Scopes Monkey Trial 1925 – Complete Trial Transcripts

Darrow examines Bryan at 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial

Shortly after the conclusion of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial – officially, the case of State of Tennessee versus John Thomas Scopes, the National Book Company (Cincinnati, Ohio) published transcripts of the trial.  Under the title, The World’s Most Famous Court Trial: Tennessee Evolution Case, this claimed to be a “complete stenographic record”. As the title page explains,

“A word-for-word report of the famous court test of the Tennessee anti-evolution act, at Dayton, July 10 to 21, 1925, including speeches and arguments of attorneys, testimony of noted scientists, and Bryan’s last speech.”

The volume included courtroom transcripts for each day of the trial as well as other documents, including:

  • statements by the defence submitted to the court
  • statements by “noted scientists” submitted at trial for use on appeal
  • text of William Jennings Bryan’s last speech (also available from Euston Grove Press)

The National Book Company volume later was reprinted by Rhea County Historical Society as well as by others, such as The Lawbook Exchange.

The transcript now is in the public domain. I have recently digitised the National Book Company’s volume, and I make it available open access and downloadable. The pdf is searchable. 

Transcripts Highlights

  • pp 74-87 Bryan’s major speech in the case
  • pp 170-182 Bryan’s major speech in the case
  • pp 284-304 Darrow’s examination of Bryan as an expert on the Bible
  • pp. 313 Scopes speaks about his case

Contents of World’s Most Famous Court Trial

First Day, Friday, July 10

  • Court Opened with Prayer
  • Case is Called
  • Visiting Counsel Introduced
  • Judge’s Charge to Grand Jury
  • Raulston Reads First Chapter of Genesis
  • New Indictment Returned
  • Darrow Brings Up Question About Scientists
  • State Outlines its Theories
  • Selection of the Jury

Second Day, Monday, July 13

  • Defense Motion to Quash Indictment
  • Judge Retires Jury
  • Hays Argues for Motion
  • Stewart Answers for State
  • Darrow’s Arraignment of the Act

Third Day, Tuesday, July 14

  • Darrow Objects to Prayer
  • Unitarians’, Jews’ and Congregationalists’ Petition on Prayer
  • Court Tells of News Leak-Withholds Decision on Motion to Quash

Fourth Day, Wednesday, July 15

  • More Argument Over Prayer in Court
  • Deals with News Leak
  • Judge Overrules Motion to Quash
  • Defense Pleads Not Guilty and States Case
  • Testimony of State’s Witnesses
  • Testimony of Dr. Metcalf for Defense

Fifth Day, Thursday, July 16

  • Battle Over Admission of Scientific Testimony
  • Bryan’s Son Speaks for State
  • Hays for Defense
  • Sue Hicks for State
  • Ben McKenzie, “We have done crossed the Rubicon”
  • Mr. Bryan on Exclusion of Evidence
  • Malone’s Fiery Speech in Reply to Bryan
  • Stewart Closes Argument on Admission of Expert Testimony

Sixth Day, Friday, July 17

  • Judge’s Decision Excluding Expert’s Testimony
  • Defense Excepts
  • Further Argument on Court’s Ruling
  • Colloquy Which Got Darrow for Contempt

Seventh Day, Monday, July 20

  • Darrow Cited for Contempt
  • Governor’s Message
  • New Text Books Offered by Defense
  • Statements by Defense
  • Darrow Apologizes-Forgiven
  • Rabbi Rosenwasser
  • Rev. W. C. Whitaker
  • Dr. H. E. Murkett
  • Would Call Burbank
  • Noted Scientists’ Statements
    – Chas. Hubbard Judd
    – Jacob L. Lipman
    – Dr. Fay Cooper Cole
    – Wilber A. Nelson
    – Kirtley F. Mather
    – Maynard M. Metcalf
    – Winterton C. Curtis
     – Prof. Horatio H. Newman
  • The Sign, “Read Your Bible,” Gives Offense
  • Other Bibles Introduced
  • Bryan on Witness Stand

VIII Eighth Day, Tuesday, July 21

  • Bryan’s Testimony Stricken Out
  • Judge Charges Jury
  • Jury’s Decision
  • Scope’s Receives Sentence
  • Talk Fest by Lawyers and Visitors
  • Court’s Farewell Message


  • Bryan’s Last Speech Published After His Death

Complete Transcripts of Scopes Trial

These transcripts come from The World’s Most Famous Court Trial: Tennessee Evolution Case, which claimed to be a “complete stenographic record”. 

(This may load slowly as it is a large file.)