persuaded the hopes he has of such a subsistence to be
allowed by her Majesty were the Chief if not the only Induce-
ments that prevailed with him to propose to Colo. Hunter to
settle them upon his land, which is not the best place for Pine
trees. ... I am of the opinion that if the subsistence be
allowed the consequence will be that Livingston and some others
will get Estates, the Palatines will not be the richer."§

Governor Hunter appointed a board of Inspectors to govern
the Palatines, and of this board Livingston was made president.
It was provided that he was always to be a member of the board. ||



* Smith. Hist. N. Y. § Doc. Hist. N. K. III.. 39."- N. Y. Col. Docs., V.. 196.

t Doc. Hist. N. K, III., 338, 392. I Doc. Hist. N. K, III.. 401.

i Doc. Hist. N. K, III., 391-



iQOi •] The Public Career of Robert Livingston, \ on

The representatives of the Palatines made the complaint that
Livingston endeavored to get into his own hands the manage-
ment of all supplies. His private interests, they asserted, in the
subsistence of the Palatines rendered it improper for him to be
president of the board of Inspectors.*

To the charges made against him, an answer was made by his
many friends to the Lords of Trade that: "Mr. Livingston was
always known to be a careful, industrious and diligent man, who
by these more than by any other means hath got a considerable
estate. It is true that he was accused by a faction in that coun-
try of having defrauded the Govern"^ of great sums when he
subsisted the forces at Albany, but it is as true that he hath
honorably cleared himself, having fairly pas't his accounts before
a committee of Council upon which he obtained an Act of
Assembly for releasing him and his estate that was under a
sequestration until he hath so pas't his accounts; and that the
reason that induced the Gov'' to deal with him was not so much
his choice as advantage because the said Livingston made most
reasonable and fair offers. . . . That Mr. Livingston under-
took this with a prospect of advantage is so certain that it might
have created an ill opinion of him if it were otherwise."! From
the subsistence contract Livingston obtained more than ^15,000.:!:
_ Sometimes even Hunter grew suspicious of Livingston and
said rough things about him. Once, thinking Livingston had
endeavored to make trouble for him in England, he wrote: "I
know him to be the most selfish man alive. ... I have suffered
here by giving him too much countenance and if any Man has
any advantage by the Palatines it is he."§ However, they con-
tinued on good terms, and after Hunter returned to England he
was still devoted to Livingston and was able to assist him in
many ways in his dealing with the government.

In the assembly Livingston was a faithful supporter of Hunter,
who rewarded him (1715) by a confirmation of Dongan's patent
to the Manor. II The additional privilege was given of sending a
deputy to the general assembly, and in 17 16 Livingston took his
seat in the lower house as the representative of Livingston Manor.
Two years later (17 18) he was elected speaker, and held that
position until 1725, when he resigned on account of old age. The
house desired "that he would nevertheless assist them as often as
his state of health would permit during his stay in town."

Hunter upon leaving recommended Livingston to Burnet, his
successor, as a very useful and capable man in Indian affairs,!^
and he became Burnet's right hand man as he had been Hunter's.
Burnet was persuaded by Livingston to recommend the appoint-
ment of his son, Philip, to succeed him as Secretary of Indian
Affairs. The salary had been abolished, but Livingston, without
the knowledge of Burnet, managed to get it restored for his son.**
This made the governor angry, and when later he tried to have

* Doc. Hist. N. K, III., 403. il Doc. Hist. N. K, III., 414.

T Messrs. Perrv, Keill and DiiPrfi to the Lords of Trade

X Doc. Hist. N. v.. III., 393. et seq. 1 \Vm. Smith. History of N. Y., 241.

^ Doc. Hist. N.Y.,\\\.,i,



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