Papers of John Adams, volume 4

From William Tudor

From Joseph Frye

42 From Elisha Boudinot, 2 March 1776 Boudinot, Elisha JA From Elisha Boudinot, 2 March 1776 Boudinot, Elisha Adams, John
From Elisha Boudinot
Dear Sir New York 2 March 1776

I must beg the Liberty of introducing to your acquaintance, Capt. Harry G. Livingston1 of New York. He is a young Gentleman who has not been sparing of his Time nor fortune in the publick Service. He is recommended by the provincial Congress of New York as a Lieut. Colonel. There are few young Gentlemen better qualified than he is, as he has been indefatigable in acquiring the military Art since the commencement of these Troubles, and has brought his Company of Fuzileers equal to any in the Regular Service. As the Livingston family almost to a man have been foremost in the American Cause, and must be made Objects of Ministerial Vengeance if ever we are reduced; I think it is no more than a Debt of Generosity to encourage their laudable expectations. I must therefore beg your Interest in getting the nomination of the New York Congress confirmed to him.

The first Time I have the pleasure of seeing you will apologize for this Freedom.

My Compliments to Mr. Saml. Adams and believe me to be with Respect Sir Your oblidged Hble. Sevt., Elisha Boudinot2

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “To John Adams Esqr. Philadelphia favd. by Cap. Livingston”; docketed: “Mr. Boudinots Letter March 2d. 1776.”


Henry G. Livingston (1754–1817), son of Robert Gilbert Livingston, was nominated by the New York Provincial Congress on 28 Feb., together with seven others, for a lieutenant colonelcy in one of the four regiments (also called battalions) then being formed; but when the Continental Congress voted on 8 March, he was not chosen to be one of the four lieutenant colonels or for any other field-officer rank (Rev. George B. Kinkead, comp., “Gilbert Livingston and Some of His Descendants,” N.Y. Genealogical and Biographical Record, 84:8, 102–103 [Jan. and April 1953]; Force, Archives , 4th ser., 5:317; JCC , 4:190).


Elisha Boudinot (1749–1819) was a younger brother of Elias Boudinot, member of the Continental Congress from New Jersey, 1777–1778 and 1781–1783. Elisha was a Newark lawyer and an active whig, passing along important intelligence to the Continental Army from time to time and serving as his state's commissary of prisoners from 1778 (George Adams Boyd, Elias Boudinot, Patriot and Statesman, 1740–1821, Princeton, 1952, passim).