Boston, MA Speech 2, 1896-09-25

Speech by William Jennings Bryan.

Speech by William Jennings Bryan
Friday, September 25, 1896 at 7:30pm
Boston Common, Boston , MA

Source: BOSTON GOES WILD, Mr. Bryan Speaks to the Largest Crowd Ever Gathered to Hear Him., Omaha World-Herald (Morning Edition), Saturday, September 26, 1896; The Evening News, Saturday, September 26, 1896

"Though far from my Nebraska home, I am glad that I can greet you as fellow citizens of a common country. I shall not attempt to make myself heard to all who are assembled here. I have spoken to a number of audiences, but I never spoke to an audience that seemed to reach so far away into the distance as this one does. (Applause.) I will speak to those who are nearest to me here and those who are in Rhode Island and Maine can hear me when I visit those states.

I came down to Massachusetts to present to your people the gospel of Democracy as I understand it. That is the way we do. I do not claim to have any authority except that conferred upon me by the Democratic convention, if you doubt my Democracy I can point to that convention as a better certificate than any bolting Democrat can find.

We lay down this proposition, that the more money in the country, the easier it is for any person who has something to sell to get his share of that money. Our opponents plant themselves upon the doctrine that the less money the whole people have, the more money each individual will have. (Laughter and Applause.) That is a mathematical proposition which you cannot find in any arithmetic, but it seems to be the proposition upon which Republican financiering is based.

We say that while the dollar goes up, property must go down, and that falling prices and falling property mean heard times. If you ask us how this gold standard affects the farm, we tell you that the gold standard lowers the price of the product he sells, without lowering his taxes or his debt. If you ask us how the gold standard affects the laboring man, we reply that it destroys the opportunity for labor, multiplies the number of idle men. The gold standard fills our streets with men who are anxious to work and the find no opportunity.

The gold standard, by increasing idleness, brings poverty to those who should have enough and to spare, and when you spring people into poverty, when you take the means of gaining a livelihood, you made tramps out of men who under just conditions would be self-supporting and contributors to the nation's wealth and greatness. And last of all, when you drive men to hunger and despair and desperation, you make criminals out of men who under just conditions would be law abiding citizens.

The gold standard has nothing to defend it except the misery which ahs followed it wherever it has been tried. The gold standard is a failure if you will accept the testimony of those in every land who have had the testimony of those who create wealth and add to the national productiveness.

We have commenced a warfare against the gold standard. We invite you to join with us now." (Cries of "We will" and "No Yale men here.")


"If you don't join with us now and we are defeated this year we will come again and extend the invitation until a majority of this country do join with us. While our opponents are spreading literature by the ton, the people are joining in the crusade for the restoration of bimetallism. We have no great campaign fund. We are doing the best we can with the means on hand. We have not many great daily newspapers with us, but, my friends, the time will come when the daily papers will be glad to furnish editorials that the people of this country want. (Cries of "He will, you bet.") Having been connected for a short time with the newspaper business myself, I do not underestimate the influence of newspapers, but, my friends, in times like these people go ahead of the newspapers when the newspapers refuse to lead the people. I beg you to recognize the importance of this issue to you. If it shall result in elevating to office those who believe in the free coinage of silver the reform will come now. If it results in their defeat it will simply postpone for four years more the bringing of relief to the people of this county.

My friends, you who assemble here as the representatives of the great Bay State have your part of the fight which we have now on hand, and I am glad that so great an army has so gallant a leader as George Fred Williams. If we had another national convention, if I can judge from the sentiment expressed there, every delegate would respond to the free coinage of silver at 16 to 1. (Great cheering.)

(Vice Presidential Nominee Arthur Sewall joins Mr. Bryan.)

My fellow citizens, I introduce to you a man who, way up in Maine, was willing to stand for free coinage when his neighbors were against it. (Applause and hurrah for Sewall.) I introduce to you a man who was in favor of an income tax, although he had to pay it, a man who did not bow the knee to Baal or worship the golden calf, Arthur Sewall, the Democratic candidate for vice-president."

About this Document

  • Source: Omaha World-Herald (Morning Edition)
  • Published: Omaha, NE
  • Citation: 1
  • Date: September 25, 1896