A report on Cross of Gold speech

William Jennings Bryan carried on the shoulders of delegates after giving the speech
Congressman Richard P. Bland
The Chicago Coliseum
Former Iowa Governor Horace Boies was a major contender for the Democratic nomination for president in 1896.
In a 1900 engraving, former Massachusetts Governor William E. Russell is shown preceding Bryan in addressing the convention.
The 1896 Democratic National Convention
Judge magazine criticized Bryan for sacrilege in his speech. He is shown with crown and cross, but trampling the Bible.
Bryan campaigning on stage a few months after the speech
A "Bryan dollar" issued by his opponents to illustrate the difference between the size of a silver dollar and the amount of bullion that could be purchased with a dollar.

Delivered by William Jennings Bryan, a former United States Representative from Nebraska, at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on July 9, 1896.

- Cross of Gold speech
William Jennings Bryan carried on the shoulders of delegates after giving the speech

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1884 cartoon illustrating the decline of the "Democrat Bourbonism" (represented as an empty jug) by Joseph Keppler

Bourbon Democrat

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Term used in the United States in the later 19th century to refer to members of the Democratic Party who were ideologically aligned with conservatism or classical liberalism, especially those who supported presidential candidates Charles O'Conor in 1872, Samuel J. Tilden in 1876, President Grover Cleveland in 1884, 1888, and 1892 and Alton B. Parker in 1904.

Term used in the United States in the later 19th century to refer to members of the Democratic Party who were ideologically aligned with conservatism or classical liberalism, especially those who supported presidential candidates Charles O'Conor in 1872, Samuel J. Tilden in 1876, President Grover Cleveland in 1884, 1888, and 1892 and Alton B. Parker in 1904.

1884 cartoon illustrating the decline of the "Democrat Bourbonism" (represented as an empty jug) by Joseph Keppler
President Grover Cleveland (1837–1908), a conservative who denounced political corruption and fought hard for lower tariffs and the gold standard, was the exemplar of a Bourbon Democrat

Harnessing the energy of an agrarian insurgency with his famous Cross of Gold speech, Congressman Bryan soon became the Democratic nominee for president in the 1896 election.

Exterior of the third Chicago Coliseum

Chicago Coliseum

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The name applied to three large indoor arenas in Chicago, Illinois, which stood successively from the 1860s to 1982; they served as venues for sports events, large conventions and as exhibition halls.

The name applied to three large indoor arenas in Chicago, Illinois, which stood successively from the 1860s to 1982; they served as venues for sports events, large conventions and as exhibition halls.

Exterior of the third Chicago Coliseum
The third Chicago Coliseum during the 1904 RNC
The second Coliseum
1896 Democratic National Convention

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show opened the facility, and in July 1896, it hosted the Democratic Party's national convention, which nominated for the presidency William Jennings Bryan; he famously electrified the crowd with his historic "Cross of Gold" speech.

Photo published in the 1890s

William E. Russell (politician)

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Lawyer and Democratic Party politician from Massachusetts.

Lawyer and Democratic Party politician from Massachusetts.

Photo published in the 1890s
William E. Russell, portrait by Edmund Charles Tarbell, 1900
Engraved depiction of Russell addressing the 1896 Democratic Convention

He gave a speech in favor of the latter at the 1896 Democratic National Convention immediately prior to William Jennings Bryan's Cross of Gold speech, and refused efforts to draft him as an opponent to Bryan for the presidential nomination.

Mark Hanna

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American businessman and Republican politician who served as a United States Senator from Ohio as well as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

American businessman and Republican politician who served as a United States Senator from Ohio as well as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Hanna's birthplace
Hanna as a boy
Mark Hanna, around 1877
Before McKinley, Hanna tried to make John Sherman president.
Joseph B. Foraker
William McKinley in the 1870s
Although McKinley did not run in 1892, the Duke Tobacco Company considered him a presidential possibility that year and issued a card for him.
A photograph taken of Mark Hanna after his election as Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
William Jennings Bryan, seen during the 1896 campaign.
Bryan's whistle-stop tour during the 1896 campaign was unprecedented. Here he addresses a crowd in Wellsville, Ohio.
McKinley (center) with a delegation in front of the famous front porch
An 1896 cartoon by Homer Davenport depicting McKinley as being firmly in Hanna's pocket.
In addition to giving speeches from his front porch in 1896, McKinley (lower right) gave orders for the conduct of his campaign from the library of his Canton home.
1896 Puck cover showing Hanna (left) and McKinley's Thanksgiving dinner—carving up the presidency.
A promotional button from Mark Hanna's U.S. Senate campaign.
Although the currency question was not as prominent in 1900 as in 1896 this Judge magazine cover shows it still played its part in the campaign.
Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States (1901-1909)
January 1904 political cartoon depicting Hanna hiding from presidential candidacy
A photo of Senator Hanna taken roughly a year before his death.
Statue of Mark Hanna by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, University Circle, Cleveland
"As they go to the polls" 1900 Homer Davenport cartoon suggesting a cozy relationship among Hanna, McKinley, and the trusts.

Bryan stampeded the convention with what came to be known as the "Cross of Gold speech", decrying the gold standard, which he believed disproportionately hurt the working classes.

Benjamin Tillman

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American politician of the Democratic Party who served as Governor of South Carolina from 1890 to 1894, and as a United States senator from 1895 until his death in 1918.

American politician of the Democratic Party who served as Governor of South Carolina from 1890 to 1894, and as a United States senator from 1895 until his death in 1918.

Martin Witherspoon Gary
Harper's Weekly cartoon decrying the Hamburg massacre
Wade Hampton III
Tillman in 1892
Edgefield monument to the governors and lieutenant governors from there, including Tillman and his second lieutenant governor, Washington H. Timmerman. Seen in 2020.
The side of Tillman's grave marker mentions his role in the foundings of Clemson and Winthrop. Seen in 2020.
Senator Matthew C. Butler
Benjamin Tillman as a senator
This 1896 political cartoon suggests that though Tillman's speech might outrage President Cleveland (center), it was just what westerners (center right) wanted to hear.
Harper's Weeklys conception of what the Supreme Court would look like under Bryan. Tillman sits center with pitchfork in hand, to the left of Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld (rising).
Chicago Tribune cartoon, published November 27, 1906, just before Tillman gave a speech there, wondering whether Tillman will act the part of "Pitchfork Ben" or a dignified senator
Tillman in 1906
Tillman (center left) with Woodrow Wilson
Tillman in 1918, shortly before his death
Tillman's grave, Trenton, South Carolina. Seen in 2020.
Clemson University's Tillman Hall

His Cross of Gold speech won him the presidential nomination.

Stevenson c. undefined 1892

Adlai Stevenson I

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American politician who served as the 23rd vice president of the United States from 1893 to 1897.

American politician who served as the 23rd vice president of the United States from 1893 to 1897.

Stevenson c. undefined 1892
Stevenson's home in Metamora
Congressman Stevenson
Mary, Julia and Letitia Stevenson
Stevenson's house in Bloomington
Cartoon of Stevenson from the pro-Republican Judge magazine, 10 Sep 1892.
A campaign poster for "Cleve and Steve"

Stevenson, 60 years old, received a smattering of votes, but the convention was taken by storm by a 36-year-old former representative from Nebraska, William Jennings Bryan, who delivered his fiery "Cross of Gold" speech in favor of a free silver plank in the platform.