u.s. history


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  • New York weekly journal
  • Paper Burned
  • Accused
  • John Peter Zenger publishes
  • Hamilton's Defense
  • John Peter Zenger publishes a series of articles in which his criticizes the governor of New York.
  • Jury's decision
  • On August 5, 1735, twelve New York jurors acquitted Zenger of seditious libel. He had been arrested and charged with seditious libel for printing statements in the New York Weekly Journal that were critical of colonial Governor William Cosby’s arbitrary rule.
  • Life with the first admendment
  • Hamilton, asked the jury to consider whether or not the statements were true before they rendered a verdict of guilty. Hamilton admitted that Zenger had published the critical statements, but he argued that as long as the statements were true, they should not be considered libelous.
  • The jury unanimously ignored the judge’s instructions and returned a verdict of “not guilty.”
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