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THE FIRST BATTLE




THE FIRST BATTLE.



A Story of the Campaign of 1896



BY

WILLIAM J. BRYAN,



TOGETHER WITH A COLLECTION OF HIS SPEECHES AND
A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH BY HIS WIFE.



.Illustrated.




W. B. CONKEY COMPANY,
CHICAGO.



JK
9.3/7



Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1896,

By WILLIAM J. BRYAN,

In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.
ALL BIGHTS RESERVED.



MANUFACTURED BY THE

W. B. CONKEV COMPANY,

CHICAGO, U. S. A.




PUBLISHERS' PREFACE.



THE object of "The First Battle" is to present an account of the
leading events and issues of the most critical campaign in
American history. The work contains an interesting descrip-
tion of the author's famous tour, including his most important
speeches, together with the principal addresses and documents identi-
fied with the campaign of 1896; the whole embodying a faithful pre-
sentation of the rise and development of the silver movement. It also
contains a review of the political situation and an analysis of the
election returns. At our request the author has included a biographi-
cal sketch written by Mrs. Bryan.

The name and fame of the author may induce unscrupulous pub-
lishers to issue fraudulent imitations of "The First Battle." We desire
to state that this book will appear under no other title than "The First
Battle," copyrighted by William J. Bryan and bearing the imprint
of W. B. Conkey Company.

THE PUBLISHERS.






PREFACE.




\\



12



PREFACE.




TABLE OF CONTENTS.



. PAGE.

PUBLISHERS' PREFACE 9

PREFACE 1 1

INDEX TO SPEECHES, ADDRESSES AND DOCUMENTS 15

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 19

INTRODUCTION 23

BIOGRAPHY 33

CHAPTER.

I. My Connection with the Silver Question Begins 71

II. Unconditional Repeal 76

III. Bolting Discussed 122

IV. Seigniorage, Currency and Geld Bonds 128

V. Pioneer Work in Nebraska 149

VI. The Silver Sentiment Developing 153

VII. The Republican National Convention 168

VIII. The Silver Republicans 178

IX. The Democratic National Convention 188

X. Contest Over the Platform 197

XI. The Presidential Nomination 210

XII. Mr. Sewall's Nomination 221

XIII. Homeward Bound 233

XIV. The Silver Party Convention 238

XV. The Populist Convention 259

XVI. The Triple Demand 280

XVII. Three National Committees 287

XVIII. Preparing for the Campaign 296

XIX. From Nebraska to the Sea 300

XX. At Madison Square Garden 307

XXI. On the Hudson 339

XXII. From Albany to Cleveland 351

XXIII. From Cleveland to Chicago . 359

XXIV. At Milwaukee 366

XXV. Labor Day 375

XXVI. The Bolting Democrats 386

XXVII. Letters of Acceptance of Republican Candidates 392

XXVIII. The Democratic Platform 406

XXIX. Nomination of Silver Party Accepted 426

XXX. Populist Nomination Tendered and Accepted 430

XXXI. Mr. Sewall's Speech and Letter 434

XXXII. Third Trip Commences 441

XXXIII. In the South 445

XXXIV. From Washington to Wilmington 459

XXXV. Religion and Politics Mixed 469

13



14 TABLE OF CONTENTS.

CHAPTER. PAGE.

XXXVI. From Philadelphia to Brooklyn 476

XXXVII. In New England 484

XXXVIII. Tammany Hall and Vicinity 507

XXXIX. Traveling Westward 512

XL. Meeting of the Democratic Clubs 518

XLI. To Chicago via Tennessee 525

XLII. A Trip Through the Northwest , 534

XLIII. At Minneapolis and Duluth 538

XLIV. Through the Two Peninsulas 555

XLV, Among the Buckeyes and Hoosiers 566

XLVI. In the Sucker State 570

XLVII. The Chicago Campaign 580

XLVIII. From Lake Michigan to Nebraska 592

XLIX. My Labors Ended 602

L. The Election Returns 605

LI. Reminiscences 612

LII. Explanations 621

LIIL The Future 625




INDEX TO SPEECHES, ADDRESSES AND
DOCUMENTS.



PAGE.

Against Gold Bonds, Speech 135

Albany Speech 350

Allen, Speech of Permanent Chairman 264

Alliance Speech 305

Appeal for Funds 291

Asheville Speech 449

Baltimore Speech 462

Bath Speech 503

Behrends, Opinion of Rev. Mr 472

Bimetallists, Address to 625

Bismarck Letter 483

Bloomington Speech 577

Boston Speech At Banquet 493

Boston Speech At Music Hall 494

Brooklyn Speech 479

Buffalo Speech 353

Butler, Speech of Temporary Chairman 259

Caffery, Speech of Permanent Chairman 387

Canton Speech 305

Carlisle's Speech in 1878 164

Carlisle, Message of Mr 388

Carpenters' International Union, Resolutions of 590

Chicago Speech To Business Men 582

Chicago Speech First Reception 303

Chicago Speech Second Reception 580

Cincinnati Speech 517

Clarksburg Speech 512

Cleveland's Letter on Sound Money 158

Cleveland, Message of Mr 388

Cleveland, Last Message of President 421

Committees, Three National 287

Counting a Quorum 57

Daniel, Speech cf Temporary Chairman 189

Debate on Chicago Platform, Speech Concluding 199

Democratic Platform 406

Democartic Nomination, Letter Accepting 409

Des Moines Speech 301

Detroit Speech 562

Dixon, Opinion of Rev. Mr 473

Dover Speech 465

Elkhart Speech 3 62

15



16 INDEX.

PAGE.

Enemies Country 3

Erie Speech 35 2

Flower, Speech of Temporary Chairman 386

Fredericksburg Speech 457

Flint Speech 5 62

Goldsboro Speech 455

Graduating Oration 40

Grand Rapids Speech To the Ladies 555

Groot, Notification Speech of Mr 426

Hartford Speech 488

Hobart, Letter of Acceptance of Mr 398

Hornellsville Speech 354

Howard, Nominating Speech of Mr 270

Important Document, Autograph Signatures 156

Indianapolis Speech At the Capitol 526

Indianapolis Speech To the Traveling Men 532

International Bimetallism Speech 147

Interview Regarding Vice-Presidential Nomination 297

Ireland, Opinion of Archbishop 472

Jacksonville Speech 573

Jefferson City Speech 236

Jury System, The 55

Kansas City Speech 442

Labor Petition 166

Labor Day Speech at Chicago 375

La Salle Speech 571

Law and the Gospel, The 48

Lewis, Nominating Speech of Mr 213

Lexington Speech 448

Lincoln Speech 237

Little, Nominating Speech of Mr 254

Lima Speech 566

Louisville Speech 445

Louisville Courier-Journal, Opinion of 492

McArthur, Opinion of Dr 471

McKinley, Letter of Acceptance of Mr 392

Madison Speech 593

Madison Square Garden Speech 315

Madalin Speech 342

Manchester Speech 503

Marshall Speech 561

Memorial Day Address, Arlington Cemetery 64

Mileage on First Trip 237

Mileage on Second Trip 383

Mileage on Third Trip 597

Mileage on Fourth Trip 604

Minority Report, Gold Bonds 131

Minneapolis Speech At Exposition Building 538

Minneapolis Speech To the Ladies 547



INDEX. 17

PAGE.

Minority Report, Democratic Platform, 1896 198

Milwaukee Speech 366

Money Plank, Nebraska Convention, 1894 1 50

Money Plank Republican Platform, 1896 169

Monmouth Speech 572

Morristown Speech 479

Myers, Opinion of Rev. Mr 473

New York World, Opinion of 474

New York Tribune, Opinion cf 492

Newark Speech 507

Newlands, Speech of Temporary Chairman 238

Newton Speech 301

Notification, Letter of 313

Nomination of Silver Party, Speech Accepting 427

Open Letter to President Cleveland 160

Ottumwa Speech 594

Paterson Speech 507

Parkhurst, Opinion of Dr 471

Peoria Speech 570

People Can be Trusted 344

People's Party Platform 271

Vote of 1896 610

Pittsburg Speech 306

Philosophy of Bolting, The 124

Philadelphia Speech 476

Platform of Bolting Democrats 387

Populist Notification 430

Populist Nomination, Letter Accepting 432

Populist Committee, Address Issued by 293

Vote of 1892 606

Presentation of Gray's Elegy 50

Presidential Nomination, Official Ballots 214

Raleigh Speech 452

Rhinebeck Speech 340

Ripley Speech 357

Rothschild-Morgan Contract 134

Salem Speech 233

Senatorial Defeat, Letter to Friends 59

Sewall, Accepting Nomination, Letter of Mr 437

Sewall, Accepting Nomination, Speech of Mr 434

Sewall, Biographical Sketch of Mr 229

Sewall, Letter from Mr 298

Sewall, Official Ballot, Nomination of Mr 223

Sewall, Speech of Mr. Burk, Nominating Mr 221

Sherman's Letter, Mr., 1878 165

Silver Party Platform 252

Silver Plank for Chicago Convention, Suggestion for 177

Silver Republicans, Address of 1 78

Silver Republicans Declare for Democratic Ticket 182



18 INDEX.

PAGE.

Springfield, Ohio, Speech 360

Springfield, Mass., Speech 489

St. John, Speech of Permanent Chairman 248

St. Louis Speech 518

St. Paul Speech 536

Stone, Notification Speech of Mr 307

Talmage, Opinion of Dr 474

Tammany Hall Speech 509

Teller's Farewell Address, Senator 170

Unconditional Repeal, Final Protest 120

Unconditional Repeal, First Speech 76

Unconditional Repeal, Principal Speech 77

Unconditional Repeal, Third Speech 114

Vote on Adoption of Platform 207

Washington Speech 459

Weaver, Nominating Speech of Mr 276

Wheeling Speech 514

White, Speech of Permanent Chairman 1 26

Wilmington Speech 469

Yale College Incident 484




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



PAGE.

W. J. BRYAN, Frontispiece

DEDICATORY PAGE, - 21

MARY BAIRD BRYAN, - 31

RUTH BAIRD BRYAN, - 41

WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN, JR., 51

GRACE DEXTER BRYAN, - 61

LIBRARY, 67

SILAS L. BRYAN, - - 73

MARIAH ELIZABETH BRYAN, 91

GROUP OF MR. BRYAN, - 101

BRYAN FARM RESIDENCE, NEAR SALEM, ILLINOIS, in

BRYAN RESIDENCE, JACKSONVILLE, ILLINOIS, - 112

BRYAN RESIDENCE, LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, - 129

LYMAN TRUMBULL, - - 130

ARTHUR SEWALL, - 139

WILLIAM McKiNLEY, - 173

GARRET A. HOBART, - 183

ADLAI E. STEVENSON, - - 201

JOHN W. DANIEL, 211

STEPHEN M. WHITE, - 245

JOSEPH C. S. BLACKBURN, 255

HORACE BOIES, - - 256

J. R. MCLEAN, 273

CLAUDE MATTHEWS, - 274

ROBERT E. PATTISON, 283

BENJAMIN R. TILLMAN, - - 284

19



20 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Continued.

PAGE.

JOHN P. ALTGELD, 3 1 /

JOSEPH C. SIBLEY, S 1 ^

JAMES K. JONES, 3 2 7

W. J. STONE, 328

FRANCIS G. NEWLANDS, 345

WILLIAM P. ST. JOHN, 346

CHARLES A. TOWNE, 363

C. D. LANE, 364

GEORGE A. GROOT, - 381

MARION BUTLER, - 382

MAP OF FIRST AND SECOND TRIP, 384

WILLIAM V. ALLEN, 399

S. F. NORTON, 400

IGNATIUS DONNELLY, 417

WILLIAM H. HARVEY, 418

A. J. WARNER, - 435

JOHN P. JONES, 436

WILLIAM M. STEWART, - 453

SNAP SHOT AND CROWD AT WELLSVILLE, OHIO, 454

STUDY IN HATS, 495

ROCHESTER MEETING, 496

WRITING SET, - 529

CONVENTION HALL, - 530

MAP OF THIRD AND FOURTH TRIP, 600

ELECTION OF 1892, 607

ELECTION OF 1896, 611




INTRODUCTION.



HON. RICHARD P. BLAND of Missouri, Gen. James B.
Weaver of Iowa, and Hon. Henry M. Teller of Colorado, may,
without injustice to others, be considered the foremost cham-
pions of bimetallism in their respective parties.

Mr. Bland, Democrat

Mr. Bland was first elected to the National House of Representa-
tives in 1872, and served for twenty-two years. In the Forty-fourth
Congress, as Chairman of the Committee on Mines and Mining, he
secured the passage through the House of a bill providing for the free
and unlimited coinage of gold and silver at the ratio of 16 to I.
During the same Congress he was appointed a member of the com-
mission which prepared the "Silver Commission Report." In the
Forty-fifth Congress he introduced and secured the passage through
the House of a bill similar to the one advocated in the preceding
Congress, but the bill was amended in the Senate and was
afterwards known as the Bland-Allison act, becoming a law over
the President's veto. Some three hundred and eighty millions of
standard silver dollars were coined under this act. Mr. Bland, during
Mr. Cleveland's first administration, opposed the suspension of the
Bland-Allison act and also endeavored to secure the passage of a free
coinage bill. In the Fifty-first Congress he joined with the silver
men in the Senate in an effort to secure a free coinage
measure instead of the act of 1890, known as the Sherman act.
In the Fifty-third Congress he led the fight against unconditional re-
peal and against the retirement of the greenbacks and Treasury notes
with an issue of gold bonds. He was one of the Democrats who
joined in the address, issued March 4, 1895, calling upon the silver
Democrats to organize and take control of the Democratic party, and
was largely instrumental also in securing a strong declaration in favor
of free coinage at 16 to i in the Missouri State Convention, held at

23



24 INTRODUCTION.

Pirtle Springs in 1895. In the Chicago Convention he received the
second largest number of votes for the Presidential nomination, and
during the campaign which followed was active in support of the nomi-
nees. His name is known among the students of the money question
in every civilized nation, and his faithful and continuous labors in
behalf of the restoration of bimetallism have given him a warm place
in the hearts of his countrymen.

Mr. Weaver, Populist

Mr. Weaver was elected to Congress in 1878, and served in the
Forty-sixth, Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Congresses. In January, 1880,
he introduced the following resolution:

Resolved, That it is the sense of this House that all currency, whether
metallic or paper, necessary for the use and convenience of the people, should be
issued and its volume controlled by the Government and not by or through
banking corporations, and when so issued should be a full legal tender in pay-
ment of all debts, public and private.

Resolved, That it is the judgment of this House that that portion of the
interest-bearing debt of the United States which shall become redeemable in
the year 1881, or prior thereto, being in amount $782,000,000, should not be re-
funded beyond the power of the Government to call in said obligations and pay
them at any time, but should be paid as rapidly as possible and according to
contract. To enable the Government to meet these obligations, the mints of the
United States should be operated to their full capacity in the coinage of
standard silver dollars and such other coinage as the business interests of the
country may require.

After a thirteen weeks' struggle he secured consideration of this
resolution, but it was defeated by a vote of 117 to 83.

He has, ever since his entrance into Congress, been a consistent
and persistent advocate of the restoration of bimetallism. He was the
candidate of the Greenback-Labor party for President in 1880, and
received 307,740 votes. In 1892 he was the candidate of the Populist
party for the Presidency and received 1,040,600 votes. His platform
in 1892 was the first national platform to expressly declare for the
ratio of 16 to i. In 1894 he was nominated for Congress on a 16 to i
platform in the Council Bluffs (Iowa) district by the Populists and
Democrats. After the Democratic National Convention of 1896 had
declared unequivocally for independent bimetallism, Mr. Weaver took



INTRODUCTION. 25

an active part in securing co-operation between the silver forces, and,
during the campaign, gave his entire time to the success of the cause.
His speech in the St. Louis Convention, which will be found in a sub-
sequent chapter, contains his defense of the position taken by him.

Mr. Teller, Silver Republican.

Mr. Teller has served in the Senate and Cabinet for twenty years,
and has been connected with the silver question since 1880. During
that time he has done much in and out of Congress with tongue and
pen to advance the cause of bimetallism. In 1892 he was instrumental
in securing in the Republican National Convention a declaration in
favor of bimetallism, and he was a conspicuous actor in the prolonged
fight in the Senate against unconditional repeal. His standing in, and
long connection with, the Republican party, together with his great
ability and high character, made him the acknowledged leader of the
silver Republicans. At St. Louis he was at the head of the revolt
against the Republican platform, and his withdrawal from the party
cost the Republican candidate thousands of votes. The silver Repub-
licans favored his nomination for the Presidency, and his State voted
for him on the first ballot in the Democratic Convention. After the
nomination had been made he joined with other leading silver Repub-
licans in an address supporting the Democratic ticket and during the
campaign did yeoman service upon the stump.

In dedicating this book to these three pioneers, I desire to record
my appreciation of the work which they have done, my esteem for
them as public men and my gratitude to them for their many acts of
kindness to me, both before and since my nomination.

In giving an account of my travels during the campaign I have not
attempted to mention every place stopped at, nor have I, as a rule,
given the names of presiding officers and reception committees. My
time during waking hours was so fully occupied that I could not then
make a memorandum of persons and events, and, since neither the
newspapers nor my memory will supply a correct record, I have gen-
erally omitted the details of the meetings, except where I met some
old time acquaintance or some prominent public man. I declined



26 INTRODUCTION.

private entertainment as far as possible in order to avoid local and
factional jealousies, and I have only referred to social courtesies ex-
tended where there seemed a special justification for so doing.

Space would not permit a reproduction of all the speeches delivered
by me during the campaign, and those reproduced are not usually
given in full. I have exercised the Congressional privilege of "revising
the record," and have, to a large extent, eliminated repetition. The
preparation has been confined to so short a time and the work has been
done amidst such constant interruptions that I fear many errors of
expression may be found which more care might have prevented.




LIFE OF

William Jennings Bryan



BY HIS WIFE.




THE impelling cause which is responsible for this article needs no
elaboration. During the last few months, so many conflicting
statements have been made by writers, friendly and unfriendly,
concerning Mr. Bryan's ancestry, habits, education, etc., that a short
biography based upon fact seems a necessary part of this book.

Writing from the standpoint of a wife, eulogy and criticism are
equally out of place. My only purpose, therefore, is to present in a
simple story those incidents which may be of interest to the general
reader.







rtV. V




BIOGRAPHY.



ANCESTRY.

WITHIN the last few years Mr. Bryan has corresponded with a
number of persons bearing the family name. Some of the
Bryans trace their ancestry to Ireland, some to Wales, while
others have followed the name through Irish into English history.
A biographical sketch written under the supervision of Silas L. Bryan
states that the family is of Irish extraction.

William Bryan, who lived in Culpeper County, Virginia, some-
thing more than one hundred years ago, is the first ancestor whose
name is known to the descendants. Where he was born, and when,
is a matter of conjecture. He owned a large tract of land among the
foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, near Sperryville. The family
name of his wife is unknown. There were born to the pair five chil-
dren: James, who removed to Kentucky; John, who remained upon
the homestead; Aquilla, who removed to Ohio; and Francis and Eliza-
beth, about whom nothing is known.

John Bryan, the second son, was born about 1790, and at an early
age married Nancy Lillard. The Lillard family is an old American
family of English extraction and is now represented by numerous
descendants scattered over Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. To
John Bryan and wife ten children were born, all of whom, excepting
Russell and Elizabeth, are deceased. The oldest, William, removed to
Missouri in early life and lived near Troy until his death, some ten years
ago. John and Howard died in infancy. Jane married Joseph Cheney
and lived at Gallipolis, Ohio. Nancy married George Baltzell, and
lived in Marion County, Illinois. Martha married Homer Smith, and
lived at Gallipolis, Ohio, later removing to Marion County, Illinois.
The next child, Robert, a physician, was killed in a steamboat explosion
while yet a young man. Silas Lillard, father of William Jennings
Bryan, was born November 4th, 1822, near Sperryville, in what was
then Culpeper, but is now a part of Rappahannock County, Virginia.
The next child, Russell, located at Salem, Illinois, where he has since
lived. Elizabeth, the youngest of the family, married another George
Baltzell. She early removed to Lewis County, Missouri, her present
home.

33



34 BIOGRAPHY.

About the year 1828 John Bryan removed with his family to the
western portion of Virginia, in what is now West Virginia. His last
residence was near Point Pleasant, where both he and his wife died,
the latter in 1834, the former in 1836.

Silas, then but a boy, went West and made his home a part of the
time with his sister, Nancy Baltzell, and a part of the time with his
brother, William. He was ambitious to obtain an education, and after
making his way through the public schools, entered McKendree Col-
lege, at Lebanon, Illinois, where he completed his course, graduating
with honors, in 1849. Owing to lack of means he was occasionally
compelled to drop out of college for a time and earn enough to con-
tinue his studies. At first he spent these vacations working as a farm
hand, but later, when sufficiently advanced in his studies, taught
school. After graduation he studied law, was admitted to the bar,
and began the practice at Salem, Illinois, at the age of twenty-nine.
On November 4th, 1852, he married Mariah Elizabeth Jennings. Dur-
ing the same year he was elected to the State Senate and served in
that body for eight years. In 1860 he was elected to the circuit bench,
and served twelve years. In 1872 he was nominated for Congress
upon the Democratic ticket, receiving the endorsement of the Green-
back party. He was defeated by a plurality of 240 by General James
Martin, Republican candidate. As a member of the convention of
1872, which framed the present Constitution of Illinois, he introduced
a resolution declaring it to be the sense of the convention that all offi-
ces, legislative, executive and judicial, provided for by the new Con-
stitution, should be filled by elections by the people. Before his elec-
tion to the bench, and after his retirement therefrom, he practiced law
in Marion and the adjoining counties. He was a member of the Baptist
Church, the church to which his parents belonged, and was a very
devout man. He prayed at morning, noon and night, and was a
firm believer in providential direction in the affairs of life. He was a
man of strong character, stern integrity and high purpose. He took
rank among the best lawyers in Southern Illinois, and was a fluent,
graceful and forcible speaker. His mind was philosophical and his
speeches argumentative. In politics he was a Democrat in the broadest
sense of the word and had an abiding faith in republican institutions
and in the capacity of the people for self-government. He was a staunch
defender of higher education and gave financial as well as moral sup-
port to various institutions of learning. He regarded the science of
government as highly honorable and used to say that the guest cham-



BIOGRAPHY. 35

her of his home was reserved for "politicians and divines." He was
broad and tolerant in his religious views. It was his custom, after he
removed to the farm, to send a load of hay at harvest time to each
preacher and priest in Salem. While a public man during a large part
of his life, he was eminently domestic. He died March 30, 1880, and
was buried in the cemetery at Salem. His will provided that all of his
children should be encouraged to secure "the highest education which
the generation affords."

The Jennings Family.

The Jennings family has lived so long in America that the descend-
ants do not know the date of the immigration of the ancestors to the
colonies nor is it known positively from what country they came, but
they are believed to have been English.

Israel Jennings, who was born about 1774, is the first known an-
cestor. He was married to Mary Waters about the year 1799, and
lived in Mason County, Kentucky. In 1818 he moved with his
family to Walnut Hill, Marion County, Illinois, where his wife died
in 1844 and he in 1860. He was the father of eight children: Israel Jr.,
and George, now deceased; Charles Waters, of whom I shall
speak later; William W., now living in Texas; Elizabeth, who
married William Davidson; America, who married George David-
son; Mary, who married Edward White: znd Ann, who married Rufus
McElwain. All of the daughters are deceased.

Charles Waters Jennings was married to Maria Woods Davidson,



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