Button, William Jennings Bryan, 1896


William Jennings Bryan, former representative from Nebraska, was the Democratic candidate for president in 1896. Arthur Sewall, a businessman from Maine, was named his running mate at the Democratic National Convention. Bryan was also nominated by the Populist Party but that convention selected Thomas Watson, editor of the People’s Party Paper, as their vice presidential candidate.

George Dollar, an American correspondent in London in 1896, reported that having the same candidate represent two parties with different running mates “caused no little inconvenience to the button manufacturers.” It led to some uncertainly on Election Day as well because the Bryan-Sewall ticket and the Bryan-Watson ticket appeared on the ballot in several states. Bryan lost to his Republican opponent William McKinley but carried 22 of the 45 states as a Democrat. Although Bryan carried no state as a Populist, 27 of his 176 electors in the Electoral College voted for the Watson, the Populist vice-presidential candidate.

Date Made: 1896

Used: Political Campaigns


See more items in: Government, Politics, and Reform, American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2015.0200.158Accession Number: 2015.0200Catalog Number: 2015.0200.158

Object Name: button

Measurements: overall: 1 in; 2.54 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746b2-dc12-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1829989

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