Will Rogers visited Tennessee on a few occasions and he wrote about the state’s political figures. Because of the Scopes Monkey Trial in Dayton, Tennessee, Will wrote often about the state by making references to the trial in his Daily Telegrams and several of his Weekly Articles were written about it.
“The Supreme Court of Tennessee down here has just ruled that you other States can come from whoever or whatever you want to, but they want it on record that they come from mud only. Darwin’s living illustration, the Mayor of what we think is a town, but maybe a zoo.” – Daily Telegrams, January 17, 1927
“Tennessee claims they didn’t descend from a monkey, but their actions in this case prove otherwise. If a man is a gentleman he don’t have to announce it; all he has to do is to act like one and let the world decide. No man should have to prove in court what he is, or what he come from. As far as Scopes teaching children evolution, nobody is going to change the belief of Tennessee children as to their ancestry. It is from the action of their parents that they will form their opinions.” – Weekly Articles, 1925
“This man was Governor Peay of the great state of Tennessee, who in some histories and records will go down as signing the Anti Evolution Bill, but in the hearts of everybody that ever met him and knew him, he will go down as a real man with a soul and love for his fellow man.” – Weekly Articles, 1927
“I will feel there’s something missing when I visit Tennessee next time. Monkey business might have gained Governor Peay national prominence, but being a real human being made him three times Governor of Tennessee.” – Daily Telegrams, Oct 3, 1927 (written the day after Gov. Peay died)