army expressed the opinion openly, that America
should be compelled to yield a revenue at the disposition of the crown.
Some of them, at New York, suggested such a requisition of quitrents, as would be virtually a general land-tax, by act of parliament.
‘While I can wield this weapon,’ cried Livingston
, the large landholder, grasping his sword, ‘England
shall never get it but with my heart's blood.’1
In the Assembly at New York, which had been chosen in the previous year, the popular party was strengthened by those who battled with Episcopacy, and the Livingstons, descendants of Scottish Presbyterians, were recognised as its leaders.
Of these were Philip, the popular alderman, a merchant of New York, and William, who represented his brother's manor, a scholar, and an able lawyer, the incorruptible advocate of civil and religious liberty, in manners plain, by his nature republican.
Nor may Robert R. Livingston
, of Duchess County, be forgotten,—an only son, heir to very large estates, a man of spirit and honor, keenly sensitive to right, faultless as a son, a son-in-law, a husband, possessing a gentleness of nature and a candor that ever endeared him to the friends of freedom.
In the opinion of Cadwallader Colden
, the president of the Council,2
‘the democratical or popular part’ of the American
constitution ‘was too strong for the other parts, and in time might swallow them both up, and endanger the dependence of the plantations ’