Salem, IL Speech, 1896-07-13

Speech by William Jennings Bryan.

Speech by William Jennings Bryan
Monday, July 13, 1896 at 9pm
Porch of Sister's House, Salem, IL

Source: Gage County Democrat, Friday, July 17, 1896

"Fellow citizens: I don't know what to say more than to thank you. There is no spot, I think, that can ever become so dear to a man as the spot about which cluster sacred memories of early childhood. I have come back to Salem every few months since I left here, and no spot on earth will be so dear as Salem. I assure you I appreciate the friendly interest which you manifest, and more so because in this there is no party and I see here, my friends in all parties, persons of different political faith as well as those who agree with the principles which I have advocated, and I am deeply touched with this manifestation of your esteem and confidence.

I don't believe that a candidate for office has any right to ask people to vote for him as a personal favor, but has a right to claim the vote of all who believe that through his election they can best protect their own interest and save their country. That is the only theory upon which a man can obtain support. Your votes are your own, to use according to your own judgment. I can simply appeal to you to take the issues and study them as citizens upon whom rest grave responsibilities, and when you have decided, all I can ask of you is to allow your vote to register your own wish. Let your ballots register a free man's will, and then, no matter who is elected, we will be satisfied. I can only say here over and over again, that I am deeply gratified for this very cordial reception at the place of my birth, and you will accept that until I can thank you personally for your consideration."

About this Document

  • Source: Gage County Democrat
  • Published: Beatrice, Nebraska
  • Citation: 2
  • Date: July 13, 1896