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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 11055-2103 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Page from Judge

11055-2103 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Page from Judge

Image of a man chained to a giant stone head of Bryan. Sign near man reads: "Sentenced to 12 more years of Defeat." Caption at the bottom of the image reads "Four more years to serve."

Image of 11055-2162 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Cover from Puck

11055-2162 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Cover from Puck

Color Puck cover featuring a Punch and Judy puppet show in a "Chautauqua Circuit" theater. Puck is represented by Bryan and has punched Judy out. Judy represents "Public Duties". Caption reads Punch and Judy.

Image of 11055-2163 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Cover from Puck

11055-2163 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Cover from Puck

Puck magazine cover with color artists rendering of Bryan as the characher Micawber from Dickens' novel David Copperfield. Caption reads "Micawber"

Image of 11055-2166 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Page from Leslies Weekly

11055-2166 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Page from Leslies Weekly

From Leslie's Weekly. Copy of black and white photograph of Bryan speaking to a crowd at Madison Square Garden. Caption reads,: "The Demonstration in Honor of W. J. Bryan at Madison Square Garden, New York. Only successful photograph taken of the scene in the spacious auditorium while Mr. Bryan was addressing an audience of 10,000 on the night of his return to New York from abroad."

Image of 11055-2228 - Card, Souvenir; William Jennings Bryan; "William Jennings Bryan for President"

11055-2228 - Card, Souvenir; William Jennings Bryan; "William Jennings Bryan for President"

A card in the form of train pick-up orders with printing on both sides. The front reads: "William Jennings Bryan for President of the United States. The Friend of Labor Against Trusts, Combines and Government by Injunction."

Image of 11055-2374 - Chair, Arm; Used for William Jennings Bryan portrait

11055-2374 - Chair, Arm; Used for William Jennings Bryan portrait

Dark stained wooden chair with "U" shaped back, contiguous arms and five slats in the back. The slats are elaborately carved in a curving floral pattern. The arms are carved with leaves and a geometric pattern. The upper back is carved with a double dragon pattern. The seat is horseshoe shaped with a geometric pattern carved into the front edge. Below the seat is an elaborately carved base. The legs are also carved with floral patterns.

Image of 11055-259 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Money

11055-259 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Money

Obverse: "Free Coinage" on the top edge. Six stars, three on each side of "1896" on the bottom. In the middle is "One Dime". Reverse: Top is "whiskers" and on the bottom are six stars. In the middle is a dragon with a man riding it.

Image of 11149-6 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings; Bryan Money

11149-6 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings; Bryan Money

Obverse: Bryan facing right with "I'll match you" above and "1908" below. Reverse: Taft facing left with "I'll Toss you" above and "1908" below. Raised rim and groove outer edge.

Image of 11055-2535 - Program; William Jennings Bryan; Centennial Banquet

11055-2535 - Program; William Jennings Bryan; Centennial Banquet

March 19, 1960; Single Sheet of Paper, Folded Image: cover-statue of William Jennings Bryan COLORS: white, black Inside: Left side there is a list of information on Bryan from birth in 1860 to 1925. Right side is the program and order of events as they happened.

Image of 11055-2563 - Transparency; "No Crown of Thorns, No Cross of Gold"

11055-2563 - Transparency; "No Crown of Thorns, No Cross of Gold"

Composed of three-rectangular wooden planks 11.5 inch wide by .25 inch tick forming an open-top frame with narrow support braces along the top. A double thickness of cotton gauze has been stretched over the two opposing open sides, and affixed with small iron alloy tacks. The gauze is painted with the words, "No Crown of Thorns / No Cross of Gold" on both sides. The wooden ends are covered with paper. At the bottom of the frame is a mount used to connect the transparency to a support pole.

Image of 11055-2725 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Harper's Weekly

11055-2725 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Harper's Weekly

This is the front cover only of a Harper's Weekly. On the cover is a black and white drawing/political cartoon titled "United We Stand--(White House, November 21, 1907)" on the bottom of the page and signed by the artist W.A. Rogers. The cartoon is of two men: William J. Bryan and Theodore Roosevelt. The two men are standing apart from each other (apprx 3 ft in scale) but are leaning toward each other with each others' arms around the others' shoulders. They are both closed-mouth smiling and their eyes are closed as well. They appear to be awkwardly hugging. In Roosevelt's hand, behind Bryan's head, he is holding a notecard that says "W.J. Bryan". On the floor between them is Bryan's ha

Image of 11055-2726 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Harper's Weekly

11055-2726 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Harper's Weekly

This is the front cover only of a Harper's Weekly. On the cover is a black and white drawing/political cartoon titled "One Hundred Years Hence" on the bottom of the page and signed by the artist W.A. Rogers. The cartoon is of two men: An aged William J. Bryan hunched over walking with a stick. He is wearing a long black peacoat with pants and black shoes. His face is aged and a floor length white beard hangs from his chin. He appears to be walking away with a smirk on his face from a bulletin board hung on a wooden fence that reads, "Bulletin Board. The Commoner A.D. 2008 Extra! Mr. Bryan Consents to Run Again principles revised to date" There is another billboard that reads, "Presidential Ra

Image of 11055-2723 - Card, Political; William Jennings Bryan; Free Silver Ticket

11055-2723 - Card, Political; William Jennings Bryan; Free Silver Ticket

This is an advertisement for a democratic ticket for the election of 1896, titled the "The Free Silver Ticket" which is written in large font across the top of the card split between two lines. Below that is a line with three horizontal diamonds centered on the line. Below the line is the heading "Bryan Electors" with a lined list below. Each name on this list is aligned along the left side and followed by ".............................. X " and for each name there is a new line. The names are as follows: "Fred Metz, Sr., Nels O. Alberts, Stanley Louis Kostryz, Michael F. Harrington, Jacob. N. Campbell, Olaf W. Palm, F. J. Hale, X. Piasceki" Below this list is another heading "State Ticket"

Image of 11055-2724 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Harper's Weekly

11055-2724 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Harper's Weekly

This is the front cover only of a Harper's Weekly. On the cover is a black and white drawing/political cartoon titled "A Modest Request" on the bottom of the page and signed by the artist W.A. Rogers. The cartoon is of two men: William J. Bryan and Uncle Sam. The two man are facing each other. Uncle Sam is reading a bulletin given to him by William J. Bryan. He is holding the torso length bulletin in one hand and his other hand is in his pocket. He is wearing a pair of glasses and has a sour look on his face. The bulletin reads, "Application to make the Receivership Permanent W.J.B." He is wearing striped stirrup pants a black coat with long coattails, a light vest with stars on it , a bow ti

Image of 11055-470 - Tray; William Jennings Bryan

11055-470 - Tray; William Jennings Bryan

Color tin featuring the likeness of William Jennings Bryan in front of a green background. Bryan wears a black coat, white shirt, and black bow tie. On the sides of the tin is a brown border featuring half-circles with leaves or petals extending from them so as to create the impression of half a flower. The tin is oval. Below the picture, on the border, is "W.J. Bryan" in cursive.

Image of 11055-936 - Transparency, Lantern-Slide; William Jennings Bryan

11055-936 - Transparency, Lantern-Slide; William Jennings Bryan

W.J. Bryan's image is in the center. Around his image are various images and symbols of America and its past. There are flags, shields, swords, and guns. There are images of men in battle, representing the wars that America has endured. The images represent America's past.

Image of 11055-926 - Pin, Political; William Jennings Bryan; Stanhope, Pig & Binoculars

11055-926 - Pin, Political; William Jennings Bryan; Stanhope, Pig & Binoculars

A pig and opera glasses pin. The pig is mostly grey with some areas, especially the underbelly, having a more gold color. A small ring on top of the pig's back connects a small chain to a miniature pair of opera glasses. The opera glasses are primarily gold in color with a small green sphere near where each lens would be. There is a hole in the pig's mouth and another under the tail where one used to be able to view a picture of William Jennings Bryan. Light can still be seen through the hole. Pig (Bryan Pic) & Binoculars

Image of 11055-935 - Card, Political; William Jennings Bryan

11055-935 - Card, Political; William Jennings Bryan

White card with blue printed portrait of Bryan. In blue lettering at top and bottom are: "No Crown of Thorns, No Cross of Gold," "The Peoples Banner, David City, Nebraska."

Image of 11055-975 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Money

11055-975 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Money

Obverse: A female head facing let with, "Bryan's Money" above. At the bottom is 1896 and four six-pointed stars on each side. Denticulated border. Reverse: Displayed eagle with "Bryan's Idea of Coinage" around outside. Above eagle is "16 to 1". To the left is "ABER", and at the right "NIT". Denticulated border.

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

11073-1 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Black and white portrait of William Jennings Bryan