This paperweight was designed by William Jennings Bryan when he was Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson. Donated to the Smithsonian by Secretary Bryan, it is identical to paperweights he gave to thirty diplomats who, in 1914, joined him in signing treaties providing for the investigation of all international disputes before war would be declared.

Shaped like plowshares, the paperweights were made from swords condemned by the War Department. A recognized advocate of universal peace, Bryan chose the design to reflect the mandate in Isaiah: 2:4“They shall beat their swords into plowshares,” inscribed on the plow’s blade. The shaft of the plow is inscribed with two of Bryan’s own well-known sayings: “Nothing is final between friends” and “Diplomacy is the art of keeping cool.” The base is inscribed: “From William Jennings Bryan to the Smithsonian Institution, August 13, 1914.”

Associated Date: 1914 08 19

Referenced: Bryan, William Jennings

General Subject Association: History, Reform Movements, Peace/Anti-War


See more items in: Political History: Political History, Womens History/Reform Movements Collection


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PL.015307Catalog Number: 15307Accession Number: 57778

Object Name: Paperweight

Measurements: overall: 3 in x 4 1/2 in x 2 1/2 in; 7.62 cm x 11.43 cm x 6.35 cmoverall: 2 3/4 in x 5 1/8 in x 2 7/8 in; 6.985 cm x 13.0175 cm x 7.3025 cm


Record Id: nmah_529606

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