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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 7781-8 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; Mechanical Bug

7781-8 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan; Mechanical Bug

Mechanical Bug, Photos on Wings, Wings Move. William Jennings Bryan is on left wing and running mate Sewell is on right

Image of 13165-1 - Ticket to the 1896 Democratic National Convention

13165-1 - Ticket to the 1896 Democratic National Convention

This is a ticket to a democratic national convention. The front of the ticket has a white border and the background of the ticket is a very detailed white and pale blue design. On the left top of the ticket there is a waving American flag on a pole surrounded by branches with leaves and berries on them. Next to the flag the words "DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION." appear in block letters and are surrounded by a decorative black and white swirly border. Below this written in Old English is, "Chicago, July 7th 1896". Below there is a copied signature of W.F. Harrity and the title, "CHAIRMAN DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE." printed below the signature. In the bottom left hand corner "SECTION D" is

Image of 13165-2 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

13165-2 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

This is a very large picture button with a sepia photograph of a bust of William Jennings Bryan and thin celluloid protective covering over the button. The back of the button is a gold metal(perhaps brass) and there is a hole at the top of the button that looks like it was used for hanging. Approx. 1.5 inches below that hole are two slots that come out of the button to be used as some type of fastener. On the button now is part of a wire hanger fashioned to make a stand for the button and a piece of twill tape wrapped loosely around the hanger. In the center of the back "MADE BY CRUVER MFG CO - CHICAGO" is engraved in a circle.

Image of 13165-3 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

13165-3 - Button, Political; William Jennings Bryan

1896 presidential campaign button for William Jennings Bryan. On the front of the button is a silver background. There is a black & white photograph of the bust of Bryan encompassed by double lined silver circle with black outline. Above the picture is a red, white and blue ribbon tied in a bow with two long tails on either side of the photograph. The back of the button has a stick pin with no clasp and some text printed by the manufacturer: "ALLIED PRINTING TRADES UNION LABEL COUNCIL 3 NEWARK" "Buttons made by The Whitehead & Hoag Co. Newark, N. J., U. S. A. Pat. April 14, 1896, July 21, 1896." Attached to the button is a note written on white cardstock by the donor that reads, "William Jenn

Image of 13165-4 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Money

13165-4 - Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Money

1896 "Bryan Money". Presidential Election Large Size Satirical Dollar. This is a large silver metal coin. On the head side of the coin, there is the profile of an embossed greek head below it is the date 1896. The edges of the coin are grooved to simulate the reeded edges of a coin. The tails of the coin has a poorly embossed eagle and the words, "UNITED STATED 16 TO 1 NIT" circling around the inside edges of the coin. The edges of the back are also grooved like the front.

Image of 13165-5 - Case, Eyeglasses; William Jennings Bryan

13165-5 - Case, Eyeglasses; William Jennings Bryan

It appears to be real silver. It is a shallow, horizontally long, skinny rectangle shape with rounded sides. There is a hinged lid on top that's mouth opens apprx. .25 inches from the edge. The case is fully engraved with a fine wavy pattern and also engraved with decorative swirls all around the edges. In the middle of the case there is a smooth circle and engraved inside is "W. J. Bryan Lincoln, Nebr." Inside there is a purple velvet lining and a simple clasp.

Image of 13180-1 - Roster, Third Nebraska Infantry, Co. F, Spanish American War

13180-1 - Roster, Third Nebraska Infantry, Co. F, Spanish American War

Spanish-American War Roster for the Third Nebraska Infantry, Company F. The roster is published by C.T. Fuller of Buffalo, New York. At the Top of the roster, it says "SOLDIER'S MEMORIAL". There is an image of a Lady Liberty type figure with a U.S. Flag and laurel wreath. There is a large eagle and shields below. She is surrounded by soldiers. A wounded sailor is receiving a laurel wreath. There are various scenes illustrated around the edges of the roster such as encampments, battleships, crossed swords, canons, soldiers being welcomed home, etc. Below the names on the roster is a battle scene. The artwork is by F.A. Neubauer of Cincinnati, Ohio. The central part of the print contains a list

Image of 7294-6091-(2) - Ballot; William Jennings Bryan

7294-6091-(2) - Ballot; William Jennings Bryan

White card with black printing. Top reads: "The Free Silver Ticket/Bryan Electors" (includes list)

Image of 13262-4 - Pin, Campaign, William Jennings Bryan

13262-4 - Pin, Campaign, William Jennings Bryan

A gold eagle pin inserted in red white and blue ribbon from which black and white portrait "button" of Bryan hangs. The gold eagle pin has an eagle with wings spread and a striped shield. It is also holding an olive branch in one talon and a bundle of arrows in the other. The ribbon is made of satin and attaches to the back of the campaign button. The ribbon has red, white and blue stripes. The bottom of the ribbon attaches to the back of the button. The button has a tarnished silver backing and a celluloid front. The image within the button has a black and white bust image of William Jennings Bryan at the center, with a plain (off)white background.

Image of 13262-5 - Medal, Political,William Jennings Bryan Victory 1896

13262-5 - Medal, Political,William Jennings Bryan Victory 1896

Bryan campaign pendant in leather frame. The pendant is square in shape, with an attachment at the top with a hole for the small metal link that is attached. The leather is tan in color and seems to be two pieces that were glued together to make a top and bottom layer. The picture between these layers is a black and white William Jennings Bryan bust, with the words "VICTORY 1896" at the top and "W.J. BRYAN." at the bottom, both in a light red ink.

Image of 13262-1 - Medal, Political, William Jennings Bryan, 16 to 1 "Coin"

13262-1 - Medal, Political, William Jennings Bryan, 16 to 1 "Coin"

A circular plaster "coin" with a raised image of William Jennings Bryan. The coin is composed of a pink plaster-like material that has been painted metallic silver. There is a raised image of William Jennings Bryan's head and shoulders at the center with the words "FREE SILVER" engraved along the left edge and "16. TO 1." engraved along the right. "W.J. BRYAN" is engraved below the bust and "T.C." is engraved in cursive to the left of the bust. The top edge of the "coin" has a metal loop that extends out of the top. The back side of the "coin" has very few remnants of the metallic silver paint and the pink plaster-like material is exposed. There appears to be some handwritten printing across

Image of 13262-2 - Pin, Campaign, William Jennings Bryan 1896 Victory

13262-2 - Pin, Campaign, William Jennings Bryan 1896 Victory

Gold eagle pin through a red, white, and blue ribbon from which hangs a Bryan campaign "button". The gold eagle pin has an eagle with wings spread and a striped shield. It is also holding an olive branch in one talon and a bundle of arrows in the other. The ribbon is made of satin and attaches to the backs of the eagle pin and the campaign button. The button has a tarnished silver backing and a celluloid front. The image within the button has a bust image of William Jennings Bryan at the center, with the text "VICTORY 1896 W.J. BRYAN" circling his head. There is a stripe of blue with white stars running diagonally across the button and a background of red and white stripes running horizontall

Image of 13262-3 - Pin, Campaign, William Jennings Bryan

13262-3 - Pin, Campaign, William Jennings Bryan

Black and white Bryan portrait "button" hanging from U.S. flag ribbon through which a pin is inserted. The pin is made of a bronze colored metal and is shaped like a "T." The ribbon is made of satin and attaches to the back of the campaign button. The ribbon is made to look like an American flag, with 13 alternating red and white stripes and an embroidered square of blue thread with 13 white stars embroidered on top. The bottom edges of the "flag" ribbon are folded into a point, where it attaches to the back of the button. The button is dome-shaped and has a tarnished silver backing and a celluloid front. The image within the button has a black and white bust image of William Jennings Bryan

Image of 13262-6 - Pin, Campaign, William Jennings Bryan

13262-6 - Pin, Campaign, William Jennings Bryan

Screw back Bryan campaign pin attached to top of red, white, and blue ribbon from which dangles a lump of silver "charm". The pin depicts a black and white image of Bryan from the chest up. The top of the pin reads "WM. J. Bryan" in black letters. On his proper right shoulder, "16 to 1" is seen in white lettering.

Image of 13262-7 - Pin, Campaign, William Jennings Bryan 1896 Victory

13262-7 - Pin, Campaign, William Jennings Bryan 1896 Victory

William Jennings Bryan 1896 Victory Campaign Medal with Ribbon and Rooster Pin. The bronze pin has a rooster standing on a strip of bronze-colored metal with a raised curved line and dots. The attached ribbon is made of red, white and blue striped satin and attaches to the backs of the rooster pin and the campaign button. The button has a tarnished silver backing and a celluloid front. The image within the button has a bust image of William Jennings Bryan at the center, with the text "VICTORY 1896 W.J. BRYAN" circling his head. There is a stripe of blue with white stars running diagonally across the button and a background of red and white stripes running horizontally down the button.

Image of 13262-8 - Button, Campaign, William Jennings Bryan

13262-8 - Button, Campaign, William Jennings Bryan

Celluloid pin-back button with a black and white photo portrait of Bryan in profile. At the top is "Wm. J. Bryan" in black lettering. Around the edge of the front of the pin is an American flag motif. The back of the pin has printed writing in blue ink that reads "SWEET CAPORAL/ CIGARETTE/ BUTTONS MANUFACTURED BY/ THE WHITEHEAD AND HOAG CO./ BADGES & BUTTONS/ NEWARK, NJ/ PAT. JULY 21-1895/ PAT. JULY 17-1894/ PAT. APRIL 14-1896"

Image of 13262-9 - Pin, Campaign, Bryan and Sewall

13262-9 - Pin, Campaign, Bryan and Sewall

Star shaped silver toned pin engraved with "Bryan & Sewall". The pin has a safety pin-back closure.

Image of 1330 - Button, Campaign; William Jennings Bryan; "I Gave My Dollar Did You?"

1330 - Button, Campaign; William Jennings Bryan; "I Gave My Dollar Did You?"

Round button with William Jennings Bryan's portrait in the center and the text, "I Gave My Dollar, Did you?" Colors: brown, off-white, black

Image of 13371-8 - Button, Campaign; William Jennings Bryan

13371-8 - Button, Campaign; William Jennings Bryan

Round celluloid button with a black and white portrait of William Jennings Bryan in the center. The portrait is arranged inside three concentric circles of white, red, and blue. A small shield with an American flag design surrounded by gold scrollwork at the center lower edge of the portrait. Straight pin on reverse. Paper backing on the underside bears the maker's mark of the Whitehead & Hoag Co.

Image of 13339-2-(1-2) - Cover, First Day; Nebraska Statehood Stamp, with card

13339-2-(1-2) - Cover, First Day; Nebraska Statehood Stamp, with card

White envelope with a sepia-toned design on the proper right half. The design depicts the Nebraska Capitol Building and official Centennial medal surrounded by names of famous individuals and Native American tribes. Lettering above the design reads "Nebraska / Centennial / 1867-1967." Beneath the design is "Official First / Day Cover." Nebraska Statehood five cent postage stamp in upper proper left corner. Stamp depicts a ear of corn with a cow in front of it. Hand stamp beneath postage stamp reads "First Day of Issue." Postmarked at upper center "Lincoln, NB / Jul / 29 / 1967." Informational card included with envelope gives an overview of the history of Nebraska statehood, the Capitol