Bookmark and Share - North Jerseys Internet Magazine North Jerseys Internet Magazine
Rare Colonial Manuscript Laws to be Donated
History - News Center

April 24, 2003 (rt23 news) - Trenton, NJ – Secretary of State Regena L. Thomas and Karl Niederer, Director of the Division of Archives and Records Management, are proud to announce the acquisition of two major manuscript donations. To celebrate and acknowledge these two exciting donations, the State Archives will host an official presentation ceremony in the Archives’ manuscript reading room at 225 West State Street, Trenton on Friday, April 11, 2003, at 11:00 a.m. The event will feature a display of selected portions of the two donations along with several other pivotal documents from the State Archives’ collections.

Michael Bernstein, an environmental consultant from Chalfont, Pennsylvania and George Sang, a Rutgers graduate and commodities trader from Chicago, respectively will donate original manuscript laws and one original bill passed by New Jersey’s colonial legislature to the New Jersey State Archives. Two of the exquisite documents bear the signature of Royal Governor Thomas Boone; and two bear the signature of William Franklin, New Jersey’s last royal governor.

The laws bring to life many of the issues common to political debate in colonial America. One of the acts relates to preventing the sale of lottery tickets and other types of gambling. This document, dated 1760, is still held together by its original ribbon and includes an embossed paper seal. Another 1767 law is entitled “An Act appointing Commissioners for Supplying the several Barracks erected in the Colony of New Jersey with Furniture and other necessaries for Accommodating the Kings Troops….” Mr. Bernstein inherited the five manuscripts from his parents. They are believed to have been lost from the State House many decades, if not centuries ago.

The second donation comes from the New Jerseyana collection of Elsie O. and Philip D. Sang, and was given to the State Archives through the generosity of their nephew George E. Sang and Special Collections and Archives, Rutgers University Libraries. Included are twenty-four original, manuscript laws and resolutions of the Colony and State of New Jersey. One law concerns stray “Horse Kind and Neat Cattle” and the process by which the town crier was to announce them. It dates from 1677 and is the earliest signed New Jersey law known to have survived—and the only one extant from the colony’s Proprietary period.

Mr. Sang is a commodities trader from Chicago and a Rutgers graduate. His family has donated other historical manuscripts to Rutgers University Libraries. However, as government records these original laws were instead returned to the State. The State Archives is New Jersey’s official repository and authority for all public records of enduring historical value.

The remainder of the laws in the Sang donation span the years 1783-1862. Several monumental acts of the legislature are among them: the first law licensing physicians in 1783; the act to carry into effect the recently ratified U.S. Constitution, 1788; the act ratifying the U.S. Bill of Rights in 1789; incorporation of the Medical Society of New Jersey, 1790; and New Jersey’s resolution for the preservation of the Union at the start of the Civil War, 29 January 1861.

In addition to selected portions of the two donations, several other pivotal documents from the State Archives’ collections will also be on display including, King George III’s 1762 appointment of William Franklin as New Jersey’s last royal governor, New Jersey’s original 1787 Ratification of the United States Constitution and its original manuscript copy of the Bill of Rights (one of thirteen sent to the new states).

Members of the media and the public are invited to participate in the event and visit the special exhibit—which will only be on display April 11th from 11:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Tours of the State Archives facility will also be offered during this time.

Posted by: Staff at
April 24, 2003

Rare Colonial Manuscript Laws to be Donated

HomeSceneryHistoryRecreationHome & GardenDirectoryCalendarClassified AdsMapsSceneryShopping
Advertise on!Link to!

Custom Search

Questions, comments, corrections? contact the Webmaster

©1999-2008 Ardan Scientific Programming, L.L.C.