Brother Jonathan’s Images, No. 1. (Formerly Continental Images, by Gregory J. W. Urwin, Phd.

) Colonel Henry Beekman Livingston, 4th New York Regiment Artist: Charles Willson Peale Year: Circa 1778-1780 Collection: Smithsonian

Henry Beekman Livingston was born on November 9, 1750. He was the son of Judge Robert Livingston and Margaret Beekman. This scion of a politically prominent family grew up at Clermont Manor on the Hudson River . With the outbreak of the War of Independence, Livingston received an appointment as a captain in the 4th New York Regiment on June 28, 1775. That command had been authorized by the Continental Congress on May 25, 1775, to serve out the year. It consisted of ten companies drawn from Ulster , Duchess, Orange , and Suffolk Counties . The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th New York Regiments marched north to participate in the Rebel invasion of Canada . Captain Livingston was detached from his regiment in July to serve as an aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Richard Montgomery, a former officer of the British Army who had married the captain’s sister Janet on July 24, 1773. Livingston followed his brother-in-law to the gates of Quebec , where the latter fell trying to storm the city’s works on December 31, 1775. After that disaster, Livingston learned that Congress had voted to award him a sword worth $100 for his role in Montgomery ’s earlier victory at Chambly . Promoted to major, Livingston joined the staff of Major General Philip Schuyler in February 1776 and served again as an aide-de-camp until November of that year. New York raised a new 4th Regiment consisting of eight companies in the spring of 1776 to serve once again to the year’s end. The devastatingly successful campaign that General William Howe conducted to capture New York City taught Continental authorities the folly of short-term enlistments. The 4th New York Regiment was accordingly resurrected early in 1777 with men enlisted for three years or the duration. Henry Beekman Livingston had been named colonel of this third incarnation of the 4th New York on November 21, 1776. He would go on to lead the regiment through the Battle of Freeman’s Farm in 1777, the winter encampment at Valley Forge , and the Battle of Monmouth in 1778. Livingston resigned his commission and returned to civilian life on January 13, 1779. Colonel Livingston married Anne Hume Shippen, the daughter of Dr. William Shippen, on March 11, 1781. He would go on to live a long life, dying on November 5, 1831, at the age of eighty. In this magnificent portrait miniature by Charles Willson Peale, Colonel Livingston wears a white regimental coat with scarlet facings and lining. The coat’s buttons are gilt, and a gold epaulette adorns Livingston ’s right shoulder. (As a field officer, he probably also sports an epaulette on his left shoulder). He wears a white ruffled shirt with a white neck stock. Livingston ’s waistcoat, however, is scarlet, and it is trimmed down the front with gold lace and gilt buttons. The colonel wears his hair powdered and en queue with side curls. Livingston ’s portrait confirms the written record. In late 1778, the rank and file of the 4th New York Regiment received white coats with red facings and lining. In an additional touch of sartorial splendor, these garments had brass

buttons. The men were also issued coveralls and black felt caps with hair crests. The regiment’s armament consisted of French muskets. Livingston wears the version of this uniform that he and his officers purchased for themselves. For more on the 4th New York, see Don Troiani’s reconstruction of the lower ranks’ uniform and James Kochan’s accompanying text in Don Troiani’s Soldiers of the American Revolution (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2007), p. 120.

Brother Jonathan’s Images Consortium Neal T. Hurst John U. Rees R. Scott Stephenson Matthew C. White ________________________________________ (Series introduction below.)

(July 2012) Welcome to the military artwork series, Brother Jonathan’s Images. We will be following the same premise as Redcoat Images moderated by Dr. Greg Urwin (now nearing 1,900 installments). Greg began this new series, originally called Continental Images, in August 2010 with two contributions. His Redcoat Images project continued on and eclipsed the newcomer. Our small consortium thought that artwork showing the soldiers and uniforms of the fledgling republic’s military forces is well worth disseminating and we now continue with Dr. Urwin’s blessings. The series will cover the period 1753 to the end of 1799, the first date denoting George Washington’s rise in military service and the latter coinciding with his death after serving as commander-in-chief and first president of the United States. Images will include militia, officers (including foreign volunteers), and soldiers of the Confederation and early Republic. The narratives will focus on clothing and officers’ careers, but other pertinent information will be presented as well. Guest contributors will be considered, and anyone with information, images, or artwork sources they wish to share please email Neal Hurst at With that in mind, we hope to make this an informative and entertaining, as well as a collaborative effort. Our first installments will begin with Greg Urwin’s Continental Images Nos. 1 and 2, renamed Brother Jonathan’s Images to reflect the wider umbrella. Our initial contribution, No. 3, will immediately follow. ______________________ “The British were very civil, and indeed they generally were after they had received a check from Brother Jonathan for any of their rude actions.” Connecticut soldier Joseph Plumb Martin writing in his 1830 memoir of the October 1776 Battle of White Plains.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful