Home > Presentations by Historians > Caroline Winterer
OUSD Teaching American History Grant II
November 17, 2005

 “Freedom of Expression in 18th-Century America:
The Case of Peter Zenger, 1735”

Caroline Winterer, Department of History
Stanford University

Web Links
* Links active as of January 2006
Suggest a resource

  • John Peter Zenger Trial 1735 A collection of primary documents, essays, statistics, images and other materials relating to the John Peter Zenger trial.

  • John Peter Zenger and Freedom of the Press from Social Studies for Kids

  • Visual Depictions of Peter Zenger Trial: Who was John Peter Zenger?, What power did royal governors use?, What were Peter Zenger's zingers?, Why was Zenger put on trial?, What is freedom of the press?
    illustrated by cartoonist Bentley Boyd, series presents historical events for history classrooms published by dailypress.com

  • More visual depictions of Trial of Peter Zenger

  • The Zengers (More Especially John Peter Zenger) and the Liberty of the Press

  • The Trial of John Peter Zenger, 1735 Click on any part of the collage below to view artifacts and information from this trial.

  • Article: William Cosby Vs. Lewis Morris (Zenger Trial): A Chapter in the Struggle Between Crown Appointees and the Local Aristocracy for Political Control in Colonial New York
    article written by Jacob Judd, Professor Emeritus of History at City University of New York gives his analysis of the role, if any, played by the trial of John Peter Zenger and the issue of freedom of the press.

  • Article: Olson, Alison Gilbert "The Zenger Case Revisited: Satire, Sedition, and Political Debate in Eighteenth-Century America" Early American Literature - Volume 35, Number 3, 2000, pp. 223-245 PDF VERSION
  • Katz, Stanley. A Brief Narrative of the Case and Trial of John Peter Zenger (Harvard, 1963) The best encapsulation in a book, also with documents. Katz argues "Zenger and his associates, it becomes clear, were neither political democrats nor radical legal reformers. They were, in fact, a somewhat narrow-minded political faction seeking immediate political gain rather than long-term governmental or legal reform. Nor was the case itself a landmark in the history of law or of the freedom of the press…." link to Amazon

  • Patricia U. Bonomi, A Factious People: Politics and Society in Colonial New York (Columbia, 1971) A widely respected and cited history of early New York. link to Amazon

  • Hugh Amory and David Hall, eds., The History of the Book in America, vol 1.: The Colonial Book in the Atlantic World (Cambridge, 2000), especially ch. 10. Printing and books in the colonial era link to Amazon