Omaha, NE Speech, 1896-09-08

Speech by William Jennings Bryan.

Speech by William Jennings Bryan
Tuesday, September 8, 1896 at 8:40pm
Depot, Omaha, NE

Source: HIS WELCOME AT OMAHA., Fifteen Hundred People Greet Mr. Bryan Enthusiastically., Omaha World-Herald (Morning Edition), Wednesday, September 9, 1896

"While glad to get back, I have felt just as much at home in other parts of the country. Few can realize how general is the interest in this silver issue. It is because the question is national and not confined to any state or section. There is no more enthusiasm here than in New York and Pennsylvania, and reports given by the Democrats and silver Republicans are so encouraging as to warrant the most sanguine expectations. (Tremendous cheers.)

You think you can shout for silver, but if I had the money I would like to bring a few silver men from New York to teach you how to hurrah.

I used to think that we ought to have a mourner's bench down there for those who leave their party to join the silver forces; but instead of coming like reluctant penitents, they come shouting. Among the Republicans who have come over, there is as much enthusiasm as among the Democrats. Sixteen people are won to our side for every one Democrat we lose. While the opposition do not define their anxiety, their fear is that sixteen Republicans are coming to us for every one Democrat who leaves. That is what sixteen to one means to them. (Applause.) In one county in Ohio where the Republicans stood five to one, over thirty silver speeches have been made, and the issue will carry the county.

Everywhere there are Republicans who tell me it is the first time they have bolted their party, but they are just as earnest now in their wish to be released from financial bondage as were they or their fathers in the issues of Lincoln's time. I believe that the Democrats of 1896 standing for a bimetallic financial policy are nearer Abraham Lincoln than the Republicans who demand gold standard legislation. I believe that the silver Republicans have not left their party, but that their party has left them.

Friends, I am willing to leave this cause in your keeping." (Applause.)

About this Document

  • Source: Omaha World-Herald (Morning Edition)
  • Published: Omaha, NE
  • Citation: 7
  • Date: September 8, 1896