The trial of Joseph Howe (age thirty-one) was held in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court Chambers (later, the NS Legislative Library). Writing about the incompetence and self-interested graft happening among local political elites, he was charged with seditious libel. The six-and-aquarter-hour trial witnessed Howe as he represented himself before a jury, and cited case after case of civic corruption. Judge Brenton Halliburton presided. He instructed the jury to find Howe guilty, but the jurors thought otherwise and found Howe innocent. In part of his defence Howe stated,“Yes, gentlemen, come what will, while I live, Nova Scotia shall have the blessing of an open and unshackled press. But you will not put me to such straits as these, you will send me home to the bosom of my family, with my conduct sanctioned and approved; your verdict will engraft upon our soil those invaluable principles that are our best security and defence.” When Howe was declared innocent, his case was seen as the first to establish the fundamental basis for the freedom of the press in Nova Scotia and later in Canada. (Photo credit: The Nova Scotia Legislative Library, formerly the Supreme Court Chambers for Nova Scotia — the site of the trial of Joseph Howe. Courtesy of the Nova Scotia Legislative Library.)