William Jennings Bryan speech in Parkersburg   Save
Albert J. Ewing Collection
Description: This photograph shows a large crowd of people listening to a speech by presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan in Parkersburg, West Virginia, September 1896. Bryan was campaigning for president on the Democratic ticket, and over the course of that campaign delivered 500 speeches across 27 states. He was narrowly defeated for office in the popular vote by William McKinley. Bryan would run for president again in 1900, attacking President William McKinley for involving the United States in the Spanish American War. After losing a third bid for the presidency in 1908, he would go on to serve as secretary of state under Woodrow Wilson. This photograph was taken by traveling photographer Albert J. Ewing, ca. 1896-1912. Like most of Ewing's work, it was likely taken in southeastern Ohio or central West Virginia. Born in 1870 in Washington County, Ohio, near Marietta, Ewing most likely began his photography career in the 1890s. The 1910 US Census and a 1912-1913 directory list him as a photographer. A negative signed "Ewing Brothers" and a picture with his younger brother, Frank, indicate that Frank may have joined the business. After 1916, directories list Albert as a salesman. He died in 1934. The Ewing Collection consists of 5,055 glass plate negatives, each individually housed and numbered. Additionally, the collection includes approximately 450 modern contact prints made from the glass plate negatives. Subjects include infants and young children, elderly people, families, school and religious groups, animals and rural scenes. In 1982, the Ohio Historical Society received the collection, still housed in the original dry plate negative boxes purchased by Albert J. Ewing. A selection of the original glass plate negatives were exhibited for the first time in 2013 at the Ohio Historical Center. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: AV71_b06_f371
Subjects: Presidential campaigns; Photography--History; Politicians; Ewing, Albert J. (1870-1934);
Places: Parkersburg (West Virginia)