Original documents and primary sources tell of the trial that helped establish freedom of the press in the United States. The foundation was laid on an August day in 1735 in colonial New York. In a hot, crowded courtroom, a jury found printer John Peter Zenger innocent of the charge of seditious libel against the British royal governor. Combining narrative with voices from primary sources, the book shows the conflict between characters that led to this momentous trial in American history. The jury's verdict established the political precedent for the right of people to criticize their government in print and helped shape the Bill of Rights more than fifty years later.