Jan.26, 1837, Acts 61st G.A. 2nd sitting, p.72-73.
WHEREAS it hath been represented to the legislature that Baas Staats Bergen, a coloured man, of Somerville, in the county of Somerset, was formerly the slave of Hendrick Bergen, and after his death the slave of his wife; that the said slave bought his freedom of the widow of the said Hendrick Bergen, and took her receipt therefor; but that the said Baas was never manumitted according to law.--AND WHEREAS the said Baas, after he so obtained his freedom, and was considered a freeman, he purchased a lot of land, in Somerville, of John Tumy, and built a dwellinghouse thereon; that lately, and since the decease of the said John Tumy, his children have claimed the said lot of land from the said Baas, on the ground that he was not manumitted according to law-- AND WHEREAS the said Baas hath by his petition prayed that he may be declared by law entitled to all the rights and privileges of a free colored man of this state, and that the title of the said lot of land may be confirmed in him; and it being reasonable and just that the prayer of his petition should be granted--Therefore,
Sec. 1. BE IT ENACTED by the Council and General Assembly of this state, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That the deed of conveyance made and executed by Thomas Logan, of the county of Somerset, and state of New Jersey, attorney in fact, duly authorized by power of attorney executed by John Tumy, for a lot of land, situate in the village of Somerville, county of Somerset, and state of New Jersey, to the said Baas Staats Bergen, and recorded in the clerk's office of the county of Somerset, June thirteen, eighteen hundred and eighteen, in Book J of Deeds, folio one hundred and seventy-eight and one hundred and seventy-nine, by Samuel Swan, clerk, shall be deemed and taken to be valid, effectual, and operative as if the said Baas Staats Bergen had been a freeman at the time of the execution of the said deed of conveyance, had been duly manumitted according to the laws of this state.
Sec. 2. And be it enacted, That the said Baas Staats Bergen be, and he is hereby declared to be entitled to all the rights, privileges, and immunities of a free coloured man of this state.
Passed January 26, 1837.