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MVB to John Peter Van Ness, 7-8 April 1802

Dear Friend

Your communication of the twenty eighth I Received in Due Time but Refrained from answering it before on account of the then approaching Town meeting. The Event of which I was Desirous of Informing you of, your last I have this moment Received. The Reasons which you assign ^in the former^ for Repealing the Carriage Tax &c. are to me & I trust to every one that hears them Satisfactory. 

The Certificates of Mrs. Baily & Thomas are have been published in the Albany Register as you wished. Some time ago we had a meeting to nominate ^Can^ Town officers, at which John Van Alen Esquire was nominated as a Candidate for Town officers Supervisor. The Fede^r^als Immediately Determined to <battle> Defeat us, in order to effect which they continually repeated their Determination not to make any opposition and at the same Time they were Stretching every mean<s> to oppose us, they at ^a^ private caucus composed of a few Individuals nominated or rather permitted Esquire Gardinier to come forward as a candidate. Gardinier himself Immediately went Round the Town even to the most remote Corners as well to Repls. & as Feds & solicited every Individual to for this their Votes. Those whom he could ^not^ persuade to vote, for him, he ord solicited to Remain at home they endeavored to Divide our party <a>by taking up Republicans on their list in opposition to those we had taken up, this took him about <t>3 or 4 Day before Election when he for the first Time proclaimed himself a Candidate. Our friends upon this Information Immediately took the Alarm & no sp pains were spared to gain the ground we had lost by our Inactivity, or rather by the Intrigue of the Feds, Gardinier & his Friends were confident of Success. They openly proclaimed their confidence. Gardinier even sent his compliments to A. Spencer ^<&> with a message^ that he was Supervisor of the Town of K. They repeatedly Declared that the Town was federal & that they would have 100 majty. all with an Intention to Discourage our Friends. They supported Godfrey Gaines Jnr. for Collector by which they obtained their his & his Friends votes, with this prospect, & under those truly Embarrassing Circumstances did we meet. The first Day of Elections it went vote for vote, at night we were one or two ahead before them, both parties still Confident of Success. The Feds still claimed 100 m. The night was spent in <St> rousing the Electors from their Inactivity, on the morning of the next Day they had the Town plot, ready & took the lead. Their Waggons were continually going fetching the Lame & the blind & the aged to the pole & we Sir were not wanting in activity at <2>3 o'Clock. Their votes failed & we in our Turn took the lead. Not till this moment did ^had they^ given up the Idea of Success but Sir at this Hour they saw all their Efforts completely Baffled. At this hour they saw to their horror that not even the Machiavelian arts of Federalism could not withstand the Irresistable ardor of Freemen, of Republicans. We Triumphed in every Respect, except Town Clerk. The Candidates were J. A. Jr. Buren & Gridly & owing to a too great attention to Supervisor we lost this by one vote. We Removed the Town meeting amidst the Shouts & aclamations of the people. <Brick> swears he will not keep Tavern one moment longer, & is quite Distracted.

We have this Day Called a meeting of the Republicans to appoint a Committee to meet the General Committee. Major Vn. Valkenbergh <Jnr> is solicitous for the candidateship of Assemblymen. These will <difference> on our party with Respect to congressman, our candidate for member of congress, I believe you are generally agreed upon. Your Father last night Informed <th> me that he supposed H. W. Livingston would be the Candidate in opposition.

Brebner is Supervisor of Chatham by 5 votes. The contest was between him & <Dow>, it was not a party question.

The thousand tongues of Slander & Detrac[tion] are here employed against the Government. Their themes are, The Internal taxes &c, The French Loan, The French Fleet being arrived in the Chesapeak. The law raising the Salaries of the officers of Government ^&c &c^. But they are a set of Beings not so Eloquent but what they may be easily Defeated when we are present. I Doubt not but what you will Excuse the Insipid & Incorrect Style in wh[ich this] is wrote when I Inform ^you^ that I ha[. . .]sleep these two last nights owing t[o t]he Election.

I am with Respect & Esteem

your Friend


M. V. Buren Junr


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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)