Chautauqua was an adult education and social movement in the United States which began in 1874 at Lake Chautauqua, N.Y, as an annual summer meeting for the training of Sunday school teachers. The movement became highly popular as these assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural North America until the mid-1920s.
The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with educators, preachers, explorers, travelers, scientists, politicians and statesmen, singers, violinists, pianists, bands and orchestras, long before the advent of modern media.
Doylestown was on the Chautauqua circuit; and in August 1913, and again in the 1920s, orator and politician William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) spoke at the Doylestown Chautauqua. Bryan was a frequent speaker at such gatherings around the country and a great draw, with his impassioned and dramatic speaking style that could mesmerize his listeners.