Talk:Cross of Gold Speech

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Notes: William J. Bryan, The First Battle: A Story of the Campaign of 1896 (Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1896), pp. 199-206.

Commenting on this speech (see Chapter 10), Bryan writes:

In view of the wide publication of this speech, I may be pardoned for making some reference to it. While a member of the Committee on Resolutions, I was prevented from attending the first sessions of the committee owing to our contest, and was not a member of the subcommittee which drafted the platform. As soon as our contest was settled, I met with the committee and took part in the final discussion and adoption of the platform. Just before the platform was reported to the convention, Senator Jones sent for me and asked me to take charge of the debate. In dividing the time I was to have twenty minutes to close, but as the minority used ten minutes more than the time originally allotted, my time was extended ten minutes. The concluding sentence of my speech was criticised both favorable and unfavorably. I had used the idea in substantially the same form in a speech in Congress, but did not recall the fact when I used it in the convention. A portion of the speech was extemporaneous, and its arrangement entirely so, but parts of it had been prepared for another occasion. Next to the conclusion, the part most quoted was the definition of the term, "business men." Since I became interested in the discussion of monetary questions, I have often had occasion to note and comment upon the narrowness of some of the terms used, and nowhere is this narrowness more noticeable than in the attempt to ignore the most important business men of the country, the real creators of wealth.