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).

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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.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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.
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.
I am sure somewhere in = the Israeli press there is a John Peter Zenger who is willing to risk somet= hing in order to give the public more information about this."
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.
Thanks to the author, John Peter Zenger ceases to be a single line in a history book and becomes a hardworking printer.
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. It was in carrying out the elder Morris's wishes that the printer was arrested for seditious libel, leading to the infamous trial and acquittal via jury pardon of 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