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.
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
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.
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.
Bernstein of Chalfont, PA, says a few words about his donation
of colonial manuscript laws.
Collections Director Ronald Becker speaks about the generosity
of the Sang family.
Director Karl Niederer thanks Mr. Bernstein for his public-spirited
of State Regena L. Thomas thanks the donors for their generosity
and support of New Jersey public history.
Jersey historians, archivists, and public officials celebrate
the two donations.
Chief Joseph Klett and Secretary of State Thomas unveil
New Jersey's original manuscript copy of the Bill of Rights.
Klett, Mr. Bernstein, Mrs. Ursula Bernstein and Mr. Niederer
viewing the display of 1760 laws and the appointment of
Governor Thomas Boone.
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.
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.
of State staff enjoy the display of manuscripts.
archaeologist Ian Burrow and Mr. Klett discuss the 1767
laws donated by Mr. Bernstein.
reporter Adrienne Supino takes notes on the early manuscript
laws donated by Mr. Sang.
Act appointing Commissioners for Supplying the several Barracks
erected in the Colony of New Jersey with
Furniture ...," 1767
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