Philip Livingstone: One of the Twelve Signers

United States Declaration of Independence

By Rev. David T. Myers - Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History:

Many Presbyterians know that the Scotch-Irish had a pivotal part in the birth of our country. But they may not be aware that there were twelve Presbyterians who put their names on the line as well as their sacred honor to actually sign their name on the Declaration of Independence. Philip Livingstone was one of those signers.

Livingstone came from a distinguished family. His grandfather had been a minister in the Church of Scotland; refusing to take an oath of allegiance to King Charles II, he fled to Holland where he was pastor of a Presbyterian Church. Livingstone’s father, Robert, came to the colonies where Philip was born on January 15, 1716. At age 17, Philip graduated from Yale College with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business. Moving to New York City, he soon made his mark as a merchant and importer. In 1740, he married Christina Ten Broeck, with whom he would father nine children.

His time in New York City would be spent in both political and civic organizations, serving as an alderman and as a governor of New York Hospital, participating in the founding of what later became Columbia University, and in the founding of a library. The national scene of the colonies did not escape his spiritual gifts as he was selected as one of the delegates from New York state to the First Continental Congress.