Huntington, WV Speech, 1896-10-02

Speech by William Jennings Bryan.

Speech by William Jennings Bryan
Friday, October 2, 1896
Depot, Huntington, WV

Source: THEY [[illegible]] NO REMEDY, Mr. Bryan [[illegible]] of the Strange Position [Take]n by His Opponents, Omaha World-Herald (Morning Edition), Saturday, October 3, 1896

"You talk to Republicans about the gold standard and they will tell you they are as good friends of silver as anybody, and yet when they come to get our their badges, when they come to print the name of their candidate on paper, they, by some strange circumstance, select yellow paper to print it on. Another thing, you cannot find any clubs among the Republicans that are called 'gold standard clubs.' What do you find? 'Sound money clubs.' (Cheers.) Now, why do they use 'sound money,' instead of gold? Because they dare not tell the people what they mean by the term. They are using these words to deceive."


"My friends, everybody wants sound money, but the question is, what is sound money? I will tell you what I understand sound money to be. Sound money is furnished in sufficient quantities to form a safe basis for the business of the country. There is something necessary besides quality in money. Money may be good, splendid, but there may be none of it. (Applause.)

It is of money as it is of food. You have got to combine quantity and quality. The gold standard is of no advantage unless you can find enough gold to furnish the standard money. Our opponents have not furnished that gold. They cannot furnish it. All over the world today the nations are scrambling to get the gold there is. When they talk about the invisible supply of gold they talk about the supply which cannot be seen, because invisible means not seen, and I will tell you that this invisible supply of gold is getting to be more and more invisible every day. (Applause.)

Now, my friends, there are two reasons which may explain the fact that our opponents do not propose a financial system to the American people. In the first place, they tell you what ought to be done is due to ignorance. If so, how can they ask you to trust those who don't know what the party does not know today." (Laughter and applause.)


"If our opponents do not know what kind of a system is good for us then if we follow them it will be the blind leading the blind. And you know what the Bible says about the incident where the blind led the blind. (Applause.) They both fell into the ditch.

If, on the other hand, our opponents say they know what ought to be done then we ask them why they don't tell the people what they know. Our opponents can only excuse themselves on one of two grounds. Their failure to elaborate a financial system must be due to ignorance or it must be due to an unwillingness to let the people know what their plans are before they vote. (Great cheering).

...Yet the men who act in the capacity of trustees are so insolent that they are now contributing to republican campaign funds the money that the people have deposited with them for security. (Cheers).

My friends if the banks want to go into politics let them beware of the result that may follow political banking. If they claim to be business men and run their business on business principles they must not come into the field of politics and attempt to run politics." (Applause.)


"I realize that the great corporations, trusts, syndicates and combinations of wealth are against us, but I remember that they were against Andrew Jackson in the same fight that we are making today. (Applause). They were powerful before the people, but when the time to vote came the people were greater than the combination. (Applause.) But my friends, this campaign will demonstrate whether the people are to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people or whether it is going to be a government of syndicates by syndicates and for syndicates."

About this Document

  • Source: Omaha World-Herald (Morning Edition)
  • Published: Omaha, NE
  • Citation: 3
  • Date: October 2, 1896