Home  »  Respectfully Quoted  »  William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925)

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925)
QUOTATION: Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country…. We will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them: You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.
ATTRIBUTION: WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN, speech at the Democratic national convention, Chicago, Illinois, July 8, 1896.—Speeches of William Jennings Bryan, rev., vol. 1, pp. 248–49 (1911).

Often referred to as the “Cross of Gold” speech because of its widely-quoted concluding sentence, above. He served in Congress 1891–1895.
SUBJECTS: Agriculture