John Peter Zengler was born in Germany in 1697. He emigrated to the United States in 1710 and between 1711 and 1719 was an apprentice to William Bradford, the royal printer for the colony of New York. They eventually became partners but in 1726 Zengler established his own printing works in New York .
In 1733 Zengler began publishing the New York Weekly Journal . The following year his attacks on the governor of New York led to him being arrested for seditious libel. Historians have argued that his acquittal established the principle of freedom of the press in the United States. John Peter Zengler, who was appointed public printer for the colonies of New York (1737) and New Jersey (1738), died in 1746.
© John Simkin, April 2013