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[393] be in force among them. Republican equality seemed
Chap XXIII}
endangered; but, in the short conflict between the European system and the American system, the new legislation triumphed; and the king receded from the vain project of enforcing English rules of descent on the husbandmen — of New England.

At New York, the people and the governor are in collision. Cosby, imitating Andros in Massachusetts, insists on new surveys of lands and new grants, in lieu of the old. To the objection of acting against law he answers, ‘Do you think I mind that? I have a great interest in England.’ The house of assembly, chosen under royalist influences, and continued from year to year, offered no resistance. The right of the electors was impaired, for the period of the assembly was unlimited. The courts of law were not so pliable; and Cosby, displacing the chief justice, himself appointed judges, without soliciting the consent of the council, or waiting for the approbation of the sovereign.

Complaint could be heard only through the press. A newspaper was established to defend the popular cause; and, in about a year after its establishment, its

1734 Nov 17.
printer, John Peter Zenger, was imprisoned, on the charge of publishing false and seditious libels. The grand jury would find no bill against him, and the attorney-general filed an information. The counsel of Zenger took exceptions to the commissions of the judges, because they ran during pleasure, and because they had been granted without the consent of council. The court answered the objection by excluding those Who offered it from the bar. At the trial, the publishing was confessed; but the aged Andrew Hamilton, a lawyer of Philadelphia, pleading for Zenger, justified the publication by asserting its truth. ‘You cannot ’

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