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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 11082-7 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan/Stevenson; Jugate

11082-7 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan/Stevenson; Jugate

Jugat with photos of William Jennings Bryan and running mate Stevenson. "Choice of the People" "Bryan and Stevenson." Off-white and brown.

Image of 11082-8 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

11082-8 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Round button with colorized photo portrait of Wiliam Jennings Bryan on a white background.

Image of 11082-9 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

11082-9 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Button with colorized photo portrait of Bryan.

Image of 11149-5 - Transparency, Lantern-Slide; William Jennings Bryan

11149-5 - Transparency, Lantern-Slide; William Jennings Bryan

This is a picture of Bryan speaking to a large group of soldiers. Behind him is a group of men standing, one of the men is McKinley. Some of the others are soldiers.

Image of 11156-3 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Judge

11156-3 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Judge

Judge magazine with caricature of Bryan with a small infant pulling on his coat and Uncle Sam watching. Baby is labeled "Free Silver" and caption reads "He Can't Shake It."

Image of 11156-4 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Judge

11156-4 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Judge

Cover of Judge magazine featuring a man in the shape of a bag of gold about to hit a nail marked free silver. I

Image of 11156-5 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Judge

11156-5 - Magazine; William Jennings Bryan; Judge

Judge magazine cover featuring an image of a dejected man (Bryan) sitting on a board marked 16 to 1. Nearby a large farmer reclines on several full bags of wheat. Caption reads: "It is to Laugh--The Calamity Howler is Out of the Bag."

Image of 11277-3 - Poster, Poltical; William Jennings Bryan

11277-3 - Poster, Poltical; William Jennings Bryan

This is an advertisement for William Jennings Bryan. There is a picture of him on the proper right side and then words about him, what will be talked about at Chautauqua, and when it will be held are to the proper left.

Image of 11185-1 - Pin, Political; William Jennings Bryan

11185-1 - Pin, Political; William Jennings Bryan

This tiny coffin labeled "Billy Bryan, Nov. 3, 1896" on the outside, when opened proclaims, "Free silver knocked him out."

Image of 11278-4 - Booklet; William Jennings Bryan

11278-4 - Booklet; William Jennings Bryan

Fold out black and white photograph set. Features ten photographs on one side and six on the other. Photographs feature W.J. Bryan, farm scenes, reception photos, Bryan's home Fairview, his family and supporters. Photo set has been ripped out of a postcard booklet. Has part of a message on a black square. Writes about cooking, missing the train, and asks for news of home.

Image of 11557-9 - Cartoon; William Jennings Bryan; Lincoln Daily News

11557-9 - Cartoon; William Jennings Bryan; Lincoln Daily News

Lincoln Daily News cartoon featuring Bryan as a schoolboy observing a GOP convention brawl in Chicago in 1912. Caption reads "The Education of Willie Bryan."

Image of 11557-1 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan

11557-1 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan

Black and white photo of W.J. Bryan seated at a table. Waist up view of Bryan in a suit and bow tie. "2. Hon. William Jennings Bryan" captioned beneath the photo in black print. No message on back.

Image of 11557-10 - Cartoon; William Jennings Bryan; Lincoln Daily News

11557-10 - Cartoon; William Jennings Bryan; Lincoln Daily News

Cartoon with caption "Hard to Stand On" from the Lincoln Daily News featuring Bryan & a donkey watching an elephant slide down GOP platform. The elephant (Republican Party) is sliding down a platform made out of the words: contests, accusations, bitterness, party strife, dissension, discord, personalities.

Image of 11557-2 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan; Fairview

11557-2 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan; Fairview

Front - color lithograph with white frame of a view of W.J. Bryan's Fairview home. View of the porch and side of the house complete with landscape. No message on back it was not circulated.

Image of 11557-3 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan; Fairview

11557-3 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan; Fairview

Front - black and white photo of W.J. Bryan's home Fairview in Lincoln, Nebraska. View of the house and landscape. Next to photo, upper right corner is the caption: "Residence of William Jennings Bryan, Lincoln, Neb." No message on back it was not circulated.

Image of 11557-4 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan; Sunday School Class, Miami, FL

11557-4 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan; Sunday School Class, Miami, FL

COLORS: color TECHNIQUE: color litho Front: white frame picture is a view of an outdoor Sunday school class - palm trees and a stage with Bryan standing on it. Buildings in the background and a large crowd of people sitting in pews. Caption above the color litho "Wm. Jennings Bryan Sunday Class, Miami, Fla." Back: message sends greetings from the Coconut Grove in Florida sent February 10, 1926. Also includes a short message: "C.W. will be back to run for governor."

Image of 11557-5 - Handbill, Political; William Jennings Bryan

11557-5 - Handbill, Political; William Jennings Bryan

White handbill with red text featuring "Solemn Warnings by W. J. Bryan . . ." Continues to quote two Bryan speeches.

Image of 11571-10 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

11571-10 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Round button that reads: "I'm for Free Silver, High Admiral Cigarette"

Image of 11571-7 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan, Cross of Gold

11571-7 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan, Cross of Gold

Round button featuring a gold Cross encircled by a crown of thorns. Button reads: "No Cross of Gold/No Crown of Thorns."

Image of 11571-8 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

11571-8 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Round yellowish button with black printing that reads: "In Bryan we trust, all other trusts must bust."