American Statesmen: Secretaries of State from John Jay to Colin Powell

By Edward S. Mihalkanin | Go to book overview

EDWARD LIVINGSTON (1764-1836)

Served 1831-1833

Appointed by President Andrew Jackson

Democrat

Misfortune, wrote the biographer of Edward Livingston, followed Livingston's footsteps from the end of his first congressional career in 1801 to the end of his life. Yet despite repeated setbacks, both personal and political, Livingston persevered to become secretary of state and minister to France under Andrew Jackson. Though not given much latitude or responsibility in foreign affairs as secretary of state by Jackson, this “Montesquieu of the Cabinet, ” so called because of his scholarship and Francophilia, shown most brightly in his post in Paris following his duties in Washington.

Livingston was born May 28, 1764, at Clermont, Columbia County, New York. Receiving his early education at home at Esopus, now Kingston, New York, he graduated from Nassau Hall (Princeton University) in 1781 and studied law in Albany and New York, counting among his fellow students Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. He was admitted to the bar in 1785 and began a law practice in New York City. He married a merchant's daughter, Mary McEvers, in 1788, and their union produced three children.

Born into a wealthy family long powerful in the politics of New York, Livingston received his political tutelage from his brilliant brother, Robert, member of the Continental Congress, secretary of foreign affairs during the Confederation, and envoy to France. Livingston early on met important national figures, such as Lafayette, Washington, Jefferson, and of course, Hamilton and Burr and developed a wide circle of acquaintances. Livingston was a devoted defender of the Republic and often expressed strong nationalistic views. Yet, guided by the example of his brother (17 years his senior), he developed a cosmopolitan view of the world that included a healthy respect for France and a disdain for Britain (due, in part, from British troops having burned the family's home during the Revolution).

After serving in Congress from 1795 to 1801, where he was one of the leaders opposing Jay's Treaty, Livingston was appointed federal district attorney and, later, mayor of New York. Livingston served admirably during an epidemic of yellow

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American Statesmen: Secretaries of State from John Jay to Colin Powell
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Credo vii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Introduction xix
  • Dean Acheson (1893-1971) 1
  • John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) 20
  • Madeleine Albright (1937-) 34
  • Robert Bacon (1860-1919) 41
  • James Baker III (1930-) 43
  • Thomas F. Bayard (1828-1898) 51
  • Jeremiah S. Black (1810-1883) 58
  • James G. Blaine (1830-1893) 61
  • William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) 74
  • James Buchanan (1791-1868) 83
  • James F. Byrnes (1879-1972) 88
  • John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) 98
  • Lewis Cass (1782-1866) 105
  • Warren Christopher (1925-) 116
  • Henry Clay (1777-1852) 123
  • John M. Clayton (1796-1856) 135
  • Bainbridge Colby (1869-1950) 141
  • William R. Day (1849-1923) 149
  • John Foster Dulles (1888-1959) 163
  • Lawrence S. Eagleburger (1930-) 179
  • William M. Evarts (1818-1901) 182
  • Edward Everett (1794-1865) 188
  • Hamilton Fish (1808-1893) 191
  • John Forsyth (1780-1841) 200
  • John W. Foster (1836-1917) 213
  • Frederick T. Frelinghuysen (1817-1885) 220
  • Walter Q. Gresham (1832-1895) 226
  • Alexander M. Haig, Jr. (1924-) 234
  • John Hay (1838-1905) Served 1898-1905 238
  • Christian Herter (1895-1966) 247
  • Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948) 254
  • Cordell Hull (1871-1955) 263
  • John Jay (1745-1829) 273
  • Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) 279
  • Frank B. Kellogg (1856-1937) 293
  • Henry Kissinger (1923-) 299
  • Philander C. Knox (1853-1921) 307
  • Robert Lansing (1864-1928) 314
  • Hugh S. Legaré (1797-1843) 325
  • Edward Livingston (1764-1836) 328
  • James Madison (1751-1836) 334
  • William L. Marcy (1786-1857) 348
  • George C. Marshall (1880-1959) 351
  • Bibliographical Essay 363
  • John Marshall (1755-1835) 364
  • Louis Mclane (1786-1857) 368
  • James Monroe (1758-1831) 373
  • Edmund S. Muskie (1914-1996) 389
  • Richard Olney (1835-1917) 393
  • Timothy Pickering (1745-1829) 400
  • Colin Powell (1937-) 406
  • Edmund Randolph (1753-1813) 416
  • William P. Rogers (1913-2001) 421
  • Elihu Root (1845-1937) 430
  • Dean Rusk (1909-1994) 443
  • William H. Seward (1801-1872) 450
  • John Sherman (1823-1900) 466
  • George P. Shultz (1920-) 472
  • Robert Smith (1757-1842) 478
  • Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. (1900-1949) 484
  • Henry L. Stimson (1867-1950) 491
  • Abel P. Upshur (1790-1844) 498
  • Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) 504
  • Bibliographical Essay 511
  • Cyrus Vance (1917-2002) 512
  • Elihu B. Washburne (1816-1887) 521
  • Daniel Webster (1782-1852) 523
  • List of Contributors 535
  • Quick Reference Chronology of Secretaries of State 537
  • Index 541
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