Rock Island, IL Speech, 1896-10-24

Speech by William Jennings Bryan.

Speech by William Jennings Bryan
Saturday, October 24, 1896 at 12:00pm
Fairgrounds, Rock Island, IL

Source: AT ILLINOIS TOWNS, Democratic Leader Visits Many of the Cities and Makes a Dozen Speeches., Omaha World-Herald (Sunday Edition), Sunday, October 25, 1896

"We have had 16 to 1 exemplified and illustrated in various ways as we have passed from place to place. Sometimes we have been greeted by sixteen little girls dressed in white and one little girl dressed in yellow, sometimes a carriage has been pulled by sixteen white horses and one yellow horse, and in a number of places we have received flowers where the bouquet has been composed of sixteen white flowers and one yellow one, but I understand that in this country you have the 16 to 1 ratio represented in a much more practical and effective way than we have found it represented anywhere else. You have one family in this county with sixteen persons who have heretofore voted the Republican ticket, all of whom will vote for free silver this year at 16 to 1. (Cheers) And when the family has been Republican before, why you know it counts you know at the bullion ratio, because when we have a vote from the other side it counts two, so in this family it really means the bullion ratio of 32 to 1. (Great cheering.)

Now, I am not surprised that people who have been Republicans all their lives are this year deserting the Republican party, because the republican party has taken a new position.

They are standing by their convictions, and they say that they are not leaving their party, that their party has left them, but the Democrats who go from us to the Republican party on the money question have to desert the history of the Democratic party, because our party has stood for bimetallism, for the use of gold and silver as the standard money, during all its existence. I say, therefore, that when a Republican comes to us he still has convictions that he used to have. When a Democrat leaves us he has got to change his convictions and go over and denounce what he used to love and love what he used to hate."

About this Document

  • Source: Omaha World-Herald (Sunday Edition)
  • Published: Omaha, NE
  • Citation: 1
  • Date: October 24, 1896