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Bernstein and Sang Donations

Picture Galleries: Press Conference | Bernstein Donation | Sang Donation

On April 11, 2003, the State Archives publicly acknowledged and celebrated two major manuscript donations. They consist of over thirty original, signed laws and other official state documents donated by Michael Bernstein of Chalfont, PA, and George Sang of Chicago. The latter donation was received through Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries.

The five colonial documents donated by Mr. Bernstein were given to him by his parents, and are believed to have been lost from the State House many decades if not centuries ago. Among them is a 1760 act relative to lotteries and other types of gambling, and a 1767 act appointing commissioners to supply and equip the colony's five French and Indian War-period barracks for the king's troops. The latter was signed by New Jersey's last royal governor William Franklin, son of Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia.

Mr. Sang received the documents included in his donation from his aunt and uncle, Elsie O. and Philip D. Sang--longtime collectors of historical Americana. The earliest document, dated 1677, is a law regulating "horse kind and neat cattle." It is, in fact, the earliest original, signed law for the colony and one of only a few to survive from the proprietary period. The remainder of the documents in the Sang donation date from the statehood period, and include the first law licensing physicians (1783), the act to carry into effect the recently ratified United States Constitution (1788), the act ratifying the U.S. Bill of Rights (1789) and many others.

Participants in the April 11 ceremony were DARM Director Karl J. Niederer, Archives Chief Joseph R. Klett, Director of Special Collections Ronald Becker on behalf of Mr. Sang, Michael Bernstein and his mother Mrs. Ursula Bernstein, and Secretary of State Regena L. Thomas. As part of the event, the Archives publicly displayed several related treasures from its vault: King George III's 1762 appointment of Governor William Franklin, New Jersey's ratification of the United States Constitution, and the state's original manuscript copy of the Bill of Rights.

Press Conference

Mr. Bernstein at podium Ron Becker at podium Karl Niederer and Mr. Bernstein Secretary of State Regina Thomas
Michael Bernstein of Chalfont, PA, says a few words about his donation of colonial manuscript laws. Special Collections Director Ronald Becker speaks about the generosity of the Sang family. DARM Director Karl Niederer thanks Mr. Bernstein for his public-spirited donation. Secretary of State Regena L. Thomas thanks the donors for their generosity and support of New Jersey public history.
the audience Joseph Klett and Secretary of State Thomas unveiling Bill of Rights Joseph Klett, Mr. Bernstein, his mother and Karl Niederer Marc Mappen and Secretary of State Regina Thomas
New Jersey historians, archivists, and public officials celebrate the two donations. Archives Chief Joseph Klett and Secretary of State Thomas unveil New Jersey's original manuscript copy of the Bill of Rights. Mr. Klett, Mr. Bernstein, Mrs. Ursula Bernstein and Mr. Niederer viewing the display of 1760 laws and the appointment of Governor Thomas Boone. Chief of Staff Kathleen Kisko, Secretary of State Thomas and New Jersey Historical Commission Director Marc Mappen enjoy the display of manuscripts included in the Sang donation.
Looking at the Bernstein donations Looking at the Sang donations Joseph Klett and observer Joseph Klett and NJN reporter
Old Barracks Museum Director Richard Patterson examines the 1767 law to furnish New Jersey's colonial barracks; royal appointment of Governor William Franklin shown on left. Department of State staff enjoy the display of manuscripts. Trenton archaeologist Ian Burrow and Mr. Klett discuss the 1767 laws donated by Mr. Bernstein. NJN reporter Adrienne Supino takes notes on the early manuscript laws donated by Mr. Sang.

Bernstein Donation

"An Act for continuing an Act...entitled An Act to Prevent Actions of Fifteen Pounds ...," 1760

"An act to prevent the Sale of tickets in Lotterys erected out of the Province, and more effectually to prevent gaming and to Revive three publick Lotterys ...," 1760 "An Act to revive such parts of an Act Entitled an Act to Impower certain Persons to Purchase claims of the Indians to Land in this Colony as relate to
Lotteries ...," 1760
An Act appointing Commissioners for Supplying the several Barracks erected in the Colony of New Jersey with Furniture ...," 1767 "An Act Barring the Estate Tail in certain Lands and Tenements in the State of New Jersey lately belonging to Anthony Sharp the Elder, deceased ...," 1767

Sang Donation

"Concerning Horse Kind and Neat Cattle," 1677 "An Act to regulate the practice of Physick and Surgery within the State of New Jersey," 1783  "An Act ceeding to Congress a District of Land not exceeding ten miles square and powers exercising a Jurisdiction over the same for the Seat of the Federal Government," 1788  "An Act for carrying into effect ... the Constitution of the United States ...," 1788
"An Act to ratify on the part of this State certain Amendments to the Constitution...," 1789 "An Act for incorporating a certain number of the physicians and Surgeons of this State by the Style and Title of the Medical Society of New Jersey," 1790 "Act to prescribe the manner of appointing Senators of the United States and Electors of the President and Vice President of the United States on the part of this State," 1790 "An Act to ratify an amendment to the Constitution of the United States," 1811

" Joint Resolution in relation to the Union of the States," 1861