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Person Record

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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 2620(dup1) - Card, Labor Exchange

2620(dup1) - Card, Labor Exchange

"LABOR EXCHANGE." "Branch No.16 Atlanta Georgia." There is a list on different pieces of paper; The Day of Equily, The Reign of Liberty, Capitalization of Labor. There is a global in the middle with different people doing different jobs. On the back there is a train called Progress heading toward a banner that says "STOP PROGRESS."

Image of 3933 - Pin, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "16 to 1"; Silver Bug

3933 - Pin, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "16 to 1"; Silver Bug

Metal mechanical bug with photo on one wing and "16/1" on the other.

Image of 3384 - Button, Campaign; William Jennings Bryan; No Compromise 16-1

3384 - Button, Campaign; William Jennings Bryan; No Compromise 16-1

Blue and silver button with "No Compromise" "16 to 1"

Image of 3934 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; 16 to 1

3934 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; 16 to 1

Round button, 16-1 On Daisy, Petals Numbered 1-16, Center Numbered 1. Black, white and yellow

Image of 3801 [dup39] - Photograph; William Jennings Bryan

3801 [dup39] - Photograph; William Jennings Bryan

Black and white photograph of William Jennings Bryan in a jacket and bow tie. He is in front of a blank, light background. The picture is attached to a beige cardboard backing. A signature is engraved below the picture: "Mr. Cory? Branson".

Image of 3767 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Welcome Home

3767 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Welcome Home

1906 Welcome Home The pin bar at the top has an elaborate edge with words that read, "Official souvenir, Welcome home, Sept. - 1906". Below the pin bar is an American flag ribbon that has a metal medallion, circular, connected to it by a small ring. On the front of the medallion is an engraved portrait of William Jennings Bryan. On the back is an engraved picture of Bryan's home "Fairview, Lincoln, NEB." COLORS: red, white, and blue.

Image of 3801 [dup18] - Painting; Oil; Portrait of William Jennings Bryan; J. Laurie Wallace

3801 [dup18] - Painting; Oil; Portrait of William Jennings Bryan; J. Laurie Wallace

Bryan seated at table with books and bouquet of lowers. Full face, body 3/4 turned. Attire is black suit with vest, white shirt, black tie.

Image of 3801-1 - Sign, Nebraska Standard; Disk-Shaped, Nebraska Delegation, Chicago Convention 1986

3801-1 - Sign, Nebraska Standard; Disk-Shaped, Nebraska Delegation, Chicago Convention 1986

Sign from the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, 1896. Disk-Shaped with "NEB." at the center. For the Nebraska Delegation.

Image of 3801-112 - Invitation, Graduation; William Jennings Bryan; Union College of Law

3801-112 - Invitation, Graduation; William Jennings Bryan; Union College of Law

Union College of Law. Commencement excercises announcement. For the graduating Class of 1883. Signed by W. J. Bryan

Image of 3801-115 - Banner; William Jennings Bryan; Lincoln Bryan Club

3801-115 - Banner; William Jennings Bryan; Lincoln Bryan Club

Lincoln Nebraska Bryan Club banner, fabric with gold fringes and tassels and metallic star fillegree along sides. Bust of Wm. Jennings Bryan painted in center with colors and surrounded with wreath. Rectangular shape with serrated bottom. Two brass grommets on right side, Five brass ring hangers on top Colors: Dark Red, Dark Blue, Gray, Gold

Image of 3801-140 - Poster, Political; Photographic portrait of William Jennings Bryan

3801-140 - Poster, Political; Photographic portrait of William Jennings Bryan

Poster with black and white photograph of William Jennings Bryan in black jacket and white bow tie centered. Below the photo are the words, "William J. Bryan" printed in black ink. Below the photo are the words, "Photogravure by Wm. B. Burford, Indianapolis".

Image of 3801-121-(1) - Postcard, Political; William Jennings Bryan

3801-121-(1) - Postcard, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Main image is of a husk with four ears of golden corn with a picture of W.J. Bryan sticking out of the husk - shoulders up. Red string ties the ears together. Either side of string: "Two of America's/Great Essentials (corn image). To peace and / Prosperity". Beneath ears: "know the world over". All print in red type. Copyright beneath the ears on left side, "From Mr. Bryan's Fairview farm" in black on leaf/husk. Postcard was not circulated nor has a message. Back has a small article in the correspondence panel entitled: "why not make the Depositer Secure?".

Image of 3801-121-(2) - Postcard, Political; William Jennings Bryan

3801-121-(2) - Postcard, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Main image is of a husk with four ears of golden corn with a picture of W.J. Bryan sticking out of the husk - shoulders up. Red string ties the ears together. Either side of string: "Two of America's/Great Essentials (corn image). To peace and / Prosperity". Beneath ears: "know the world over". All print in red type. Copyright beneath the ears on left side, "From Mr. Bryan's Fairview farm" in black on leaf/husk. Postcard was not circulated nor has a message. Back has a small article in the correspondence panel entitled: "why not make the Depositer Secure?".

Image of 3801-121-(3) - Postcard, Political; William Jennings Bryan

3801-121-(3) - Postcard, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Main image is of a husk with four ears of golden corn with a picture of W.J. Bryan sticking out of the husk - shoulders up. Red string ties the ears together. Either side of string: "Two of America's/Great Essentials (corn image). To peace and / Prosperity". Beneath ears: "know the world over". All print in red type. Copyright beneath the ears on left side, "From Mr. Bryan's Fairview farm" in black on leaf/husk. Postcard was not circulated nor has a message. Back has a small article in the correspondence panel entitled: "why not make the Depositer Secure?".

Image of 3801-121-(4) - Postcard, Political; William Jennings Bryan

3801-121-(4) - Postcard, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Main image is of a husk with four ears of golden corn with a picture of W.J. Bryan sticking out of the husk - shoulders up. Red string ties the ears together. Either side of string: "Two of America's/Great Essentials (corn image). To peace and / Prosperity". Beneath ears: "know the world over". All print in red type. Copyright beneath the ears on left side, "From Mr. Bryan's Fairview farm" in black on leaf/husk. Postcard was not circulated nor has a message. Back has a small article in the correspondence panel entitled: "why not make the Depositer Secure?".

Image of 3801-4 - Handkerchief, Campaign; William Jennings Bryan/Sewall; 16/1

3801-4 - Handkerchief, Campaign; William Jennings Bryan/Sewall; 16/1

White Handkerchief supporting the 1896 Democratic nominees for President and Vice President. In the center of the handkerchief is an eagle, wings outstretched, seated on a shield with stars and stripes. Two American flags hang to each side of the shield. On the eagle's right is an illustration of "WM. J. Bryan" wearing a black coat, white shirt, and a black bow tie with the words, "For President" above him. On the opposite side of the eagle is a head and shoulders image of "Arthur Sewall" wearing a black jacket, white shirt, and white bow tie. Above him are the words, "For Vice President". Above the eagle are the words, "16/1 The Poor Man's Candidates 1896". Below the images are the words, "D

Image of 3810-2 - Bust; William Jennings Bryan; By G. Trentanove

3810-2 - Bust; William Jennings Bryan; By G. Trentanove

Bust of William Jennings Bryan in a coat, vest, shirt, and bow tie. On the back, "Copyright 1899 by G. Trentanove" has been printed.

Image of 3918 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

3918 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Portrait of WJ Bryan. Colors: Black, white

Image of 3887-27 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

3887-27 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Sepia photo of William Jennings Bryan

Image of 3887-8 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Welcome Home

3887-8 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Welcome Home

The pin bar at the top has an elaborate edge with words that read, "Official souvenir, Welcome home, Sept. - 1906". Below the pin bar is an American flag ribbon that has a metal medallion, circular, connected to it by a small ring. On the front of the medallion is an engraved portrait of William Jennings Bryan. On the back is an engraved picture of Bryan's home "Fairview, Lincoln, NEB."