“Col. Wm. J. Bryan on Pikes Peak” by J.G. Hiestand, July 10, 1899. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 001-2264.

The presidential election of 1896 was contested between William Jennings Bryan and William McKinley, one of the central issues of the campaign was the utilization of silver as a peg for the valuing of the US Dollar. This was a major issue for silver mining states, Colorado chief among them. Cripple Creek Gold Baron Winfield Scott Stratton caused a bit of a stir when he decided to go against his self interests by supporting the guy who supported the free coinage of silver. Richard Marold tells the story:

Stratton’s Wager on the Presidency of the United States

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Here, you can listen to a longer excerpt of Bryan’s famed “Cross of Gold” speech which was recorded in 1921, a quarter of a century after he first delivered the speech on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1896:
William Jennings Bryan: Cross of Gold Speech

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Richard Marold is a local historian who works as a Chautauquan and portrays Winfield Scott Stratton, Franklin Roosevelt and Nikola Tesla. He is also editor of Cheyenne Mountain Kiva, a journal of the history of central Colorado. His website is fdrtoday.org.

 

One Response to Stratton’s Wager on the Presidency of the United States

  1. Mary Ellen Davis says:

    Amazing–thanks for bringing this to light.

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