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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 8912-2 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan

8912-2 - 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."

Image of 899P-002 - Poster; William Jennings Bryan

899P-002 - Poster; William Jennings Bryan

Poster, black and white lithograph of William Jennings Bryan in a black jacket and white bow tie. The background is predominantly white. At the bottom of the poster are the words, "Yours truly W. J. Bryan" in black cursive.

Image of 8991-1 - Medal, Political; William Jennings Bryan

8991-1 - Medal, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Obverse: Portrait of Bryan facing left. "William Jennings Bryan" "1867" around the outside. Inset is "equality before the law" Reverse: Image of the state capital with "State of Nebraska capital" around the outside

Image of 9085-15 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Bryan Club

9085-15 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Bryan Club

NE Traveling Mens Club, Dec 30, 1898. This badge has two parts. The top part is an American flag bow. At the bottom middle of the bow is a ring that connects a hanging circular metal button with Bryan's picture on it on the outer edge of the button is writing that reads." Nebraska traveling men's Bryan club." COLORS: red, white, blue

Image of 9085-15 [dup1] - Badge; William Jennings Bryan

9085-15 [dup1] - Badge; William Jennings Bryan

Button with black and white portrait of Bryan attached to a red, white and blue bow.

Image of 9098-11 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan

9098-11 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan

A celluloid button with Bryan's photo is at the top. Attached below the button is a purple ribbon with gold letters that reads, "Reception Notification W. J. Bryan Aug. 12, 1908."

Image of 9098-13 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Club

9098-13 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Club

A button with William Jennings Bryan's image is connected to the top 1/3 of grey silk ribbon. On top of the ribbon is a silver pin bar. On the bottom 2/3 of the ribbon is silver writing reading, "Nebraska Traveling Men's Club, December 30, 1898."

Image of 9098-13 [dup1] - Badge, Campaign; William Jennings Bryan; "16 To 1"

9098-13 [dup1] - Badge, Campaign; William Jennings Bryan; "16 To 1"

Grey ribbon with bar pin at the top. Attached to the ribbon is a button with a black and white portrait of Bryan. Written in silver on the ribbon are "Nebraska Bryan Club" and "16 to 1"

Image of 9098-14 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

9098-14 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Colorized photo portrait of William Jennings Bryan with "Wm. J. Bryan" in white text at bottom

Image of 9098-16 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

9098-16 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Celluloid button with black and white photo portrait of Bryan

Image of 9098-17 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan/Kern; Jugate

9098-17 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan/Kern; Jugate

Jugate, "Bryan and Kern" with portraits of WJ Bryan and Kern. Colors: blue, white, black

Image of 9098-18 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "16 To 1"

9098-18 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "16 To 1"

Sepia photo of group of people standing in front of a building entrance with William Jennings Bryan in the front. "16 to 1" in white letters at top.

Image of 9098-4 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Bryan Club

9098-4 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Nebraska Traveling Mens Bryan Club

This badge has a celluloid button with Bryan's picture and words that reads, "Oure Candidate, William J. Bryan." The button sits a top a purple tri-level flourette. Below the flourette are two ribbons, one longer than the other, both having gold trim and gold metal tassels on the bottom. Also along the bottom edge of both ribbons is an embroidered gold design. The top ribbon has gold print that reads, "Nebraska Traveling Men's Bryan Club." The bottom ribbon also has gold print that reads, "Denver, 1908."

Image of 9100-1 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan/Stevenson; Jugate

9100-1 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan/Stevenson; Jugate

Sepia toned photo of William Jennings Bryan and his running mate Adlai Stevenson.

Image of 9153-83 - Paperweight; William Jennings Bryan

9153-83 - Paperweight; William Jennings Bryan

Paperweight with image of Bryan casted into it.

Image of 9150-2 - Ribbon, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "16 to 1"

9150-2 - Ribbon, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "16 to 1"

Ribbon with an image of William Jennings Bryan at the top. Underneath are the words, "16 to 1" and running down the ribbon, perpendicular to this is "Bryan". All words and the image are in blue on a white background.

Image of 9259-1 - Plaque; William Jennings Bryan; "Bill Bryans Smile"

9259-1 - Plaque; William Jennings Bryan; "Bill Bryans Smile"

The oval shaped plague features a smiling image of Bryan. Below his image is an inscription that reads, "Bill Bryan's Smile"

Image of 9269-10 - Book; William Jennings Bryan Family Bible

9269-10 - Book; William Jennings Bryan Family Bible

A Holy Bible. King James' version.Title: The S.S. Teacher's Bible / the Holy Bible containing the Old and New Testaments. It is bound in leather, soft cover, the leather extending past the pages of the Bible. It has gold/yellow lettering on the front cover and the spine - 'Holy Bible' The bindings are coming loose, a few pages have already come loose. Inscriptions: on inside flyleaf: "Presented to Nannie L. Bryan by Mother, brother and Sisters / Salem, Ills. Nov. 4 - 1895" Back two flyleaves also contain lists of passages and texts. Publ. by Hurst and Co. New York

Image of 927-P-1

927-P-1 -

Tan. "WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN." Bust of Bryan's face and shoulders. He is wearing a bow tie and a suit. Below him is a plant with what appears to be some kind of nuts in the leaves of the plant.

Image of 9294-3 - Revolver, Cartridge, Hopkins and Allen Manufacturing Company, G.W. T & R. Mountain Eagle Model

9294-3 - Revolver, Cartridge, Hopkins and Allen Manufacturing Company, G.W. T & R. Mountain Eagle Model

Five shot, .32 Cal., rim-fire cartridge single action revolver. Single octagonal rifled bore barrel. Modified wood grip (lengthened). Spur trigger. Nickel plated. Civilian issue. COLORS: beds blue, white, red white hearts TECHNIQUE: hand sewn