Last Message of William Jennings Bryan (Scopes Trial) | EGP

William Jennings Bryan arrives in Dayton, Tennessee for the 1925 Scopes Trial

Last Message of William Jennings Bryan | Professor Joe CainAs the Scopes ‘Monkey’ Trial came to an end in July 1925, William Jennings Bryan expected to deliver the prosecution’s closing argument. Procedural tactics by the defence prevented this. The trial ended without the long-awaited climatic moment in front of the world’s media.

Five days later, unexpectedly, Bryan died. In their bereavement, supporters focused on Bryan’s unspoken words as their last chance to connect with the Great Commoner. A local newspaper editor gave Bryan’s text a quick polish, then saw to its speedy publication.

This volume reprints that 1925 material in its entirety, together with a brief historical introduction, written by Professor Joe Cain. Watch his talk on the Scopes Trial.

A complete courtroom trial transcript of the famous 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial also is available.


William Jennings Bryan was a major political figure in the United States in the decades, 1890s-1920s. His anti-evolution crusade was strong in the 1920s. He was involved in the prosecution at the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925.

Joe Cain is UCL Professor of History and Philosophy of Biology in UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies.

Book Contents

The book includes:

  • Joe Cain, Editor’s Introduction
  • Mary E. Bryan (Mrs.), Note from Mrs Bryan
  • George F. Milton, The Story of the Last Message
  • William Jennings Bryan, The Last Message
  • Joseph R. Sizoo, Address Delivered at the Funeral Service of William Jennings Bryan


Cain, Joe (ed.). 2009. William Jennings Bryan’s Last Message: a reprint of his famous closing arguments for the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, undelivered and posthumously published (London: Euston Grove Press), 66 pages. Reprint of 1925 material.

ISBN 9781906267162 (paperback) (publisher) out-of-print
ISBN 9781906267179 (hardback) (publisher) out-of-print
ISBN 9781906267315 (Kindle US | Kindle UK)
ISBN 9781906267377 (Apple iBook)
This book is available in the Internet Archive.

Read Bryan’s Last Message

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