Robert R. Livingston Born 1746 — Died at Albany, March 26, 1813
This statue is located in the courtroom of the New York Court of Appeals in Albany and placed there by the bar of the State.
In his right hand, he holds a scroll containing the procedure of the Court of Chancery which he remolded as the Court of Equity.
Robert R. Livingston was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and the first chancellor/Judge of the State of New York in 1777, when the first New York Constitution was adopted.
“Chancellor n. from the old English legal system, a chancellor is a judge who sits in what is called a chancery (equity) court with the power to order something be done.” (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Chancellor)
This was the highest judicial position in the state of these times. He was also known as one of the greatest lawyers of the revolutionary era. He helped formulate the Court of Appeals in New York when the old Court of Errors abolished in 1846.
His most important contribution during this period was when he administered the oath of office to President Washington April 30, 1789 and his involvement on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence with Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. However, at the time of signing the Declaration of Independence, he was elsewhere working on New York City’s constitution and forming its committee.
Robert R. Livingston was one of the most prominent revolutionary leader and statesmen of his day. He led an honorable life. I respect his drive for independence for all our nation; He was the first confederation secretary for foreign affairs and played a major role regarding peace with Great Britain. He was a man of liberal principles of equal liberty. He has earned his position of honor.