Council Bluffs, IA Speech 1, 1896-10-31

Speech by William Jennings Bryan.

Speech by William Jennings Bryan
Saturday, October 31, 1896 at 7:30pm
Dohany's Opera House, Council Bluffs, IA

Source: AT DOHANY’S OPERA HOUSE., Building Packed to Its Utmost Capacity by the Throng., Omaha World-Herald (Sunday Edition), Sunday, November 1, 1896


Mr. Bryan['s]...opening remark [was] "A person would hardly think, to look into your faces, that you are all lunatics," [(Laughter.)]...[which was] coupled with his second statement, "and yet there are people who have an idea that the belief in the free coinage of silver is a sort of lunacy."

An assertion that there "are more people in this country who understand the principles which underlie monetary science than ever before, and they are not all in the banks, either," was met with shouts of "That's right." Cheers of approval greeted statements that if the gold standard is a good thing, if it brings blessings to the American people, we ought to keep it; if it is a bad thing we ought to get rid of it. ["]If the gold standard is best, we do not want international bimetallism. You cannot have monometallism and bimetallism at the same time, yet the gold standard men will point out to you the horrible example of silver-using countries and then go on the Republican platform and pledge you that he will do all he can to abandon the gold standard as soon as other nations will help us to do it.["]

His comments on the 53-cent dollar...created yells of derision at this gold standard argument. ...


He closed his speech with the statement that it is impossible for him, if elected, to carry out the work of a president without having the voluntary support of the people, and said: "I want your hearts to go with your votes, and if I have the majority of the people behind me, and they stand at my back, I will promise you that no power in this country, or in any foreign land, will prevent the restoration of bimetallism."

This statement was received with a burst of cheers.

About this Document

  • Source: Omaha World-Herald (Sunday Edition)
  • Published: Omaha, NE
  • Citation: 2
  • Date: October 31, 1896