I’m not sure if became as despised as some more recent chief executives of the state, but on August 31, 1776, William Livingston was elected the first governor of New Jersey under the new constitution.

Things were done a little differently back then. According to the book On This Day in New Jersey History, Livingston was not elected by a popular vote of the citizenry, he was elected by the legislature and his term was only one year. Can you imagine if the term was still only one year? The governor (whoever it is) would spend the totality of their term campaigning for their next term. They might not even have enough time to raise taxes! Just kidding, they would still hike spending and then give us the bill.

Anyway, back to Livingston... He was born in Albany and practiced law in New York before moving to Elizabeth where he lived for a while with Alexander Hamilton. He was elected to serve in the New Jersey delegation of the Continental Congress. He was elected governor in 1776 and was reelected annually until his death in 1790, according to Wikipedia. Livingston’s country home still stands today.

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