Morrison's Pensions


Pension Application for Richard Livingston

Sp.BL. Wt for 640 acres Canadian refugee
References &c in relation to Rich’d Livingston, dec’d who was a Canadian Refugee and Lieut-Colonel (1) in the Reg’t commanded by Col. James Livingston in the New York Continental Line.—
            Resolutions of Congress relating to Refugees from Canada and Nova Scotia—
            See Journals of Congress  Vol. 4. Page 193 23d April 1783.
            See Journals of Congress  Vol. 4, pages 498, 13th April 1785.
            Act of Congress for the relief of Refugees from the British Provinces of Canada and Nova Scotia approved 7th April 1798 by the 4th section of which act, it is required of the Secretary of the Dept. of War, to lay such evidence of claims, as he may have received, before the Secretary and Comptroller of the Treasury, and with them proceed to examine the testimony and give their judgment what quantity of land ought to be allowed to the individual Claimants &c. &c.—
            Abstract of evidence, filed in the office of the Clerk of the Ho. of Repe’ts [House of Representative] upon which an act for the relief of the heirs at law Rich’d Livingston, dec’d was passed, and approved the 27th June 1934.  See sessions Acts, Page 49.
            The Petitioners, Richard, & Stephen Livingston (2), sons of Rich’d Livingston, dec’d state that, their father, before and at the commencement of the Revolutionary War was, as they were informed and believed, a Quarter Master in the service of the King of Great Britain, and a resident in Montreal, that when the American Army retreated from Canada, their father, with his family removed there from into the State of N. York and was soon after appointed a Lieut.-Colonel in a Reg’t commanded by Col. James Livingston in the Army of the U. States, that he continued to reside in the State of N. York until about the year 1785.  When he died, leaving the Petitioners infants—that they are now the only children and heirs living of their deceased father &c.
            Col. James Livingston in his depositions made on the 7th Dec’b 1826, and the 11th Jan’y 1828.  States that Richard Livingston, the father of Richard and Stephen Livingston was his brother, that Rich Livingston Dec’d resided in Montreal in Canada before the year 1770, and continued to reside there until the latter part of the year 1776 and that he was a Quarter Master in the service of Great Britain.  That when the American Army retreated from Canada said Rich’d Livingston Dec’d in consequence of his having given aid to the U. States, and with intent to give further aid to the U. States, abandoned his settlement in Canada and removed to the State of N. York, and shortly after was appointed Lieut. Colonel in his, the said James Livingstons Reg’t..—That in the year 1781 the said Reg’t was reduced; and the said Richard continued to live in the State of N. York until his death.  That he had a Family when he removed from Canada and that the petitioner Richard Livingston was a member of that family and did not return to Canada until after the 25th Oct. 1783, and resided there but a short time, and then returned to the State of N. York where he has ever since resided.
            Certificate of the Commissioner of the Gen’l Land office dated 12th Feb’y 1827 showing that, in an examination of the Records and the plot of the Refugee Tract, no location appeared to have been made in the name of Rich’d Livingston.
            Printed Reports of the Committee on Revolutionary claims in the House of Representatives made on the 15th Feb’y 1827, 9th Feb’y 1830, 24th Feby 1832 and 23d Decm’b 1833, in each of which house is asked to report on a Bill for the relief of the heirs of Rich’d Livingston, dec’d.
            On examination of official records on file in the Treasury Dept. it appears that Richard Livingston, entered the service as Lieut. Col. in the Regt commanded by Col.  Jas. Livingston in the N. York Continental line, on the 18th Dec’b 1776 and that his name was omitted on the rolls of said Regt in Aug’t 1779.
            It further appears by said Records that in Jan’y 1791 lands were granted by the State of N. York in right of Rich’d Livingston for his services as a Lt Colonel in the Continental line of that State as follows.


In Township 26

Lots M. 35
M. 85
M. 36
M. 45

600 acres
420 acres
600 acres
600 acres
2250 Acres

            It also appears that he received as a Canadian Refugee under an act of the Legislature of N. York passed the 11th May 1784.  2 lots of 80 acres each and 2 lots of 420 acres each making 1,000
                                                   3250 acres
            The name of Richard Livingston is not returned on the list of officers of the Revolutionary Army, among those entitled to bounty lands from the U. States, as it is inferred therefore, that he left the service in 1779 (being the period at which it appears his name was omitted on the Rolls of the Reg’t to which he was attached) under circumstances that precluded him the right to that bounty.
            There is not, in the case of Richard Livingston, and loss of property stated, it is therefore probable that, no such loss was sustained.—The grounds upon which the claimant would be entitled to lands, appears to be, first the abandonment of his Settlement at Montreal and his office of Quarter Master in the service of Great Britain in order to support the American Cause.—Secondly, the services which he rendered in support of that cause.
            In estimating the quantity of land to which the heirs of Ric’d Livingston dec’d might be considered as intitled to under the Act of Congress of the 7th April 1798 regard should be had to that provision in the 4th section of said Act which required & that in considering what compensation ought to be made by the virtue of this act, all grants except military grants, which may have been made by the W. States, or shall be considered at the just value thereof at the time they were made, respectively, either in whole or part, as the case may be, a satisfaction to those who may have received the same.”
            The grant of 2250 acres of land in 1791 by the State of N. York to the heirs of Rich’s Livingston was strictly a Military grant being in consideration of his services as a Lieut. Colonel in the continental Army, and in the line of that State.—
            The 1000 acres of land granted to Rich Livingston under an Act of the Legislature of N. York, providing lands for Refugees from the Province of Canada & Nova Scotia, cannot be considered a Military grant; as all persons who removed from said Provinces, pending the War of the Revolution, and prior to the year 1782, in consequence of their attachment to, or of their intention to aid the American cause, whether they engaged in the Military services of the U. States, or not, were entitled to lands according to the provision of that Act.—
            Reference has been had to abstracts of reports, obtained at the Comptrollers Office in relation to the cases of Col. James Livingston, and Capt. Abraham Livingston, (3) both of whom were Canadian Refugees; and officers, who served to the close of the War in the continental Line of the Army.
            In regard to Col. James Livingston, it appears that, he received Military bounty lands from the U. States, and from the State of New York, Viz #500 acres from the former and 3000 from the latter—As a Canadian Refugee, he received from the State of N. York, 1000 acres, and in the same character, received from the U. States, under the Act of Congress of the 18th Feb’y 1801 the quantity of 1280 acres.
            The testimony reported in the case of Col. Jas. Livingston in support of his claim for land from the U. States, as a Canadian Refugee, shows that, he was possessed of considerable property, and sustained great losses by reason of his attachment to, and joining the American cause—The amount of losses he sustained, as exhibited and sworn to by himself before the Chief Justice of the State of N. York, show a total loss amounting to $10,400.
            In regard to Abraham Livingston, it appears that he received lands from the same sources and under the same laws, that the several grants of lands were made to Col. James Livingston except under the act of Congress of the 7th Ap’l 1798.  The testimony filed in his case shows that, “Having been a resident of Canada and a Clerk “to Mrs Oakes &c in the Indian or Fur trade, until the said Province was invaded by the American Army in 1775 he then joined the said army and continued in Service to the end of the war”—In this case it does not appear that the individual made any sacrifices or suffered any losses whatever.  He received 1000 acres of land from the State of N. York as a Refugee, which quantity it would appear, was considered as a full compensation to him as such; it not appearing that the provisions of the Act of Congress relating to “Refugees” were ever extended to him.
            The case of Colo. James Livingston is presented for the purpose of showing that Congress, in granting him lands by their Act of 7th April 1798 was influenced by the consideration of the heavy losses he sustained by the abandonment and consequent confiscation of his Property in the Province of Canada, in connection with his services in the American Army as a Colonel, commanding a Reg’t to the close of the war.—
            The case of Capt. Ab’m Livingston has been made the subject of reference, in order to show that, although he served as a Captain in the Continental line of the army until the close of the War, yet, as he had rec’d Military grants of land from the U. States and from the State of N. York, and also a grant of 1000 acres of land from said State as a Canadian Refugee, and it not appearing that he had made sacrifices or suffered losses, Congress refused to extend to him, the provision of the Act of the 7th April 1798.
            Nothing appears in the papers and evidence laid before the committee of Revolutionary claims, in the several reports of that committee in the case of Rich’d Livingstons heirs, indicating the quantity of land which had been granted to said heirs by the State of N. York: particularly the land granted them in right of their Father, in his character of a Canadian Refugee.  It is possible therefore, that the facts in relation to these grants, were not made a subject of inquiry by the Committee and were, perhaps, unknown to them—Whether a knowledge of them would have produced any change in the views of that committee in regard to the rights of the claimants can only be conjectured at this time.  Bounty Land Office Feb’y 20th 1835.

End Notes, Richard Livingston

    1. Lieutenant-Colonel on the 18 of December 1776 was in the First Canadian Continental Regiment commanded by his brother Colonel James Livingston.
    2. Stephen Livingston had a home in Johnstown.  It has now been torn down.
    3. Abraham Livingston, another brother, had been Captain of the First Company in the First Canadian Regiment.  In 1781 he was appointed Captain in Colonel Marinus Willett’s Regiment of New York State Levies.

                It should also be noted the Jacob Sammons and William Wallace had served as Lieutenants in this regiment also Henry Stoner with his two son, John who had served as a drummer under Captain Livingston and Fifer Nicholas Stoner who served under Captain Peter Van Rensselaer.

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