Primary Resource

Leon M. Bazile's Pre-Nuptial Conditions

In this letter, dated January 25, 1918, Leon M. Bazile, a devout Roman Catholic, writes to his betrothed, Virginia Hamilton Bowcock, the day before their wedding. After a long courtship he persuaded Bowcock, a Baptist, to cross religious lines and marry him. Here he writes the promises he will keep throughout their marriage.

Transcription from Original

My Dear Virginia:

I agree that I will never coerce you or in the slightest manner interfere with your practicing your religion in any way that you see fit.

I will not require you to be present at the baptism of the children.

I will go with you to your church except on second Sunday's and on special occasions.

I agree with you that the clause relating to the education of the children as Catholics does not mean that they must be educated in catholic Schools, but only means that they must be taught their catechism.

While the children when old enough will have to go to the Catholic Church when I go they can [on] other occasions go to your church with you and I will not coerce them against their will as to religious matters.

I recognize the fact that every person who reaches the age of discretion has the right to make such choice as his conscience dictates.

While I cannot agree to surrender the care and control of our children, in the case of your death, I will respect your wishes as to who shall aid in their raising, provided the same does not necessitate their being kept away from my home.

The above promises are made on my part in consideration of your having agreed to marry me.

January 25, 1918

Leon M. Bazile