Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 124
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 124
 
succession of lampoons, ballads, and attacks on all the Crown officials, the governing class, and finally even on Cosby himself. He was arrested and thrown into jail on the charge of libel; and the trial, which occupied most of the summer of 1735, attracted great attention. The chief-justice at the time was one of the Morrises, who belonged to the popular party; and as he was suspected of leaning to Zenger's side, he was turned out of office and replaced by one of the De Lanceys, the stoutest upholders of the Crown. De Lancey went to the length of disbarring Zenger's lawyers, so that he had to be defended by one imported from Philadelphia. But the people at large made Zenger's cause their own, and stood by him resolutely; while every ounce of possible pressure and influence from the Crown officials was brought to bear against him. The defense was that the statements asserted to be libellous were true. The attorney-general for the Crown took the ground that if true the libel was only so much the greater. The judges instructed the jury that this was the law; but the jury refused to be bound, and acquitted Zenger. The acquittal, which definitely secured the complete liberty of the press, was hailed with clamorous joy by the mass of the population; and it gave an immense impetus to the growth of the spirit of independence. From this time on, the two parties were

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