Lynn, MA Speech, 1896-09-28

Speech by William Jennings Bryan.

Speech by William Jennings Bryan
Monday, September 28, 1896 at 7:00am
Highland Square, Lynn, MA

Source: Gage County Democrat, Friday, October 2, 1896

"Mr. Chairman and Fellow Citizens: Our opponents are all the time asserting that business men ought to take an interest in this campaign in order to protect their business interests. It has always made me indignant that a few people in each community should assume to be the only business men in it, and should always insist upon thrusting their business interests forward in preference of anybody else's business interest. I have always believed that anyone who contributed to a nation's prosperity, who added to a nation's wealth, or to a nation's greatness, was a business man. The man with small business interests has as much right to protect those small interests by his ballot as the man with large business interests has the right to protect his interests by his ballot.

I want to show you how the money question concerns the various classes of people. Sometimes our opponents try to array the wage earning class, those who work in factories or by the day for an employer, against the farming classes. I want to show you that you cannot separate the interests of the wage earning classes from the interests of the farming classes.

You do not produce shoes for ornament, but for wear. People cannot wear shoes until they are able to buy them, and they cannot buy shoes unless they have the money to buy with; and they cannot get money to buy shoes until they sell something they have got and get that money. Now, you sell shoes to the people of the West and South. If you drive down the prices of all those things which the farmers produce, so that when they sell their crops they cannot more than pay their debts and interests and taxes, what money have they to buy shoes with? Are you going to add to the property and prosperity of Lynn by making more people go barefooted? The wage earners of Lynn will be idle until there is a demand for the products of the factories of Lynn, and there can be no demand for that product as long as you drive money up and property down.

Falling prices mean hard times and hard times have never been advocated in a platform by any party, although the Republican platform this year, without directly saying so, promises to continue hard times and make them harder. Do you deny that proposition? I want you to look at that platform. It declares a gold standard is not desirable, because the party pledges itself to get rid of it. If the double standard is not more desirable than the gold standard, why does the Republican party want to make any change? If the gold standard is good we ought to keep it, but when the Republican party attempts to get rid of it, it admits it is not as good as bimetallism. They promise you, notwithstanding their desire to get rid of the gold standard, that they will keep it until other nations help us to get rid of it. Until then, they say, we must maintain the gold standard."

About this Document

  • Source: Gage County Democrat
  • Published: Beatrice, NE
  • Citation: 1
  • Date: September 28, 1896