MVB to D[e]W[itt] Clinton, 16 April 1808
Knowing your solicitude for the success of our cause I hasten to communicate to you the proceedings of a meeting we had in the Town of Claverack yesterday which if it does not satisfy you of the probability of our success in this county will at least shew that we deserve it.
I yesterday in the afternoon in Company with mr Abrm. L Van Alen of this place took a ride to the south part of this town & the north of Clavk, where I understood that Williams & Van Rensselear had called a meeting this day & that he ^(Williams)^ had circulated a report that he had given me a challenge to attend there & discuss the propriety of the Embargo &c. I was equally surprised and enraged
at ^by^ this Information as I had seen him the day before and he had not spoken to me on the subject but on the Contrary had kept their Intention to have the meeting a profound secret from us I knew that if we did not attend they would be mean enough to state to the people that I had been as invited to come there but dare not. We had but a few hours to act & every thing to do. We went Immediately to our friend John Cs. and sent information to Hudson & to the Village of Claverack, we then rallyed our friends in this town and attended at the time they had appointed, Stephen Hogeboom & Killian were the foremost men ^on our part^. I never saw a more numerous meeting in the County. Williams was thunderstruck when he came on the ground, we had at least three to their one. Williams denyed that he had sent the Challenge & wished us to consent to meet separately, we declined and took the possession of the principle largest Room in the house & organised our meeting, the Feds met in a room up Stairs & organised their meeting, we then ^sent^ a respectable committee to invite them to meet with us & have a full & free discussion, they sent a committee to us with Williams at their head, he walked through a collection of as firm republicans as ever attended a meeting & stated to our Chairman, that for fear of creating a disturbance &c they would not consent [to] a Joint meeting, all our friends were satisfyed that they dare not enter into the discussion, we then went on < walk> and passed some spirited resolutions made speeckes &c I never saw a set of men in hig^h^er spirits. The Feds left the ground & went home covered with disgrace, it was really a proud day to us, the exertions in this county are great what the result will be god knows, you know what we have to contend with. I should like to have a Letter from N.y. on the subj from one of our friends on the subject of the Election there the Federalists are taking < unen> infinite pains to induce the weak & the waning to believe that they will succeed there.