William Jennings Bryan

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William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 – July 26, 1925) was a dominant force in the populist wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as the Party's candidate for President of the United States (1896, 1900 and 1908). He served two terms as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Nebraska and was United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson (1913–1915), resigning because of his pacifist position on World War I. Bryan was a devout Presbyterian, a strong advocate of popular democracy, and an enemy of the banks and their gold standard. He demanded "Free Silver" because it reduced power attributed to money and put more money in the hands of the people. He was a peace advocate, supported Prohibition, and an opponent of Darwinism on religious and humanitarian grounds. With his deep, commanding voice and wide travels, he was one of the best-known orators and lecturers of the era. Because of his faith in the wisdom of the common people, he was called "The Great Commoner."


© Unity Lodge #95 F. & A.M. 2014