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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 11744-140 - Postcard, William Jennings Bryan, the Nebraska Cuckoo Clock

11744-140 - Postcard, William Jennings Bryan, the Nebraska Cuckoo Clock

1908 Nebraska Cuckoo Clock postcard making fun of democratic Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. It is a light brown postcard with black ink. A cartoon likeness of William Jennings Bryan's head on the face of a cuckoo clock fills most of the front of the card. "The Nebraska Cuckoo Clock" and "Will Run Every Four Years if Properly Wound" are printed above and below the image respectively. Printed on the back of the card are a U.S. flag shield "post card" emblem, "Published by Kansas city Post Card Co.", and "This space can be used for a written message". Also on the back of the card are: a one cent stamp; a Kansas city, MO post office stamp from Nov. 1908; and the handwritten mess

Image of 11770-33 - Booklet; William Jennings Bryan; "The Bible and Its Enemies" by Bryan

11770-33 - Booklet; William Jennings Bryan; "The Bible and Its Enemies" by Bryan

Third edition of an address delivered at the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. "F.N. Recknor's Book" is written on the title page. The cover is a dark gray and the ink is dark blue. "The Bible and Its Enemies" is the tittle and the author is William Jenninings Bryan. It has a border around the outside of the cover. The pages are a yellowish color with black ink.

Image of 11999-1 - Fob; William Jennings Bryan; "For President William Jennings Bryan"

11999-1 - Fob; William Jennings Bryan; "For President William Jennings Bryan"

Tall rectangular brass pendant with inscribed words: "For President William Jennings Bryan" attached is a leather strap with a brass buckle (coated with silver metal)

Image of 12463 - Print, Photographic; William Jennings Bryan

12463 - Print, Photographic; William Jennings Bryan

Engraving of William Jennings Bryan in a suit and bow tie in front of a dark background. A chair is partly visible and he is apparently seated in it. At bottom are the words, "Yours truly W. J. Bryan" "Oct 1st 1908". These appear to be handwritten and are in white. A narrow strip of blank paper runs at the bottom of the page and reads, "Published by William J. Campbell. Philadelphia." "Engraved by W. H. W. Bicknell, from a photograph by Alva C. Townsend of Lincoln. Neb." Image: william jennings bryan COLORS: black, sepia, cream, white TECHNIQUE: engraving

Image of 13000-18 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

13000-18 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Celluloid button featuring a sepia toned photographic portrait of Bryan with "Wm. J. Bryan for President" printed in white on his shoulder.

Image of 7145-13 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

7145-13 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Black and White photographic portrait of Bryan in profile.

Image of 12530-1 - Painting; William Jennings Bryan; "Oilograph," Painted on Cloth

12530-1 - Painting; William Jennings Bryan; "Oilograph," Painted on Cloth

Color "Oilograph" head and shoulder picture of William Jennings Bryan on a dark background. Bryan is wearing a black jacket, white shirt, and black bow tie. Over the left side of Bryan's chest are the words, "Copyrighted 1896, by Brett[Illegible] Co. NY". The image is on a sturdy piece of cloth.

Image of 13000-24 - Poster, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "The Next President of the United States"

13000-24 - Poster, Political; William Jennings Bryan; "The Next President of the United States"

The Next President of the United States; Rectangular Sheet Paper W/5 Oval Photos of Bryan, on Cardboard Image: rectangular, w/5 ovals COLORS: ink black, paper white TECHNIQUE: printed, photographs

Image of 13000-25 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan

13000-25 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan

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. Postcard was not circulated nor has a message. Back has a small article in the correspondence panel entitled: "why not make the Depositer Secure?".

Image of 13000-3 - Pin, Political; William Jennings Bryan; Mechanical flower with Bryan picture in center

13000-3 - Pin, Political; William Jennings Bryan; Mechanical flower with Bryan picture in center

Mechanical flower with metal leaves and cloth petals. When pushed from the stem area, the flower opens up and in the center is a photo of William Jennings Bryan

Image of 13000-33 - Pin, Political; William Jennings Bryan

13000-33 - Pin, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Round button with red, white and blue stripe with "L/Bryan/C"

Image of 13000-5 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Money

13000-5 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Money

Obverse: A very childishly exercuted head of liberty, with sixteen stars on coronet band. "In God we Trust for the other 47" Around the top. 1896 at the bottom. Five pointed stars, seven at left and six at right of date. The "S" in trust is backwards. Denticulated border. Reverse: Displayed eagle in center. "Billy Bryan idea of Free Coinage" around the top. "16 to 1" at the bottom.

Image of 13000-6 - Fob; William Jennings Bryan

13000-6 - Fob; William Jennings Bryan

Irregular circle with the word Bryan.

Image of 8281-8 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

8281-8 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

Color portrait of William Jennings Bryan with "Wm. J. Bryan" in white letters towards bottom

Image of 13026-5 - Plate, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; "E. Pluribus Unum"

13026-5 - Plate, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; "E. Pluribus Unum"

The plate is clear glass. It has a lacy outer border. There are openings along the border. The sides of the plate slope down slightly as they go toward the center. In the center of the plate is a raised design of the bust of William Jennings Bryan. The words "E Pluribus Unum" are above the design and "1896" run underneath the design. Six-pointed stars between the words complete the inner border around the middle design. A few of the lace pieces along the edge of the plate have broken off.

Image of 13051-3 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Scandinavian Bryan Club

13051-3 - Badge; William Jennings Bryan; Scandinavian Bryan Club

Scandinavian Bryan Club badge. Badge has top pin with a banner and white flourish border with "Lancaster Co." inscribed. Pin clasp on the back of the banner. Hanging down from the top piece to connect a button is a blue ribbon with club name inscribed with silver lettering. Button has the image of William Jennings Bryan on it. Back of pin, ribbon, and button have manufacturer's label and address.

Image of 13051-4 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan; "The Great Commoner"

13051-4 - Postcard; William Jennings Bryan; "The Great Commoner"

Post card. Front has the image of William Jennings Bryan in a white oval with border aver a shield with the United States flag design as cover. Also behind Bryan's image, but in front of the shield is a branch. Beneath Bryan's oval: "First in the hearts of his Countrymen". Bottom of the card is "The Great Commoner" with a passage following stating Bryan's principles. Back of post card has sections divided up for correspondence and address. In the upper right corner is a rectangle to place a stamp. Inside the stamp square: "Place stamp here Domestic one cent foreign two cents." To the left of the stamp rectangle in large print - "Post Card" a single vertical line separates correspondence are

Image of 3920 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan/Sewall; Jugate;  "16-1"

3920 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan/Sewall; Jugate; "16-1"

"Bryan Sewall" 16-1 Jugate. Colors: black, white, blue

Image of 3921 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; Free Silver

3921 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; Free Silver

Free Silver Coin with eagle in the middle