Robert James Livingston (1811-1891)

Robert J. Livingston, of New York City, Lake Delaware & New Brunswick N.J.

Associated Houses

Lake House

Lake Delaware

Mills Mansion


He was born in New York City and grew up between there and his grandfather's house in Staatsburgh that forms the core of today's Mills Mansion. He studied civil engineering at Yale and after graduating worked with the U.S. Coast Survey Service, taking part in the first expedition to triangulate America's coastline. After his marriage (1832) he took a job that would keep him closer to home and became a stockbroker on Wall Street with the firm of Christmas, Prime, Livingston, & Coster. The business failed in 1842 and Livingston retired, spending more time at his farm in New Jersey. He kept active as a founding director of the Children's Aid Society; a co-founder of the Home for Incurables; and, by the time he died he was one of the longest serving members of the New York Hospital and President of the Board of Governors.

In 1832, he married Louisa, daughter of the diarist Garrit Storm and a maternal grand-daughter of Isaac Gouverneur of the mercantile firm of Gouverneur & Kemble. They were the parents of two children but their son died in 1857 leaving their daughter (Mrs Elbridge T. Gerry) as sole heir to her father's considerable property - it was reported that he left "a large fortune" at his death. He lived between his  townhouse at 10 East 48th Street near Fifth Avenue; his summer house, Lake House, at Lake Delaware; and, his farm at Raritan in New Jersey's Somerset Hills.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 21/11/2018 and last updated on 31/05/2022.