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fers no further distinction on an individual than what is enjoyed in common throughout the circle in which he moves; there is reason, however, to believe, that Philip Livingston participated in its benefits at a time when it was almost exclusively confined to the learned professions, and that to his carly attainments may, in some measure, be attributed that deference to his opinions on subjects of general interest, which the mercantile pursuits that afterwards occupied his attention, would not alone have been calculated to inspire.
His entrance into public life was as a magistrate in the city of New York, where he settled as a merchant shortly after his marriage, and which he afterwards represented in the colonial general assembly, from 1759. to 1769, inclusive. The journals of that body, during his term of service, evince his fidelity towards his constituents and a constant regard for the interests and welfare of the colony. In 1764, he submitted to the house, in his capacity of chairman of a committee appointed for. that purpose, a very animated petition to the king, which was afterwards adopted, and in which the “intimation of a design” to tax - these colonies"! by laws passed in Great Britain, is made the subject of serious complaint; and, in 1768, we find his name as speaker, to an answer of the house to the celebrated Boston letter, and also, to two several memorials to the English parliament, on the subject of the existing grievances, which, in conjunction with certain explanatory resolutions, entered on the journals, occasioned the dissolution of the assembly shortly after.
The election of 1769, appears to have been warmly contested in the city and county of New York. The old members were nominated and strenuously supported by many,“for their noble and patriotic spirit, in boldly asserting and maintaining the rights and privileges of Americans,"
without fee or reward; while, on the other hand, several other citizens were held up in opposition by a party, respectable both as to numbers and character, but acting apparently under the influence of feelings excited by foriper religious controversies between the members of the church of England and the dissenters.
At the very commencement of the contest, Mr. Livingston published his determination - not to have any agency in an election which he
apprehended would be productive of the most violent heats and animosities,” and persisted in this resolution notwithstanding the solicitations of both parties to dissuade him from it; another name was accordingly substituted on the old ticket, while the friends of the new candidates made a vigorous but unsuccessful attempt to accomplish their purpose by appropriating his to themselves, without his consent. He was, also, during the same year, returned as a member from the manor of Livingston, but, although the election was unanimous, it was decided by the house that his non-residence disquaJified him from taking his seat. His constituents petitioned against the decision, but to no purpose. A detail of the various circumstances which characterized the life of Mr. Livingston, from the last mentioned period until the year 1774, would he but a record of those events which preceded and terminated in the meeting of the continental congress, as he invariably took an active part in all those measures adopted by his fellow-citizens, the object of which was to obtain redress for past grievances, or prevent their recurrence for the future. An incident, however, occurred, a few days previous to his first election to the proposed congress, which may be worthy of notice from the evidence it furnishes that the conduct of Mr. Livingston, and of his colleagues, was influenced by liberal and independent views, becoming statesmen, and not by
motives of sectional interests or individual popularity. Shortly after lis nomination as a delegate in May, 1774, a letter, signed by several gentlemen, was directed to him, in conjunction with John Jay, John Allsop, Isaac Low, and James Duane, in which they were requested, “in order to avoid the inconveniences that may arise from a contested clection," to state, explicitly, whether they would engage to use their utmost endeavours at the proposed congress, that an agreement not to import goods from Great Britain, until the American grievances should be redressed, should be entered into by the colonies;“in answer to which they observed, that they would do every thing in their power, which, in their opinion, would be conducive to the general interests of the colonies, and that, at present, they thought the proposed measure the most eficacious one that could be adopted, but concluded with, Permit us to add, that we make this declaration of our sentiments because we think it right, and not as an inducement to be favoured with your votes; nor have we the least objection in your electing any other gentlemen, as your delegates, in whom you repose greater confidence." This manly avowal was succeeded by an unanimous clection, and when the time approached for them to enter on their duties, they were escorted on the 1st of September, 1774, to the vessel in which they embarked for Philadelphia, with all those testiinonials of respect, to which their character and their cause so justiy entitled them.
From the year 1774 to 1778, Mr. Livingston was zealous and indefatigable in attending to his congressional duties, either as a representative from the colony, or the state of New York, although he was in the mean time also called on to assist in the formation of a state government, and to perform other public duties of a more local description. On the 22d of November, 1774, he was elected a
member of the association formed agreeably to a resolve of congress, to abstain from importation, &c.
In congress, be was appointed, (October 11th, 1774,) together with Messi's. Lee and Jay, to prepare a memorial to the people of British America, and an address to the people of Great Britain. On the 20th April, 1775, he was chosen president of the Provincial Congress," assembled in NewYork, for the purpose of electing out of their body, delegates to the next continental congress; and was one of the delegates. On the 8th May, 1775, he, together with his colleagues, left the city for Philadelphia, “attended by a great train to the ferry, of whom, about 500 gentlemen, including 200 as militia under arms, crossed over with them, On the 1st February, 1776, he, together with Joliu Allsop, John Jay and Alexander M.Dougal, were unanimously elected to serve for the city and county in the next general assembly." On the 16th of the ensuing April, he was elected one of the delegates to serve in the next provincial congress; and in June, 1776, he was one of the delegates then elected to serve in the provincial congress the ensuing year; with the additional power of forming a new government for the colony of New York. He was not, however, destined to witness the termination of a conflict, in the prosecution of which he had thus far redeemed the sacred pledge by which he stood coñmitted to his country. In May, 1778, he left his family, with a presentiment that what, to them appeared a temporary, would in fact be a final separation; and shortly after, having resumed his seat in congress, then sitting in York, town, Pennsylvania, he was followed to the grave by that body, whose character for wisdom, firinness and integrity, he had contributed towards establishing: whose fame has ere this been recorded in the histories of other nations than our own, and whose actions, when compared with the events of preceding ages, may justify an American in exclaiming: "Prisco juvent alios: ego me nunc denique natum
gratulor." Mr. Livingston is still remembered by many in the state of New York, as a man who, under an austere and even stern demeanour, possessed and exhibited most of those qualities, which contributo to the pleasure, and insure the happiness of the domestic circle: and who, in his intercourse with society, was distinguished by quickness of perception, and frankness of expression, united to a sound judgment and persevering habits.
As one of the founders of our independence, he foresaw the difficulties and sacrifices that were to , be encountered, and proceeded in its earliest stages with a degree of prudence and circumspection, which were warranted by his age and experience, and which served as a check on the more animated career of some of his youthful associates; when, however, “in the course of human events it became necessary to dissolve the political bands" which connected this country with Great Britain, neither considerations of personal convenience, nor the probable loss of fortune, were sufficient to prevent him from prosecuting, with ardour, a cause in which moderation and forbearance had hitherto been ineffectually tried; and but a short time previous to his death, he gave a proof of his devotion to it, by selling a portion of his private estate to support the public credit.
MARION, FRANCIS, colonel in the regular service, and brigadier-general in the militia of South Carolina, was born in the vicinity of Georgetown, in South Carolina, in the year 1733.
Young Marion, at the age of sixteen, entered on board a vessel bound to the West Indies, with a determination to fit himself for a seafaring life. On his outward passage, the vessel was upset in a gale