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 ?
in the club's Peter Zenger Room, on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building at 529 14th St.
In 1735, a jury found John Peter Zenger of the New York Weekly Journal not guilty of committing seditious libel against the colonial governor of New York, William Cosby.
Petrano who on judgement day will be standing there with John Peter Zenger, Eugene Debs, and Sir Thomas More.
Abbot, founder of The Chicago Defender, to John Peter Zenger, whose 1735 sedition and libel trial is considered a watershed in the development of the free press, this encyclopedia by Vaughn (U.
It traces this construction through two eighteenth-century trails (the trials of John Peter Zenger, 1735, and of Eleazer Oswald, 1783) and examines juries as they have been regarded in the literary efforts of two early American judges--a poem by Francis Hopkinson.
Step into a standard American media history course and you'll meet John Peter Zenger, heroic crusader against seditious libel; encounter William Lloyd Garrison, the anti-slavery zealot who put out a newspaper almost on the side; and find nearly all the newspaper examples have New York mastheads.
The printer's trial; the case of John Peter Zenger and the fight for a free press.
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.
Alexander Hamilton (born in 1755 or 1757 as disputed by historians) did not defend Peter Zenger at his 1735 trial.
For example, Judge Lewis Morris, Morris's grandfather, hired the printer John Peter Zenger.
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.
Andrew Hamilton (1676-1741): considered the "first" Philadelphia lawyer because he established the concept of freedom of the press in his successful 1735 defense of John Peter Zenger.