Revolutionary-era land indenture from the powerful Livingstone family, in which Robert C. Livingstone purchased land in the vicinity of Albany from his aunt and widow Catherine Laurence.
The indenture details the payment of five shillings to Catherine Laurence in return for the land just east of the Hudson River. The indenture is signed in the presence of Garret Abeels and Nicholas van Antwerp.
The Livingston Family
The Livingston family was one of the most prominent families in Colonial America. Robert Livingston the Elder (1654-1728), a successful fur trader and merchant, was granted Livingston Manor in New York's Hudson River Valley in 1715, which was accompanied by huge swaths of land and enormous prestige. The manor passed through his family for several generations before reaching Robert Livingston (1708-1790), the third and final Lord of Livingston Manor. Robert C. Livingstone (1751-1794) was one of the four sons of this prior Robert Livingstone.
During the American Revolution, Livingston family members were heavily involved in the war effort. A drafter and several signers of the Declaration of Independence were Livingstons, as was the first Secretary of Foreign affairs, and the first Governor of New Jersey. Livingston family members continued to hold important positions well after the Revolutionary War, but the end of primogeniture and the division of the Livingston family lands gradually reduced the prominence of the family.