Although he was a zealous Presbyterian partisan, passionate foe of Anglicanism, and staunch Livingstonite in politics, he could never embrace the Patriot cause and initially espoused neutrality, arguing in 1775 that he "would list on neither side during the present troubles." A New York historian and legal scholar, Smith was evidently unable to choose between his religious convictions (or prejudices) and his political beliefs, which enshrined the empire and the British Constitution.
William Smith, Jr., for example, was a male, age 48 in 1776, English and French Huguenot by ancestry, New Yorker by birth, Presbyterian in religion, Livingstonite in politics and marriage, Yale graduate, legal scholar, historian, land speculator, royal placeman, and earnest champion of the empire.
Livingstonites shrewdly exploited their bitter brawl with Anglicans over the type of college to be founded in New York to bolster their support among Presbyterians and the Dutch Reformed.
The dispute over bishops also spurred Livingstonites to action.
They expelled two Livingstonites from the Assembly and elected one of their own as speaker.
The fact that Livingstonites intensely disliked Colden surely validated his prejudices.
These included baumhauerite, freieslebenite, livingstonite
and meneghinite, as well as some familiar species like proustite.