Poughkeepsie, NY Speech, 1896-08-17

Speech by William Jennings Bryan.

Speech by William Jennings Bryan
Monday, August 17, 1896 at 1:20pm
Depot, Poughkeepsie, NY

Source: Gage County Democrat, August 21, 1896; FIND FRIENDS EVERYWHERE, Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Are Warmly Welcomed at All Stops on Their Route, Omaha World-Herald (Morning Edition), Tuesday, August 18, 1896

"I am coming up here into this section of the state for a rest and did not expect to make a speech, but I shall probably not see you again, and I will take this opportunity to say a few words to you. I am very glad to see you all. From the tone of the New York opposition press one would be led to suppose that there is no silver sentiment in the state. I am glad to see here a refutation of that fallacy and to notice that even the great New York dailies cannot stifle the wishes of the masses of the people." (Cheers.)


"This is a time when the thinking people are to outnumber the politicians and the corporations and when the people will act according to their own judgment. It is to be the greatest campaign that we young people have ever seen and I believe it is a great good sign when we can, as in this campaign, force independence. We are naturally an independent people, and this is a time when that independence will be asserted.

I believe that this campaign will be characterized by more intense feeling than any in which we younger men have been engaged. In this campaign the people are thinking , and when the people think, they decide, and when they decide they act. (Applause.) The so-called financiers believe that they have the right to use the ballot to protect their interests. Why have not the rest of the people the right to use the ballot to protect their own interest? (Pause, cries of "more" from the crowd.)

How many men here are silver men? (A number of men raised their hands.)

I want you to study up this matter and see how many silver men you can get for our campaign."

(A man in the crowd shouts "How are you for the working man?") Will you take what I have said and what I have done, consider it carefully, and then judge between our cause and that of our opponents?"


"It is not for a candidate to tell you how to vote. I have too much respect for the rights of individuals to attempt to tell anyone how to vote. Candidates represent only the policies of their parties, and it is therefore not for me to tell you what is your duty. It is for you to study the issues, and I am glad that you are doing that and when you find out what your duty is, do it."

About this Document

  • Source: Gage County Democrat
  • Published: Beatrice, Nebraska
  • Citation: 1
  • Date: August 17, 1896