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Name Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925
Born 1860 Mar 19
Birthplace Salem, Marion, Illinois
Father Silas Lillard Bryan
Mother Maria Elizabeth Jennings
Notes William Jennings Bryan was born in Salem, Illinois on March 19, 1860. He attended public school in Salem until the age of 15 when he entered Whipple Academy at Jacksonville, Illinois. Bryan was active in debate and declamatory oration and the valedictory address. He had become interested in politics in his later years at college, and remained active after entering law practices with a Jacksonville firm in 1883. In 1887 he was persuaded to move to Lincoln, Nebraska and enter practice with A.R. Talbot. In Nebraska he immediately became active with the activities of the Democratic Party, and was a delegate to the state Democratic convention in 1888. He was elected to Congress, serving from 1891-1895, having failed in his bid for a Senate seat in 1894.

During this period, Bryan was a leader of the silver coinage forces, and it was at the Democratic National Convention in 1896 when he made his famous "Cross of Gold" speech. Supported by the rising Populist Party, the "Boy Orator of the Platte" began his campaign for the presidency in which he was three times a candidate and three times defeated (1896, 1900, 1908). He remained a leader of the Democratic party and in 1912 led the movement that named Woodrow Wilson to be the Democratic candidate. Upon his election, Wilson made Bryan his Secretary of State. In this capacity Bryan campaigned for peace, negotiating treaties with thirty other nations. When he saw that the United States was about to enter the war, he resigned his post.

Bryan was a great showman and had a command of oratory which enabled him to hold his mid-western audiences spellbound. A true humanitarian with deep religious convictions and a dedicated advocate of temperance, he was always a champion of the common people. He was an editor, establishing the newspaper The Commoner at Lincoln; and an author. Bryan lived his last years in Miami, Florida, and died while attending court at Dayton, Tennessee in July 1925.
Role Political
Spouse Mary Elizabeth Baird
Children Grace Bryan
William Jennings Bryan, Jr.
Ruth Bryan
Deceased 1925 July 26
Deceased where Dayton, Rhea, Tennessee

Associated Records

Image of RG0737.AM - RG0737 Bole, S.J., 1875-1956

RG0737.AM - RG0737 Bole, S.J., 1875-1956

The collection consists of letters from William Jennings Bryan to S. James Bole, professor at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. The letters date from 1922-1925. Bryan tries to enlist Bole's help in attacking the theory of evolution, and in 1925, asks if Bole would appear as a witness at the Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee.

Image of RG0788.AM - RG0788 Howe, Church, 1839-1915

RG0788.AM - RG0788 Howe, Church, 1839-1915

This collection consists of manuscript material arranged in six series: 1) Correspondence, 1861-1919; 2) Letterpress Books, 1866-1896; 3) Scrapbooks, 1763-1919; 4) Consular Service Material, 1900-1909; 5) Autograph Books, ca. 1858-1899; and 6) Miscellany. This material relates to the military, political, agricultural, business, and diplomatic careers of Church Howe. Some historical information about Howe's ancestors is also provided, as is biographical information about Church Howe and his accomplishments. The Correspondence, 1861-1919, of Series One documents a number of aspects of Church Howe's life and career. Highlighted are his time in the military during the Civil War; his appoint

Image of RG0826.AM - RG0826 Bruning, Fred, 1858-1940

RG0826.AM - RG0826 Bruning, Fred, 1858-1940

This collection consists of two copies of an account by Fred Bruning titled "Winter of 1876-1877 at Camp Canby," and a handwritten autobiography. He writes of life working in fort trading posts in Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah from 1876-1883, including one year at the Red Cloud Indian Agency. He returned to Omaha, Nebraska, where he writes of being in business, as well as being a Douglas County, Nebraska, Commissioner.

Image of RG0964.AM - RG0964 Dugger, Alexander Ferguson, 1884-1981

RG0964.AM - RG0964 Dugger, Alexander Ferguson, 1884-1981

The collection contains miscellaneous ephemera divided into several groupings including information about Nebraska colleges (1908), particularly Columbus Commercial College and Wayne Normal School; information on William Jennings Bryan's presidential campaign of 1908, including a letter from Bryan Volunteers of Nebraska soliciting additional volunteers for the campaign; correspondence/advertisements for various businesses, in particular Henry Field Seed Company and its connection to radio station KFNF, Shenandoah, Iowa, and Berger's Department Store in Long Pine, Nebraska. Also included in the collection are a complimentary pass for the 3rd Annual Fair, Hayes County Agricultural Society, Haye

Image of RG0981.AM - RG0981 Everett, Harry H., 1875-1949

RG0981.AM - RG0981 Everett, Harry H., 1875-1949

The collection contains three items: 1. A "safe conduct" pass/certificate for foreign travel issued by the U.S. Department of State in the name of Harry H. Everett. The certificate is dated April 3, 1913. 2. A letter signed by William Jennings Bryan to Diplomatic and Consular Officers of the United States introducing Harry Everett. The letter is dated April 3, 1913. 3. A letter signed by John J. Pershing to Harry H. Everett dated September 18, 1942. Pershing expresses his appreciation to Mr. and Mrs. Harry Everett for birthday greetings sent to him.

Image of RG1013.AM - RG1013 Morton, Julius Sterling, 1832-1902

RG1013.AM - RG1013 Morton, Julius Sterling, 1832-1902

This collection consists of original papers, microfilm, and oversized scrapbooks relating to the life and activities of Julius Sterling Morton, including materials relating to his early education; family history; political, agricultural and business activities; and to his writing, research, and publishing career. Also present are papers relating to Arbor Lodge and Arbor Day. The collection is arranged in two Subgroups comprising a total of twenty-one Series: SUBGROUP 1: MICROFILMED RECORDS SERIES 1: Incoming Correspondence, 1849-1902 SERIES 2: Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence, 1850-1902 SERIES 3: Outgoing Correspondence, Bound Letterpress books, 1874-1902 SERIES 4: Farm

Image of RG1030.AM - RG1030 Hubner, Charles Morton, 1855-1935

RG1030.AM - RG1030 Hubner, Charles Morton, 1855-1935

This collection consists of correspondence dating from 1892-1896. It includes a letter from William Jennings Bryan, June 6, 1892 in which Bryan discusses Hubner's opposition to Bryan's position on the silver issue. Also present is a letter of transmittal for religious material from J. Sterling Morton, March 8, 1895. (The material discussed by Morton is not included in the collection).

Image of RG1139.AM - RG1139 Kinsey, James Baker, 1872-1949

RG1139.AM - RG1139 Kinsey, James Baker, 1872-1949

The collection consists of one item, a diary written by James Baker Kinsey. The entries date from 1896-1897 and describe a trip taken from Texas to Kansas and southeast Nebraska, where Kinsey sold bibles. Kinsey provides details relating to a visit to Lincoln, Nebraska; his meeting with William Jennings Bryan; and a tour of the Nebraska State Penitentiary.

Image of RG1101.AM - RG1101 Huntington, Harry F., 1878-1974

RG1101.AM - RG1101 Huntington, Harry F., 1878-1974

The collection contains of a book length manuscript written by Harry F. Huntington of Longmont, Colorado. The manuscript is entitled, "William Jennings Bryan, the Man I Knew," and was written by Huntington sometime around 1955. A minister and friend of William Jennings Bryan, Huntington writes about Bryan's ancestors; his childhood life in Salem, Illinois; his education; his career as a lawyer in Lincoln, Nebraska; his political life and causes; and his religious life. Huntington gives his observations of Bryan as well as other people's impressions. The manuscript contains passages of speeches given by Bryan as well as information about the Bryans donating their house, "Fairview," to the M

Image of RG1100.AM - RG1100 Humboldt Bryan Club (Humboldt, Neb.)

RG1100.AM - RG1100 Humboldt Bryan Club (Humboldt, Neb.)

This collection consists of a photocopy of the minutes of meetings for the Humboldt Bryan Club of Humboldt, Nebraska. The minutes date from August 16 to October 13, 1900. The club business revolved around getting William Jennings Bryan elected as President of the United States in November of 1900. The photocopy includes names of members as well as mention of the Ladies Bryan Club and their members.

Image of RG3804.AM - RG3804 Allen, Thomas Stinson, 1865-1945

RG3804.AM - RG3804 Allen, Thomas Stinson, 1865-1945

This collection consists of correspondence, 1890-1940; memorial materials; and scrapbook fragments. The bulk of the material relates to political affairs in Nebraska in the 1890s and the early 1900s, including an extended commentary on the role of William Jennings Bryan at the Democratic National Convention in Baltimore in 1912. Local issues discussed in the letters include prohibition, the candidacy of Grover Cleveland in 1892, and patronage. Correspondents include: James E. Boyd, 1890, 1892, 1893; Charles S. Allen, 1904; Thomas S. Allen, 1904; Charles Ogden, 1890; and Ignatius J. Dunn, 1940.

Image of 10679-1 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

10679-1 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Oval sepia photo portrait of William Jennings Bryan

Image of 10209-6 - Print, Photographic;  William Jennings Bryan

10209-6 - Print, Photographic; William Jennings Bryan

Black and white photographic print of Bryan in profile.

Image of 10209-24 - Print, Photographic; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska State Fair

10209-24 - Print, Photographic; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska State Fair

A black and white photo of W.J. Bryan. Signed at the bottom. From the Nebraska State Fair and Exposition in Omaha, NE

Image of 10254-1 - Poster, Political; William J. Bryan; Portrait on Canvas

10254-1 - Poster, Political; William J. Bryan; Portrait on Canvas

Portrait of Bryan ainted on canvas with W. J. Bryan in black lettering beneath.

Image of 10506-91 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

10506-91 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Bryan with portraits of Abraham Lincoln & George Washington on either side of him along with images of the cities of Lincoln, NE. and Washington, DC. Button also reads: "From Lincoln to Washington/1908/William Jennings Bryan for President.

Image of 10506-94 - Fob; William Jennings Bryan; "Star of the West"

10506-94 - Fob; William Jennings Bryan; "Star of the West"

Round metal fob with a red star in the middle and "Star of the West/Wm. J. Bryan" imprinted around it.

Image of 11073-1 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

11073-1 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Black and white portrait of William Jennings Bryan

Image of 11055-2089 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Page for Harpers Weekly

11055-2089 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Page for Harpers Weekly

Page from Harpers Weekly featuring a black and white photographic portrait of Bryan with the caption: "William Jennings Bryan, Democratic Candidate for Presdient."

Image of 11082-55 - Paper, Letterhead; William Jennings Bryan; Secretary of State

11082-55 - Paper, Letterhead; William Jennings Bryan; Secretary of State

Letterhead used by Bryan as Secretary of State.