Document signed

James DUANE

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Item#: 3893 price:$450.00

Document signed

PERSONAL AFFIDAVIT BY NEW YORK MAYOR JAMES DUANE ON THE LOYALTY OF PHILIP LIVINGSTON, SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION

DUANE, James and BENSON, Robert. Document signed. No place [New York?], January 10, 1785. Quarto sheet, one page. $450.

Fascinating document signed by New York City mayor James Duane, attesting to the loyalty of Philip Livingston, prominent New York merchant and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The text reads: “We James Duane, Mayor of the City of New York, and one of the Judges of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas for the City and County of New York, and Robert Benson, Clerk to the said City and County, being both freeholders of the said city do hereby certify that the late Philip Livingston of the City of New York Merchant was well attached in his lifetime to the freedom and Independence of the United States of America, and took an active and decided part in the Establishment thereof.” Duane, New York jurist and eventual mayor of New York City, had reluctantly supported the Revolution. Although he sat in the Continental Congress until 1783, he was accused of disloyalty. It was only through statements by Philip Livingston, John Jay, and other colleagues that his reputation was cleared. Livingston, the prominent New York merchant and signer of the Declaration of Independence, actively participated in the Revolutionary cause, but could not, however, “be regarded as one who forced an affirmative answer when the question of independence was raised,” as he believed that an independent United States would lead to countless internal civil wars. This document, an eloquent affirmation of Livingston’s loyalty and accomplishments, is of particular interest in that Duane is apparently defending Livingston against charges similar to those that nearly destroyed his own political career several years earlier.

Very good condition, mounted.

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