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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 4123-9 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

4123-9 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Red, white and blue button with "L/Bryan/C"

Image of 4253-37 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "These Two and Prosperity "

4253-37 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "These Two and Prosperity "

Colored photographic print of Bryan with the slogan "These Two and Prosperity" (Corn Ear Missing from bottom) in black around the portrait.

Image of 4253-36 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan

4253-36 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan

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 4438 - Souvenir; William Jennings Bryan; "Which Bill"

4438 - Souvenir; William Jennings Bryan; "Which Bill"

"Which Bill" One side is green with a picture of Bryan in the center. Platform and Pledge are on either side of the photo. Allied Banks of America is above the photo. Reverse side is an orange-brown color. A photo of Taft is in the center.

Image of 4405 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan/Kern; Jugate, "Bryan and Kern"

4405 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan/Kern; Jugate, "Bryan and Kern"

A jugate featuring colored photographic portraits of Bryan and Kern. "Bryan and Kern" printed in white on the bottom.

Image of 4387 - Fob, Watch; William Jennings Bryan/Kern

4387 - Fob, Watch; William Jennings Bryan/Kern

A light brown leather strap with a buckle is connected to a gold-colored metal fob that has "Bryan; 1908; Kern" printed in black.

Image of 4388 - Fob, Watch; William Jennings Bryan

4388 - Fob, Watch; William Jennings Bryan

Fob with black leather strap that has a metal, cutout portrait of Bryan in profile with the "Bryan" at the bottom.

Image of 4389 - Fob, Watch; William Jennings Bryan; "To Washington from Lincoln"

4389 - Fob, Watch; William Jennings Bryan; "To Washington from Lincoln"

There is a black leather strap with a silver buckle connected to a black circular piece of leather. A celluloid button is connected to the circular leather piece. On the button is an image of Bryan standing with an image of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington on either side of him. The words on the bottom read, "From Lincoln to Washington, 1908, William Jennings Bryan for president."

Image of 4390 - Fob, Watch; William Jennings Bryan/Kern

4390 - Fob, Watch; William Jennings Bryan/Kern

Black leather strap with a metal square attached to the bottom that has, "Bryan/1908/Kern" in black.

Image of 4392 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

4392 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

"From Lincoln to Washington," "William Jennings Bryan for President" is written on the outside edge. Picture of Bryan standing in the middle with A. Lincoln and G. Washington portraits on either side. Button is cream, black, and various other colors.

Image of 4394 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "Lincoln to Washington"

4394 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "Lincoln to Washington"

"Lincoln to Washington," "William Jennings Bryan for President" are the words on the outside. Bryan is standing in the middle with a picture of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington on either side.

Image of 4396 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

4396 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Round button with sepia toned photographic portrait of William Jennings Bryan.

Image of 4397 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

4397 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Colored photographic portrait of Bryan.

Image of 4398 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "I Am for Bill?

4398 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "I Am for Bill?

Round white button with "I am for Bill ? 1908" in black text. Top of button rotates to reveal black and white photos of William Jennings Bryan or William Taft.

Image of 4400 - Button, Poltical; William JenningsBryan

4400 - Button, Poltical; William JenningsBryan

Oval button with sepia toned photographic portrait of Bryan.

Image of 4401-1 - Pin, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "The Nation's Commoner"

4401-1 - Pin, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "The Nation's Commoner"

The celluloid button has an image of Bryan and of some corn. There are phrases on the button. "The nations commoner", " Two of America's Great Essentials." "To peace and prosperity".

Image of 4402 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

4402 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Black and white portrait of William Jennings Bryan with an American flag motif in the background.

Image of 4406 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "From Lincoln to Washington"

4406 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "From Lincoln to Washington"

Yellow button with large drawing of William Jennings Bryan standing in the middle of two photos, one of Abraham Lincoln and one of George Washington. Also between two photos one of Fairview (Bryan's home in Lincoln, NE) and one of the white house. Text on blue background: From Lincoln to Washington" "1908" "William Jennings Bryan for President" (Back Missing); Wrong Cat#

Image of 4416 [dup1] - Button, Poltical; William Jennings Bryan

4416 [dup1] - Button, Poltical; William Jennings Bryan

WJ Bryan Portrait with "BRYAN" above. Colors: black, white

Image of 4427 [dup1] - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan and William Howard Taft; The Difference

4427 [dup1] - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan and William Howard Taft; The Difference

no message on back - was not circulated. The front has a picture and the heading is "The difference". One picture is Bryan's way of Electing US Senators, which shows men voting in booths and then putting them in the ballot box. The other way is Taft's way and it has five pigs that look like men that all say trust on the talking about how to do it. Taft is in the background.