The Memoirs of William Jennings Bryan

By William Jennings Bryan; Mary Baird Bryan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHICAGO CONVENTION

FOR some months prior to the Chicago Convention of 1896, I had received letters from different parties in different states suggesting my candidacy. John W. Tomlinson, a delegate from Alabama, wrote me; Mr. Cassady, a delegate from Mississippi; Mr. Felix Regnier, a delegate from Monmouth, Ill.; Hon. M. A. Miller, a delegate from Oregon; Gov. J. E. Osborn, of Wyoming; Ex-Gov. Baxter, of Wyoming, and a number of others. They all presented the same arguments, and the arguments presented were the ones that led me to believe that there was a possibility of my nomination.

During the year 1895 I visited Springfield at the invitation of bimetallists and spoke at a convention which was the beginning of the organizing of the silver forces of that state. I met Governor Altgeld there and have letters which I received from him afterward suggesting the possibility of my receiving the nomination for Vice-President, he being favorable to Congressman Bland for President.

When I delivered my Tariff Speech in Congress in March, 1892, I received a telegram from a friend in Jacksonville which ran about as follows: "How old are you? Am for you for the Democratic Presidential Nomination if you are old enough."

This was one of the earliest outbursts of enthusiasm. From time to time newspapers mentioned my name in connection with the nomination. This occurred with increasing frequency after my Silver Speech in August, 1893. I had prepared the address on Bimetallism signed by some thirty- three members of Congress and had given it to the public about the fifth of March, 1895. I prepared it after consulting with Mr. Bland, whom we all recognized as the

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