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WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN (186o– )

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Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 698 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN (186o– ), American a weekly political journal, The Commoner, which attained a wide political leader, son of Silas Lillard Bryan, a native of Culpeper circulation. In igo4 although not actively a candidate for the county, Virginia, who was a lawyer and from 186o to 1897 a Democratic nomination (which eventually went to Judge state circuit judge, was born at Salem, Marion county, Illinois, Parker), he was to the very last considered a possible nominee; on the 19th of March 186o. He graduated from Illinois College and he strenuously opposed in the convention the repudiation as valedictorian in 1881, and from the Union College of Law, by the conservative element of the stand taken in the two Chicago, in 1883; during his course he studied in the law office previous campaigns. The decisive defeat of Parker by President of Lyman Trumbull. He practised law at Jacksonville from Roosevelt did much to bring back the Democrats to Mr Bryan's 1883 to 1887, when he removed to Lincoln, Nebraska. There banner. In 1905-1906 he made a trip round the world, and he soon became conspicuous both as a lawyer and as a politician, in London was cordially received as a great American orator. attracting particular attention by his speeches during the He was again nominated for the presidency by the Demo-presidential campaign of 1888 on behalf of the candidates of cratic party in 1908. The free-silver theory was now dead, the Democratic party. From 1891 to 1895 he represented the and while the main question was that of the attitude to be First Congressional District of Nebraska, normally Republican, taken towards the Trusts. it was much confused by personal in the national House of Representatives, and received the issues, Mr Roosevelt himself intervening strongly in favour of unusual honour of being placed on the important Committee the Republican nominee, Mr Taft. After a heated contest Mr on Ways and Means during his first term. He was a hard and Bryan again suffered a decisive defeat, President Taft securing conscientious worker and became widely known for his ability 321 electoral votes to Mr Bryan's 162. in debate. Two of his speeches in particular attracted attention, BRYANSK, a town of Russia, in the government of Orel, one against the policy of protection (16th of March 1892), and 83 M. by rail W.N.W. of the city of that name, in 530 15' N. and the other against the repeal of the silver purchase clause of the 340 10' E. on the river Desna. It is mentioned in 1146, being Sherman Act (16th of August 1893). In the latter he advocated then also known as Debryansk. It afterwards formed a separate the unlimited coinage of silver, irrespective of international principality, which came to an end in 1356 with the death of agreement, at a ratio of 16 to 1, a policy with which his name the prince. After the Mongol invasion of 1241, Bryansk fell was afterwards most prominently associated.. In a campaign into the power of the Lithuanians; and finally became incorlargely restricted to the question of free-silver coinage he was porated with the Russian empire in the beginning of the 17th defeated for re-election in 1894, and subsequently was also century. Bryansk was taken by the followers of the first false defeated as the Democratic candidate for the United States Demetrius, but it successfully resisted the attacks of the second Senate. As editor of the Omaha World-Herald he then cham- impostor of that name. Under the empress Anne a dock was pioned the cause of bimetallism in the press as vigorously as he constructed for the building of ships, but it was closed in 1739. had in Congress and on the platform, his articles being widely In 1783 an arsenal was established for the founding of cannon. quoted and discussed. The cathedral was built in 1526, and restored in the end of the The Democratic party was even more radically divided on 17th century. There are two high schools; and the industrial the question of monetary policy than the Republican; and establishments include iron, rope, brick and tallow-boiling President Cleveland, by securing the repeal of the silver purchase works, saw-mills and flour-mills, tobacco-factories and a brewery. clause in the Sherman Act by Republican votes, had alienated Some distance north of the town are the Maltsov iron-works, with a great majority of his party. In the Democratic national glass factories and rope-walks, employing 20,000 men. A convention at Chicago in 1896, during a long and heated debate considerable trade is carried on, especially in wood, tar, hemp, with regard to the party platform, Bryan, in advocating the pitch, hemp-seed-oil and cattle. In 1867 the population num-" plank " declaring for the free coinage of silver, of which he was bered 13,881, and in 1897 23,520. the author, delivered a celebrated speech containing the passage, BRYANT, JACOB (1715-1804), English antiquarian and You shall not press down upon the brow of labour this crown writer on mythological subjects, was born at Plymouth. His of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold." father had a place in the customs there, but was afterwards This speech made him the idol of the ; ` silver " majority of the stationed at Chatham. The son was first sent to a school. near Rochester, whence he was removed to Eton. In 1736 he was elected to a scholarship at King's College, Cambridge, where he took his degrees of B.A. (1740) and M.A. (1744), subsequently being elected a fellow. He returned to Eton as private tutor to the duke of Marlborough, then marquess of Blandford; and in 1756 he accompanied the duke, then master-general of ordnance and commander-ill-chief of the forces in Germany, to the continent as private secretary. He was rewarded by a lucrative appointment in the ordnance department, which allowed him ample leisure to indulge his literary tastes. He twice refused the mastership of the Charterhouse. Bryant died on the 14th of November 1804 at Cippenham near Windsor. He left his library to King's College, having, however, previously made some valuable presents from it to the king and the duke of Marlborough. He bequeathed £2000 to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and £i000 for the use of the superannuated collegers of Eton. His principal works are: Observations and Inquiries relating to various Parts of Ancient History (1767); A New System, or an Analysis, of Ancient Mythology, wherein an attempt is made to divest Tradition of Fable, and to reduce Truth to its original Purity (1774-1776), which is fantastic and now wholly valueless; Vindication of the Apamean Medal (1775), which obtained the support of the great numismatist Eckhel; An Address to Dr Priestley upon his Doctrine of Philosophical Necessity (178o) ; Vindiciae Flavianae, a Vindication of the Testimony of Josephus concerning Jesus Christ (178o) ; Observations on the Poems of Thomas Rowley, in which the Authenticity of those Poems is ascertained (1781); Treatise upon the Authenticity of the Scriptures, and the Truth of the Christian Religion (1792) ; Observations upon the Plagues inflicted upon the Egyptians (1794); Observations on a Treatise, entitled Description of the Plain of Troy, by Mr de Chevalier (1795); A Dissertation concerning the War of Troy, and the Expedition of the Grecians, as described by Homer, with the view of showing that no such expedition was ever undertaken, and that no such city as Phrygia existed (1796); The Sentiments of Philo Judaeus concerning the Abyos or Word of God (1797).
End of Article: WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN (186o– )
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