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Livingston, Edward:see under LivingstonLivingston,
family of American statesmen, diplomats, and jurists. Robert R. Livingston (1654–1728)
Robert R. Livingston, 1654–1728, b. Roxburghshire, Scotland, was raised in Holland and immigrated to America in 1673 after his father died.
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Livingston, Edward(1764–1836) lawyer, statesman; born in Columbia County, N.Y. A member of the distinguished Livingston family, he studied law and went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives (Dem.-Rep., N.Y.; 1795–1801). He held the offices of U.S. attorney and mayor of New York City simultaneously (1801–04) but resigned when a business associate all but ruined him financially. He moved to New Orleans and began to practice law and pay off his debts when he was unfairly implicated in Aaron Burr's conspiracy to set up an independent nation (1806). For many years he was involved in a legal dispute over real estate that eventually led him into conflict with Thomas Jefferson. During the War of 1812 he took a lead in the defense of New Orleans (1814–15). He spent many years and gained a wide reputation for his work on attempting to reform the penal laws of Louisiana. He went back to the U.S. House of Representatives (Dem.-Rep., La.; 1823–29) and then to the U.S. Senate (1829–31). His old friend, President Andrew Jackson, appointed him secretary of state (1831–33) and then ambassador to France (1833–35); his major accomplishment in these offices was to oversee the negotiations that led to France's repaying American citizens for losses suffered during the Napoleonic wars.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.