Christina Ten Broeck Livingston
Wife of Philip Linvingston – Signer of the Declaration of Independence
1718 – 1801 A.D.
Christina Ten Broeck Livingston, the wife of Philip Livingston, fourth son of the second Lord of the Livingston Manor, and distinguished as “Philip the Signer,” came of that sturdy, thrifty Ditch stock that for the first century, after the founding of New Amsterdam, dominated the sparse Colony that was being built up along the Hudson River. Her great grandfather, Dirck Wesselse Ten Broeck, was an Indian trader, and the first record we have of him, in 1663, he bought from her heirs, the house and lot in Beverwyck, formerly owned and occupied by Annetje Jans Bogardus, paying for the property 1000 guilders in beaver skins. When the “ancient town of Beverwyck or Albany” received its charter in 1686, Dirck Wesselse Ten Broeck was named first in the list of alderman. Afterward, he was Recorder and then Mayor. His son was also Alderman and Recorder and his grandson Richard (or Dirck) who married Margarita Cuyler, was a man of affairs, Alderman, Recorder, and Mayer. Christina was their third child.
Philip and Christina Livingston were married about 1740. He was a prosperous young business man in New York and soon began to take an interest in public affairs, being elected Alderman from the East Ward in 1754 and re-elected for nine years in succession. He was a member of the Provincial Assembly together with George Clinton, Pierre Van Cortland, General Philip Schuyler, Abraham Ten Broeck, and Charles DeWitt. He was chosen a member of the first Congress that met in Philadelphia in 1774, during which session John Adams wrote of him in his diary: “Philip Livingston is a great, rough, rapid mortal. There is no holding any conversation with him. He blusters away – says if England should turn us adrift, we should instantly go to civil wars among ourselves, to determine which Colony should govern all the rest.” Either Philip Livingston changed his mind or else had intentionally misled the young Bostonian, for in the next Congress his name was placed on the Declaration of Independence.
At this time, Mrs. Livingston and her younger children were living in Brooklyn Heights and it was in this house that the council of war was held at which the American generals decided upon the retreat from Long Island. Philip Livingston, himself, was at the time in Philadelphia in attendance upon Congress. Soon afterward the family removed to Esopus (Kingston, N.Y.).
Nine children were born to Christina and Philip Livingston.
Reference: The Pioneer Mothers of America: A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, A.B. Third Volume, Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.