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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 9317-3 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan

9317-3 - 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 9358-43 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan/Sewall; Jugate; "16-1"

9358-43 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan/Sewall; Jugate; "16-1"

Celluloid jugate button with black and white photo portraits of Bryan and Sewall. At the top, in black print, is "16 to 1"

Image of 9394-2 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Money

9394-2 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Money

Obverse: A liberty head facing left and "liberty" on the coronet, and 1896 on the bottom. There are seven stars at the left and six at the right. The stars are six-pointed. Reverse side: A displayed eagle in the middle with "United States of America" around. To the left of the eagle is "16 to 1" and to the right is "NIT".

Image of 9394-3 - Purse; William Jennings Bryan; Made of a sock

9394-3 - Purse; William Jennings Bryan; Made of a sock

Long sock with clasp at top. The sock is red at the top, white in the middle, and blue at the toe. All colors are faded.

Image of 9424-15 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan

9424-15 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan

Same front as 3801-121-(2) but with a darker tint to color. Message on back details presidential election speculation. Postmarked November 2, 1908. 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.

Image of 9428-1 - Stamp; William Jennings Bryan

9428-1 - Stamp; William Jennings Bryan

Blue and white stamp with portrait of Bryan and the following in white print: "For President/W.J. Bryan"

Image of 9558-1 - Ribbon, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "Bryan!"

9558-1 - Ribbon, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "Bryan!"

Light yellow ribbon with the word "Bryan!" and an image of William Jennings Bryan. The letters and image are faded black or grey.

Image of 9559-7 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan; "Willie T. or Willie B. Its Bound to Be a Bill"

9559-7 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan; "Willie T. or Willie B. Its Bound to Be a Bill"

Red background, white line frame. Large white print down the center at a slight angle: "Willie T / or / Willie B / It's bound to be / Bill". Lower left corner is a white profile of W.J. Bryan facing right. Upper right corner is a white profile of W.H. Taft facing left. Message on back details writing habits, work, and a request for correspondence. Sent September 5, 1908.

Image of 9663-43-(15A) - Certificate, Membership; William Jennings Bryan; "The Commoner Army for 1908"

9663-43-(15A) - Certificate, Membership; William Jennings Bryan; "The Commoner Army for 1908"

Membership certificate for "The Commoner Army for 1908" Blue text on white background.

Image of 9692-20 - Program; William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Dinner Program

9692-20 - Program; William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Dinner Program

White. Picture of Abraham Lincoln and William Jennings Bryan. Around the two portraits are the words "The Lincoln Bryan Club." The rest of the cover says "Bryan Birthday Dinner 1860-1911" "The Auditorium Lincoln, Nebraska, March 20,1911." The inside of the program consists of all of the nights events.

Image of 9753-2 - Handkerchief; William Jennings Bryan/Stevenson; "Peoples Choice"

9753-2 - Handkerchief; William Jennings Bryan/Stevenson; "Peoples Choice"

Semi-transparent handkerchief featuring images of the Democratic ticket from the 1900 Presidential election. One corner of the handkerchief is an image of a banner reading "Peoples Choice" with an American flag in the shape of a shield, an arm holding a torch that reads "Victory", and the images of the Democratic Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees, William Jennings Bryan and Aldai E. Stevenson respectively. Below all of this is the copyright and other information about manufacture.

Image of 979-P-1

979-P-1 -

"Hayden." "LINCOLN, NEB." There is a picutre of William Jennings Bryan in a suit and bow tie.

Image of 9824-4 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan/Stevenson; Jugate

9824-4 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan/Stevenson; Jugate

Jugat button with black and white portraits of Bryan and his running mate Adlai Stevenson. The portraits are on a silver background and there is a red, white and blue bow represented behind the portraits.

Image of 9824-1 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

9824-1 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

"Wm. J. Bryan for President" with sepia toned photo portrait of Bryan.

Image of 9824-2 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan

9824-2 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan

Button with black and white photo portrait of Bryan in profile with the words " For President Wm. J. Bryan" across top.

Image of 9824-3 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

9824-3 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Round button with portrait of Bryan. Four stars above and below Bryan's portrait and four red and white stripes on the proper right side.

Image of 9857-559 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan; Denver Auditorium

9857-559 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan; Denver Auditorium

Front: Main image is a drawing with color of the Denver Auditorium with people, carriages, and cars around. Above the auditorium are two photos in black and white ovals - left Bryan and right Kern. Between the two in black print: "Denver Auditorium - where / Democratic Candidates were / Nominated, July 9-10, 1908". Beneath the two photos are their names. Back no message, sent to "Miss Fay Sherwin/ Harvard / Nebraska" on September 8, 1908.

Image of 9932-1 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan; "Our Choice"

9932-1 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan; "Our Choice"

Cartoon drawing of W.J. Bryan, felt trim with black jacket, red waistcoat and tan pants. "Our Choice" in red print to the left of his head. No message on back - never circulated: panels for correspondence, and address, stamp block.

RG0802.PH - Collection, Photograph

Otto Klima was an avid postcard collector from Pilger, Nebraska. This collection consists of photographs related to Nebraska's people and places. This collection consists of negatives, glass plate negatives, and photographic prints, 1856-ca.1994, mostly ca.1900-1950s. Included are photographs from counties across Nebraska of street scenes and buildings, such as churches, libraries, schools, courthouses, post offices, museums, restaurants, hotels, and other businesses. There are also images related to prominent persons, such as William Jennings Bryan and William Frederick Cody. Photographs of Native Americans and frontier figures and photographs related to the Wounded Knee Massacre and the

RG1013.PH - Collection, Photograph

This collection consists of material relating to the life, career, interests, and family of Julius Sterling Morton. Much of the material relates to his political and journalism careers. Many of the photographs in this collection are of government officials from the nineteenth century. Also included are photographs of Arbor Lodge and Morton family photographs, as well as family albums.