Phillip Livingston

Grandson of a Scottish minister and son of a New York land baron who owned about 250 square miles of land around New York City and along the Hudson River, Phillip Livingston at first demonstrated the hauteur and patronizing attitude usually associated with an English gentleman. Although suspicious and critical of the Sons of Liberty, he had protested Parliament’s unwarranted taxes and supported non-importation. As a sixty year old multi-millionaire merchant in Congress, he began with a more moderate view of relations with Britain. When the King rebuffed olive branch petitions, Livingston committed to armed resistance–he took the pledge, signed his name and lost a good bit of his fortune as a result.