A marvellous symbol for the William Jennings Bryan Campaigns.

Discussion in 'History & Past Politicians' started by JohnHamilton, Mar 1, 2024.

  1. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

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    William Jennings Bryan was the Democratic Party presidential nominee three times and lost all three elections. The first two times, in 1896 and 1900, he ran on the "free Silver" platform which called for the unrestricted coinage of silver. There was a glut of silver on the market at that time, and it was dirt cheap. Under Bryan's plan, one could submit about 50 cents worth of silver (a rounded number) to the mint and get back a dollar. If enacted, Brayan's plan would have greatly increased the money supply which would have resulted in massive price inflation.

    One of Bryan's core supporters were farmers who were in debt. They were looking to have the dollar inflated so that they could pay off their loans with cheaper dollars. What they didn't consider was that the cost of everything they used to run their farms would cost more.

    In 1908 Bryan won the Democratic Party nomination for the third time. By then the free silver issue had lost most all of its steam. He ran on progressive politics instead. Here is Riker Mount full of items from the 1908 presidential campaign. Bryan's Republican opponent was William Howard Taft.

    1908 Taft & Bryan.jpg

    I have always admired this design which appears on the watch fob in the case. It also appears on this 1908 Democratic Convention delegate badge.

    1908 Convention Del Ribbon.jpg

    Here are the two versions of the "farmer image side by side. The one on the left is on the watch fob and has less detail. The one on the right is from the convention ribbon.

    1908 Bryan Corn Images.jpg

    "The Commoner" was the name of a magazine that Bryan published, and it was also his nickname. In the small print by ears of corn, it says that the grain was "from Mr. Bryans' Fairview Farm." Here is a view of the Fairview Farm house on a medal that was issued for Bryan in 1906.

    1906 Welcome All.jpg

    1906 Welcom Whole.jpg

    Bryan suffered a drubbing in the 1908 election. Despite the fact that the population of the U.S. had grown by over 20% between 1896 and 1908, Bryan got fewer votes in 1908 than he did in 1896. Bryan, who was teetolder, said that he felt like a drunk who had been kicked out of a bar.

    Bryan would not run for president again, but he was quite instrumental in getting the 1912 presidential nomination for Woodrow Wilson. In return, Wilson appointed Bryan to be his secretary of state, which was considered to be top cabinet post at that time.

    The influence of the Bryan family in the Democratic Party continued until 1924. That year, Bryan's brother, Charles, was the party's vice presidential nominee. Here he is with John W. Davis who was the Democratic presidential nominee that year.

    Davis - Bryan J.jpg
     
  2. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

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    @Eddie Haskell Jr, are there any campaign items you would like to see? I don’t much after 2012, but have many items from 1824 to 2012.
     
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  3. Independent4ever

    Independent4ever Well-Known Member

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    I had never heard of Bryan until I read Inherit the Wind in high school and looked up info on the actual Scopes Trial. Had a fascinating political history as you touched on. Great info and pictures as always @JohnHamilton
     
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  4. Eddie Haskell Jr

    Eddie Haskell Jr Newly Registered

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    Any with Perot?
     
  5. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    My kingdom to take my life savings and get in a time machine back to 1963 and convert every penny I have into silver coin....

    Last I looked the 1964 and earlier Washington quarter is worth about $4 in scrap silver weight.
     
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  6. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

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    I have one or two buttons from the 1992 race. They are not very exciting. I am meeting in-laws tomorrow. I might be able to post my 1992 box until late in the afternoon.
     
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  7. Eddie Haskell Jr

    Eddie Haskell Jr Newly Registered

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    Fillmore would be cool to see, too.
     
  8. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

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    There were several Fillmore medalets issued when he ran on the “Know Nothing” or American Party ran him in 1856. I have several of those pieces. Fillmore only carried Maryland that year. I’ll post those too tomorrow or the next day. I am on an iPad right now.
     

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