UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


Bryan's Last Message

Bryan's Last Message 

book cover

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). Edited, with an introduction, by Joe Cain.
ISBN: 978-1-906267-16-2 (paperback) (publisher)
ISBN: 978-1-906267-17-9 (hardback) (publisher)
ISBN: 978-1-906267-31-5 (Kindle US | Kindle UK)

thought-filled speech

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 that 1925 material in its entirety, together with a brief historical introduction.

Text 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