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As 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 the famous orator’s closing arguments for the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, undelivered and posthumously published,  together with a brief historical introduction.


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.

Special features

This volume includes:

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


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