Goldsboro, NC Speech, 1896-09-18

Speech by William Jennings Bryan.

Speech by William Jennings Bryan
Friday, September 18, 1896 at 9:20am
Center Street, Goldsboro, NC

Source: The First Battle: A Story of the Campaign of 1896, 1896; GOLDSBORO WAS AWAKE., Its People Preferred a Sight of Bryan to Sleep., Omaha World-Herald (Morning Edition), Saturday, September 19, 1896

"Sometimes we are accused of raising a sectional issue. One of the best evidences that the platform adopted at Chicago does not raise a sectional issue is found in the language of the platform adopted yesterday in New York. Read it. After unreservedly endorsing the platform and the candidates of the Chicago convention, it declares as its deliberate judgment that never in the history of the Democratic party has a platform been written that embodies more completely the interests of the whole people, as distinguished from those who seek legislation for private benefit, than that given to the country by the Democratic National Convention of 1896. (Cheers.) There, within the shadow of Wall street, there, against the combined opposition of those who were once the leading Democrats of New York, the Democracy of New York declares the Chicago platform to be the most Democratic platform ever put before the country. In the State of Connecticut the Democrats have endorsed our platform as they have also in the States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In these and other Eastern States the Democracy is beginning to realize that the Democratic platform speaks for the American people upon the great issues."


"In this campaign we are fighting together instead of fighting among ourselves. I remember that a few years ago a Populist in Congress stated that the small burros that run wild upon the prairies of South America form a group, when attacked by a ferocious animal, and, putting their heads together and their feet on the outside of the circle, protect themselves from the enemy. But he added that the advocates of reforms sometimes showed less discretion, and, turning their heads toward the enemy, kicked each other. It is often the case that those who are fighting for reform interfere with each other, and counteract each other's work because they cannot entirely agree. In this campaign those who believe in the free coinage of silver have joined together, regardless of differences of opinion upon other subjects. Democrats who believe in tariff reform and Republicans who believe in protection are able to come together when both recognize that the money question is the paramount issue. A Populist leader of this State well expressed the idea when he said, "While I believe in Populist doctrines, and, among other things, in the Government ownership of railroads, I do not want the Government to own the railroads as long as Rothschild owns the Government." It is this willingness to lay aside minor differences in hours of danger that gives us the surest proof that our people are able to rise to the requirements of any emergency."

About this Document

  • Source: The First Battle: A Story of the Campaign of 1896
  • Author: William Jennings Bryan
  • Publisher: W.B. Conkey Company
  • Published: Chicago, Illinois
  • Citation: 455-456
  • Date: September 18, 1896