The Memoirs of William Jennings Bryan

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

CHAPTER VI
SOLDIER AND EDITOR

WHEN, after a vigorous campaign for the Presidency, Mr. Bryan received news, on November 5, 1896, that his opponent had been elected, his first act was to send the following telegram:

Lincoln, Nebraska

November 5

Honorable William McKinley,

Canton, Ohio

Senator Jones has just informed me that the returns indicate your election, and I hasten to extend my congratulations. We have submitted the issue to the American people and their will is law.

W. J. BRYAN.

President-elect McKinley wired the following response:

Canton, Ohio

November 6

Honorable W. J. Bryan

Lincoln, Nebraska

I acknowledge the receipt of your courteous message of congratulations with thanks and beg you will receive my best wishes for your health and happiness.

WILLIAM MCKINLEY.

This exchange of courtesies received much comment at the time, but Mr. Bryan, in his book, "The First Battle," wrote of it:

"Our contest aroused no personal feeling on the part of either. I have no doubt that had I been elected, he would as promptly have sent his congratulations."

-270-

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