Erie, PA Speech 2, 1896-08-26

Speech by William Jennings Bryan.

Speech by William Jennings Bryan
Wednesday, August 26, 1896
St. Patrick's Auditorium, Erie, PA

Source: GREAT PRINCIPLE AT STAKE, Mr. Bryan Makes One More Speech at Erie, Pa., Omaha World-Herald (Morning Edition), Friday, August 28, 1896; The Evening News, Thursday, August 27, 1896

"We have got to take action. It is either bimetallism or a gold standard and its future is in the hands of fate. There is no other issue but money. It comes first. All others are minor affairs. They may be settled at any time, but the question of money must be settled now. What are we going to do? I don't know what the people think about it, but I do know if they want to help themselves they will go to the polls and vote for silver. I don't know what your politics are, nor do I care. I speak to you as citizens of a great country, not as members of a party. Parties are useful, but they are instruments, not men."


"There is no reason why you should worship any party. The Republican party's delegates had great opportunities at St. Louis, but they were slaves to gold and had to bow their heads to the organized syndicates, and you must remember that these same syndicates protect the treasury. The Republican party tells you to hope and wait. But how long will you have to wait? Do not let the Republicans beguile you about the future. The future is written in blood, crushed out of you by gold. (Applause.) It is not for amusement that we are engaged in this contest. It is for you. It is going to be war, and if we lose this time we are going right along and keep up the war until we win. But, my friends, we will not have to keep it up long. (Applause.) Agitation of this question causes trouble, and trouble causes agitation. People do not get agitated for nothing. There must be something back of it all. Perhaps it is because a farmer who owned a farm which was worth twenty years ago $5,000 this year mortgages it for $2,500, and if he tries to sell it he will find that he cannot get enough for it to pay off the mortgage."

About this Document

  • Source: Omaha World-Herald (Morning Edition)
  • Published: Omaha, NE
  • Citation: 6
  • Date: August 26, 1896