Bryan

Bryan

Bryan

Bryan

Excerpt

The seeds which gave life eventually to that phenomenon known finally as William Jennings Bryan were planted in England and Ireland, Virginia and Kentucky. In the preface to his Memoirs Bryan wrote: "I cannot trace my ancestry beyond the fourth generation and there is not among them, so far as I know, one of great wealth or great political or social prominence, but so far as I have been able to learn, they were honest, industrious, Christian, moral, religious people--not a black sheep in the flock, not a drunkard, not one for whose life I would have to utter an apology."

Silas Lillard Bryan, the father of William Jennings Bryan, was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, on November 4, 1822. He was left an orphan at an early age, and when he was nineteen years old he settled in the State of Illinois. He entered McKendree College at Lebanon, Illinois, and finally made his home at Salem, Illinois, where he began the practice of law. When he was thirty years old, he was elected to the Senate of the State of Illinois on the Democratic ticket, and he served in the Senate for eight years. In 1861 he was elected a judge of the Second Judicial Circuit of Illinois, and he served two terms.

Bryan's mother, Mariah Elizabeth Jennings, was born into an English family who had settled so long in the United States that it was impossible for Bryan to trace them in Europe. Miss Jennings's grandfather had removed . . .

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