John Peter Zenger

Printer for The New York Weekly Journal

Zenger's Background

  • Born in Germany (1697)
  • Immigrated to New York
  • Had a mother named Joanna and a father who died on the journey to America
  • Had two siblings
  • A printer for New York Weekly Journal
  • A Christian
  • Was prosecuted in "Zenger trial"

By: Chris Henry



The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; Moral uprightness.

John Peter Zenger clearly portrayed integrity throughout even the most difficult moments in his lifetime, especially during his trial. Although the article was mostly written by the Morris group, particularly James Alexander, Zenger was honest to admit that the article belonged to him and he still took on the punishment for the "seditious article". John Peter Zenger illustrates integrity also by expressing facts about the government in his article and providing a different perspective on the government to the people.

Colonists' Views:

  • Supported the colonies
  • Supported freedom of speech and press

British Views:

  • Zenger did not have integrity when publishing the article negatively written against the government

By: Allie McKee

"John Peter Zenger." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2004. 27 Aug. 2013 <>.

Unexpected Verdict: The Trial of John Peter Zenger


The state of being vested with the rights, privileges, and duties of a citizen.

The character of an individual viewed as a member of society; behavior in terms of the duties, obligations, and functions of a citizen.

John Zenger portrayed characteristics of both a citizen and non citizen. He did this by being a colonist in America with the government primarily run by the British.

American Colonists:

-America was founded on freedom which led to his idea of freedom of the press

-Experienced the opportunity of trial with jury, was said to be not guilty

-Supported by fellow colonists

British Government:

-Thought to be wrong and against the government

-Wouldn't have been heavily supported

By: Rachel Donaldson


After Zenger's Trial British Government didn't prosecute a Colonial publishers with seditious libel. They feared that similar outcome might occur . British Government realized that the colonial juries would refuse to charge anyone with publishing crime. The trial also had huge impact on the colonists because they saw the need of freedom . This made the colonial press more open and free. As the American Revolution approached this became more vital. It was vital because the newspaper writers, would show their feelings and support for independence and revolution through their writing. By doing this colonists could see why need needed independence from Britain.

By: Aadesh Sharma