John Peter Zenger

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Zenger, John Peter

(zĕng`ər), 1697–1746, American journalist, b. Germany. He emigrated to America in 1710 and was trained in the printing trade by the pioneer printer William BradfordBradford, William,
1663–1752, British pioneer printer in the American colonies. Born in Leicestershire, England, he served an apprenticeship under a London printer before emigrating in 1685 to Philadelphia, where he set up the first press.
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. Zenger began publication of the New York Weekly Journal in 1733, an opposition paper to Bradford's New York Gazette and to the policies of Gov. William Cosby. Zenger's newspaper, backed by several prominent lawyers and merchants, truculently attacked the administration. Although most of the articles were written by Zenger's backers, Zenger was legally responsible and was arrested on libel charges and imprisoned (1734). In the celebrated trial that followed (1735), Zenger was defended by Andrew HamiltonHamilton, Andrew,
1676?–1741, colonial American lawyer, defender of John Peter Zenger, b. Scotland. He practiced law in Maryland and then Pennsylvania, where he became (1717) attorney general and held other offices.
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, who established truth as a defense in cases of libel. The trial, which resulted in the publisher's acquittal, helped to establish freedom of the press in America. Zenger later became public printer for the colonies of New York (1737) and New Jersey (1738).


See biography by L. Rutherford (1904, repr. 1970); V. Buranelli, ed., The Trial of Peter Zenger (1957, repr. 1985); R. Kluger, Indelible Ink: The Trials of John Peter Zenger and the Birth of America's Free Press (2016).

Zenger, John Peter

(1697–1746) printer, journalist; born in Germany. He emigrated to New York and formed a printing partnership. As editor of the New-York Weekly Journal, he was arrested and tried for libelous statements against the administration of Governor William Cosby. The sentence of not guilty was the first major victory for the freedom of the press.
References in periodicals archive ?
Kluger presents readers with an in-depth examination of the 1733 trial brought against colonial printer John Peter Zenger and its impact upon establishing the concept of a free press in the US.
It then considers two American cases--that of John Peter Zenger in 1735 and that of Eleazer Oswald in 1783--that provide significant testimony about the views of the jury in colonial and post-revolutionary America, respectively.
For example, the second essay maintains that the famous John Peter Zenger seditious libel case "was as much a religious as a political or legal phenomenon" because "like the religious awakenings, the Zenger trial reflected the skepticism for human authority felt by ordinary people who possessed a deep faith in the existence of God and truth" (p.
In 273 years since John Peter Zenger was jailed, nothing has been invented to take the place of what reporters and committed news organizations do.
The printer's trial; the case of John Peter Zenger and the fight for a free press.
They induced John Peter Zenger, an immigrant printer, to found The New-York Weekly Journal to attack Cosby.
The "seditious libel" of which John Peter Zenger was accused included contributions from a number of anonymous and pseudonymous critics of the Crown.
In a colonial proceeding generally acknowledged to have established freedom of the press, John Peter Zenger was found not guilty of seditious libel after publishing criticism of British rule in New York.
For example, Judge Lewis Morris, Morris's grandfather, hired the printer John Peter Zenger.
Hey, nullification worked for John Peter Zenger and for those nineteenth-century folk charged with sheltering runaway slaves.
the criminal prosecution of John Peter Zenger for seditious libel, a
McManus' review of Quest of a Hemisphere ("Quest for True American History," October 21st issue), there is an error regarding the John Peter Zenger case of 1735.