A Colony Divided
Famous American Trials
John Peter Zenger Trial


New York Weekly Journal Issues 
Verse from the New York Gazette

The burning of Zenger's New York Weekly Journal (Bettman Archive)
Burning Order & Bench Warrant
Trial Record
Selected Letters
The Zenger Trial: An Account
by  Douglas Linder  (c) 2001  
No country values free expression more highly than we do, and no case in American  history stands as a greater landmark on the road to protection for freedom of the press than the trial of a German immigrant printer named John Peter Zenger.  On August 5, 1735, twelve New York jurors, inspired by the eloquence of the best lawyer of the period, Andrew Hamilton, ignored the instructions of the Governors's hand-picked judges and returned a verdict of "Not Guilty" on the charge of publishing "seditious libels."  The Zenger trial is a remarkable story of a divided Colony, the beginnings of a free press, and the stubborn independence of American jurors. (CONTINUED)
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