American statesman. Delegate to the Continental Congress (1775-76, 1779-81, 1784-85).
Member of the committee which drafted the Declaration of Independence.
Became secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (1781). In this capacity he was involved in negotiations with the French.
Active in New York politics, serving as Chancellor (1777-1801) and as a delegate to the New York ratifying convention for the Constitution. As minister to France (1801-04), he helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase.
Born in New York City. Cousin of William, Philip, and Peter Van Brugh Livingston. Married in 1770 to Mary Stevens; two daughters.