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MVB to John Peter Van Ness, 8 April 1802

Dear Friend

Some time ago we had a meeting to nominate town officers at which John Van Alen Esquire was nominated as candidate for supervisor. The Federals immediately determined to defeat us. Their waggons were continually going, fetching the lame and the blind and the aged to the polls. We were not wanting in activity. At 3 o'clock we took the lead. Not till this moment had they given up, but, Sir, at this hour they saw all their efforts baffled to their horror that not even the Machiavellian arts of Federalism could withstand the irresistible ardor of Freemasonry. We triumphed in every respect, except town clerk. <Fed> With respect to our candidate for member of Congress, I believe you are generally agreed upon. Your father last night informed me that he supposed H.W. Livingston would be the candidate in opposition.

 

I am with respect & esteem

your friend

M. V. Buren Jun.

There are numerous inconsistencies between this copy and the original found in the same collection. The mention of "Freemasonry," for instance, was not in the original letter.

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Source: NHi New-York Historical Society
Collection: Van Ness-Philips Family Papers (NHi)
Series: Series 1 (5 December 1782-31 December 1811)