Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828)

Robert R. Livingston (1746–1813), ca. 1794

Oil on canvas
New-York Historical Society Museum, Gift of Goodhue Livingston, Jr., 1960.89

Robert R. Livingston (1746–1813) practiced law in New York City in partnership with John Jay. He was a delegate to the third and fourth provincial congresses and helped draft the state constitution. Livingston was a delegate to the Continental and Confederation congresses and was on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. He was the first confederation secretary for foreign affairs until 1784 and he served as New York's chancellor, the chief equity judge. He was a member of the New York Ratifying Convention, and his notes of the debates are valuable in understanding the last, crucial days of the convention. As the highest ranking judicial officer in New York, he administered the oath of office to George Washington as president on April 30, 1789.