An Act for setting free Peter Williams, a Negro, late the Property of John Heard

Sept.1, 1784, Acts 8th G.A. 2nd sitting, ch.LIII, p.110.

WHEREAS it appears upon Proof to the Legislature, that John Heard, of Woodbridge, in the County of Middlesex, joined the Enemies of the United States, by going into their Lines, and took with him a Negro Man, then his Property, named Peter ; that said Negro Man came back from the Enemy in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty, and served some Time with the Troops raised by this State for the Defence of the Frontiers ; that he enlisted out of said Troops into the Continental Army, where he served faithfully until the End of the War; that said John Heard's Estate became confiscated, and consequently the said Negro Man, now known by the Name of Peter Williams, became the Property of this State; therefore, in Consideration of the faithful Services of the said Peter,

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 Negro Man named Peter, known and called by the Name of Peter Williams, late the Property of John Heard, shall be, and he, the said Peter Williams, is hereby declared to be manumitted and set free from Slavery and Servitude, as fully to all Intents and Purposes as though he had been free born and continued in such State of Freedom ; any Law, Usage or Custom to the contrary notwithstanding.

A. Passed at New-Brunswick, September 1, 1784.