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The career of William Livingston, New Jersey's first elected governor, is one marked by distinction and strong leadership. Now students and researchers can access the papers of Livingston through this microfilm collection.

Livingston had already retired when, in 1774, critical events called him to serve in the First and Second Continental Congress. He resigned from the Congress in June 1776 to assume command of the East Jersey militia.

His active military career ended three months later upon his election by the state legislature as New Jersey's governor. As a wartime leader, he energetically spread anti-British propaganda, guided the state militia, and established the Council of Safety--which was devoted to harrassing British sympathizers. He also founded the New Jersey Gazette in 1777 as a vehicle for his vitriolic hatred of Loyalists.

The collection, which spans Livingston's unprecedented 14 terms as state governor, includes:


  • official and family correspondence
  • speeches
  • committee reports
  • military orders
  • legal documents
  • Council of Safety testimonies
  • pseudonymous writings and satires

Among Livingston's noteworthy correspondents are John Adams, John Hancock, George Washington, and Thomas Wharton, Jr.

This collection provides a major resource for any study of American Revolutionary War history, literary and political history of the U.S., and New Jersey state, local, and family history.

Information was gathered from New York University.



Titles from the Massachusetts Historical Society Collections may be purchased by individual reel.

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