William Livingston
Henry Livingston, Sr.

A Packet of Old Letters
Dutchess County Year Book Volume 6, 1921, p.52-3

Dear Sir

I am very glad to hear that you'r opposed to that unrighteous Scheme of a Church College which hath caused so great uneasiness in the Province, as your Relations here universally are. I think it absolutely incumbent on every man who love his Country or regards the welfare of his Posterity to prevent so dangerous an Encroachment on his Rights and Priviledges as to suffer any Sect to introduce such Tests for any civil Office as will oblidge the Candidate to commune in an Episcopal Church as a necessary Qualification. This would gradually introduce that antient Yoke of Bondage to escape which our Forefathers abandoned their native Country and were prosecuted for their noble opposition like the most flagitious Malefactors.

It is evident to me that the Church of England in this Province has been studying to aggrandize itself on the Ruin of all other Denominations ever since it has had an existence in it. This has been proved by the Author of the Watch Tower in a Series of undeniable Facts. And their Present contention for appropriating the monies raised for a free College to one on their own plan, and under their sole management is so glaring an imposition on the good People of this Province, and big with such prodigious and complicated mischief, that I am surprized that the People remained so long supine and idolent about it. But it seems they are at length aroused out of their Lethargy and the Church Project is become the object of general abhorrence.

What has happily tended to awake those who were before indifferent about it was the late base and perfidious method which the Governors of the Charter College took to get the Charter confirmed and the monies invested in them, by Act of Assembly at the Beginning of last Sessions, and in the absence of severall Assembly members known to be averse to the Schem. But this project luckily miscarried for the Present by a majority of two or three, and so the Consideration of the Petition of the Governor was postponed till after september next.

In order to prevent the Prayer of this Petition from being granted it is thought the best expedient by the Friends of a free College here to petition for a hearing by Council before any Thing is done therein and to get as many People as possible to sign such Counter Petition as it is not to be supposed that the Assembly will pass the confirming Act without a hearing contrary to the request of a considerable part of the Province. And if we can obtain a hearing we are sure of rendering the several Steps & measures taken by the Church so black and odious and shew the unreasonableness of their claim in so strong a light that we hope no Assembly unless one stark mad will ever be drawn into their Project. For this purpose I inclose you a Copy of the Petition for your County not doubting you will use your Influence to get as many as possible to subscribe.

I amm Sir your humble serv
Wm Livingston

...public discussion of the affairs of Kings (now Columbia) College, New York. William Livingston (supposedly identical with William Livingston, "the Presbyterian lawyer" so called, whow as Governor of New Jersey 1776-1790) wrote the following undated but able and feeling protest to his cousin at Poughkepsie in regard to ecclesiastical and collegiate questions.


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