Brainerd, MN Speech, 1896-10-13

Speech by William Jennings Bryan.

Speech by William Jennings Bryan
Tuesday, October 13, 1896
Depot, Brainerd, MN

Source: The Evening News, Wednesday, October 14, 1896

"I do not know what arguments are most familiarly advanced here against free coinage; I was going to say coercion was the argument that is being resorted to now by our opponents more than any other argument. But there is one advantage about voting in the states where they have the Australian ballot, and that is that while a man may wear a badge in order to save his employment, he has a right to use his vote in order to save his country. I do not find it in my heart to criticize the man who wears the Republican badge under compulsion. These are hard times and they will be harder than this if the gold standard continues, and it is no wonder a man who has a job does not like to risk having his job taken away from him because he insists upon being an American citizen, but I do rejoice that the laboring men of this country were instrumental in getting an Australian ballot to protect them in just such a crisis as we are passing through. Without it we could hardly hope for victory. But, my friends, the secret ballot, where a man votes as he wants to and not as somebody else wants him to, the Australian ballot is the protection of the American workingman, and tyranny waits outside while he goes in to vote. Someone has said a man wears the Republican badge to save his employment and votes for free silver to make his job worth saving."

About this Document

  • Source: The Evening News
  • Source: The Evening News
  • Published: Lincoln, NE
  • Published: Lincoln, NE
  • Citation: 2, 2
  • Date: October 13, 1896