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Governor Clarke. It was supposed to be published under the patronage of the Honorable Rip Van Dam, who had been president of the council, and opposed the governor and his successor. The New York Gazette, printed by Bradford, was then under the control of the governor.
Newspapers were not at that time burthened with advertisements. I have seen several numbers printed after the paper had been established seven or eight years, with only one or two advertisements. It was well printed. Zenger appears to have understood his business, and to have been a scholar, but he was not correct in the English language, especially in orthography.
On Sunday, the 17th of November, 1734, Zenger was arrested and imprisoned by virtue of a warrant from the governor and council,“ for printing and publishing several seditious libels,” in the New York Weekly Journal, viz: in Numbers 7, 47, 48 and 49. The governor and council by message requested the concurrence of the house of representatives in prosecuting Zenger, and a committee of conference on the subject was chosen by the house and by the council. The house finally ordered the request of the governor and council to lie on the table, and would not concur. The governor and council then ordered the mayor and magistrates, at their quarter session in November, 1734, to attend to the “ burning by the common hangman, or whipper, near the pillory, the libellous papers.” The mayor's court would not attend to the order; the papers were therefore burnt by the order of the governor, not by the hangman or whipper, who were officers of the corporation, but by the sheriff's servant. At the next term of the supreme court, the grand jury found the presentment against Zenger ignoramus. The attorney general was then directed to file an information against him for printing the said libels, and he remained in prison until another term. His counsel offered exceptions to the commissions of the judges, and prayed to have them filed. The judges would not allow, or even hear the exceptions, and they excluded Zenger's counsel, Mr. Alexander and Mr. Smith, from the bar. Zenger obtained other counsel, viz: Mr. John Chambers, of New York, and Andrew Hamilton, Esq., of Philadelphia. Mr. Hamilton made the journey from Philadelphia to New York for the sole purpose of defending Zenger. Zenger being put to trial pleaded not guilty. The printing and publishing the papers were acknowledged by Zenger's counsel, who offered to give the truth in evidence. This the court would not admit. Mr. Hamilton argued the cause in a most able manner, before the court and a numerous and respectable assemblage of people. The judges observed, that the jury might find that Zenger printed and published the papers in question, and leave it to the court to determine whether they were libellous. Mr. Hamilton remarked, that they might do so, but they had a right, beyond all dispute, to judge of the law as well as the fact, &c. The jury having retired a short time, returned with a verdict, not guilty, to the great mortification of the court, and of all Zenger's prosecutors; but which was received by the audience with loud bursts of applause, concluding with three cheers. The next day Zenger was released from prison, after having been confined eight months.
At the common council of the city of New York, holden on the 29th of September following, the mayor, aldermen and assistants, presented Mr. Hamilton with the freedom of the city, and the thanks of the corporation expressed in the following manner.
“ City of New York, ss.: Paul Richards, Esq., Mayor, the Recorder, Aldermen, and Assistants of the City of New York, convened in Common Council, to all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting. Whereas, Honour is the just Reward of Virtue, and publick Benefits demand a publick Acknowledgment. We therefore, under a grateful Sense of the remarkable Service done to the Inhabitants of this City and Colony, by Andrew Hamilton, Esq; of Pennsylvania, Barrister at Law, by his learned and generous Defence of the Rights of Mankind and the Liberty of the Press, in the Case of John-Peter Zenger, lately tried on an Information exhibited in the Supreme Court of this Colony, do by these Presents, bear to the said Andrew Hamilton, Esq; the publick Thanks of the Freemen of this Corporation for that signal Service, which he cheerfully undertook under great Indisposition of Body, and generously performed, refusing any Fee or Reward ; and in
1 Testimony of our great Esteem for his Person, and Sense of his Merit, do hereby present him with the Freedom of this Corporation. These are, therefore, to certify and declare, that the said Andrew Hamilton, Esq; is hereby admitted and received and allowed a Freeman and Citizen of said City; To Have, Hold, Enjoy and Partake of all the Benefits, Liberties, Privileges, Freedoms and Immunities whatsoever granted or belonging to a Freeman and Citizen of the same City. In Testimony whereof the Common Council of the said City, in Common Council assembled, have Caused the Seal of the said City to be hereunto affixed this Twenty-Ninth Day of September, Anno Domini One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty-Five. “By order of the Common Council,
“ William Sharpas, Clerk.”
The foregoing grant of the freedom of the city was, by order of the corporation, sent to Mr. Hamilton by Stephen Bayard, one of the aldermen, in a gold box weighing five and a half ounces, made for the occasion. On the lid of the box was engraved the arms of the city, with this motto: “ DEMERSÆLEGES TIMEFACTA LIBERTAS HÆC TANDEM EMERGUNT.” On the inner side of
the lid : “NON NUMMIS - VIRTUTE PARATUR.” On the front of the rim of the box, a part of Tully's wish : ITA CUIQUE EVENIAT, UT DE REPUBLICA MERUIT.
Zenger published the Journal on Mondays, till he died in the summer of 1746. It was continued by his widow, Catharine Zenger, till December, 1748, when she resigned the publication to her son John Zenger. Her imprint was, “New York: Printed by the Widow Cathrine Zenger, at the Printing-Office in Stone-Street; Where Advertisements are taken in, and all Persons may be supplied with this paper.” She spelled her name Cathrine in all her imprints and advertisements.
John Zenger, in January, 1748–9, new modelled the title of the Journal, and added a cut, coarsely executed, of a section of the royal arms, containing three lions gardant, encircled with the usual motto,“ Honi soit qve mal y pense;" surmounted by a crown. The imprint, “New York: Printed by John Zenger, in Stone-street, near Fort George; Where Advertisements are taken in at a moderate rate." John Zenger published this paper until about 1752, when it was discontinued, but in 1766, the title was revived by John Holt.
In The New York Journal of February 25, 1751, is the following advertisement: “My country subscribers are earnestly desired to pay their arrearages for this Journal, which, if they don't speedily, I shall leave off sending, and seek my money another way. Some of these kind customers are in arrears upwards of seven years ! Now as I have served them so long, I think it is time, ay and high time too, that they give me my outset; for they may verily believe that my every-day cloathes are almost worn out. N. B. Gentlemen, If you have not ready money with you,
The first motto is altered from Cic. de Offic. lib. 2, cap. 7.-H.
still think of the Printer, and when you have read this Advertisement, and considered it, you cannot but say, Come Dame, (especially you inquisitive wedded men, let the Batchelors take it to themselves) let us send the poor Printer a few Gammons or some Meal, some Butter, Cheese, Poultry, &c. In the mean time I am Yours, &c.
The New York Gazette, or, Weekly Post-Boy,
Was established by James Parker, in January, 1742–3, about the time that Bradford discontinued his Gazette, and he probably retained the subscribers for that paper.
I have a few numbers of this Gazette published several months after its establishment, the title of which reads thus, “ The New York Gazette Revived in the Weekly Post-Boy. Containing the freshest Advices, Foreign and Domestick.” It was printed on Thursdays, on a foolscap sheet, folio. Imprint, “New York: Printed by James Parker, at the New Printing-Office in Beaver-Street, where Advertisements are taken in, and all Persons may be supplied with this Paper.”
Two letters appeared in the Gazette of February, 1748, reflecting upon some respectable quakers in Philadelphia. These letters were not genuine, and gave offence to some of Parker's readers. He, therefore, the 29th of that month, thus addressed the public,
“ Poor Printers are often under a very unhappy dilemma, of either displeasing one Part of their Benefactors, or giving Offence to others; and sometimes get the Ill-will of both sides; It has indeed been much against my Will to print any Thing, that savour'd of Forgery, Invective, or Partyism ; but being too dependent, can't always avoid it: The Press is looked on as the grand Bulwark of Liberty