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Catalog Number 13165-4
Title Coin, Commemorative; William Jennings Bryan; Bryan Money
Object Name Coin, Commemorative
Description 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.
Date 1896
Material Silver Metal
Diameter (in) 3.5
People Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925
History On July 9, 1896, William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold"
speech at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago
caused a sensation with his denunciation of supporters of
the gold standard. Bryan went on to win the party's nomination. From the George Mason University "History Matters" web pages:

1896 "Bryan Money", Presidential Election Large Size Satirical Dollar: issued for the 1896 McKinley/Bryan campaign where gold and silver were a major issues

"The most famous speech in American political history was
delivered by William Jennings Bryan on July 9, 1896, at the
Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The issue was whether to endorse the free coinage of silver at a ratio of silver to gold of 16 to 1. (This inflationary measure would have increased the amount of money in circulation and aided cash-poor and debt-burdened farmers.) After speeches on the subject by several U.S. Senators, Bryan rose to speak. The thirty-six-year-old former Congressman from Nebraska aspired to be the Democratic nominee for president, and he had been skillfully, but quietly, building support for himself among the delegates. His dramatic speaking style and rhetoric roused the crowd to a frenzy. The response, wrote one reporter, "came like one great burst of artillery." Men and women screamed and waved their hats and canes. "Some," wrote another reporter, "like demented things, divested themselves of their coats and flung them high in the air." The next day the convention nominated Bryan for President on the fifth ballot."
History Matters

The political debate over Bryan's proposal led to the production of numismatic items now called "Bryan Money" In the July 1926 issue of The Numismatist Farran Zerbe published "Bryan Money Tokens of the Presidential Campaigns of 1896 and 1900 Comparative and Satirical," the standard reference for Bryan
Money for decades. Fred Schornstein's 2001 work updated
and replaced the Zerbe catalog.


Credit line Beth H. Smith, Papillion, Nebraska
Collection Smith, Beth H.