Bryan, William Jennings (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
William Jennings Bryan was a prominent figure in U.S. politics during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and is perhaps best known for his role as assistant to the prosecution in the famous SCOPES MONKEY TRIAL of 1925.
Bryan was born March 19, 1860, in Salem, Illinois. His was a devoutly religious family that prayed together three times a day and stressed strict adherence to a literal interpretation of the Bible. His parents, Silas Lilliard Bryan and Mariah Elizabeth Jennings Bryan, were firm believers in education. His mother schooled Bryan and his siblings in their home until they were old enough to be sent away to school. Bryan was an obedient and well disciplined child who was also idealistic. His favorite subject was math because of its orderly reason and logic. He showed early interest in politics and public speaking, and at the age of twelve delivered a campaign speech for his father, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress. It was the beginning of a distinguished career as an orator for Bryan.
In 1875, Bryan was sent to live in Jacksonville, Illinois, to attend the Whipple Academy and Illinois College. During college, he participated in debate and declamation and excelled at long jumping. He graduated from college in 1881 and went on to Union College of Law, in Chicago. In 1883 he returned...
(The entire section is 1580 words.)
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