The First Major Victory for Freedom of the Press in America [Trial]. Zenger, John Peter [1697-1746], Defendant. The Trial of John Peter Zenger, Of New-York, Printer; Who was Tried and Acquitted, For Printing and Publishing a Libel Against the Government, With the Pleadings and Arguments of Both Sides. London: Printed for P. Brown, 1752. [iv], 74,  pp. Octavo (7-3/4" x 4-3/4"). Stab-stitched pamphlet bound into recent quarter calf over marbled boards, gilt title to spine, endleaves added. Light rubbing to extremities, light toning to text, light foxing in a few places. A handsome copy. $1,750. * London reissue of an account first published in New York in 1736 as A Brief Narrative of the Case and Trial of John Peter Zenger, which was probably written by James Alexander, the co-founder and main editorial voice of Zenger's newspaper, the New-York Weekly Journal. Zenger was tried for seditious libel for publishing satirical comments about the governor of New York in his newspaper. Defended by the brilliant Philadelphia lawyer Andrew Hamilton, his 1735 acquittal is generally regarded as the first major victory for freedom of the press in the American colonies and a precedent for the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. McCoy, Freedom of the Press Z8. English Short-Title Catalogue T877.
Book number 69178