© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Robert Livingston (1746-1813) was a New York political leader of the Revolutionary era. He may be best known for serving on the five-man committee (alongside Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Roger Sherman) designated by the Continental Congress to draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

When Jefferson became president in 1801, he chose Livingston to serve as his ambassador to France. In that capacity, Livingston negotiated the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Authorized only to make an offer to buy the port of New Orleans, Livingston instead purchased the entire vast Louisiana Territory.

back to top