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Image of two gold wedding bands  ARCHIVED - I Do: Love and Marriage in 19th Century Canada

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Weddings

The Day

Once they had straightened out their relationship and received her father's reluctant consent, Mary Westcott and Amédée Papineau settled down to plan their life together. At this point, her letters became highly practical. What upholstery should she choose for their new furniture? How large were the rooms he had chosen?

Letter from Mary Westcott to James R. Westcott, New York. Saturday evening, April 26, 1845. Page 1 Letter from Mary Westcott to James R. Westcott, New York. Saturday evening, April 26, 1845. Page 2 Letter from Mary Westcott to James R. Westcott, New York. Saturday evening, April 26, 1845. Page 3 Letter from Mary Westcott to James R. Westcott, New York. Saturday evening, April 26, 1845. Page 4

Source

Letter from Mary Westcott to James R. Westcott, New York. Saturday evening, April 26, 1845. Four pages

More Love Messages

Invitation to the marriage of Kittie G. VanDusen and L. Davidson Perry, on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 1892

Invitation to the marriage of Kittie G. VanDusen and L. Davidson Perry, on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 1892 Invitation to the marriage of Kittie G. VanDusen and L. Davidson Perry, on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 1892

Source

Invitation to the marriage of Kittie G. VanDusen and L. Davidson Perry, on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 1892

Journal entries by Amédée Papineau mentioning Mary Westcott and her family. Tuesday, March 31 to Sunday, April 12, 1846. Microfilm volume 35, p. 47

Source

Journal entries by Amédée Papineau mentioning Mary Westcott and her family. Tuesday, March 31 to Sunday, April 12, 1846. Microfilm volume 35, p. 47
[PDF 308.50 KB]

As for the wedding, Mary says that it cannot be until June 18. (Amédée won; they were married on May 20, 1846). Other than the date, her greatest worry is religious: will he be able get a dispensation to marry a non-Roman Catholic? (He lost; the Bishop of New York turned down his request.) If his brother could not attend the wedding as groomsman, did he have a friend who could stand up with him? If not, she would do without a bridesmaid. (His brother Lactance was indeed in attendance.)

 

Journal entry by Amédée Papineau mentioning Mary Westcott and her family. Wednesday, May 20, 1846. Microfilm volume 35, p. 53

Source

Journal entry by Amédée Papineau mentioning Mary Westcott and her family. Wednesday, May 20, 1846. Microfilm volume 35, p. 53
[PDF 321.15 KB]

Journal entries by Amédée Papineau mentioning Mary Westcott and her family. Sunday, May 3 to Tuesday, May 5, 1846. Microfilm volume 35, page 49 Journal entries by Amédée Papineau mentioning Mary Westcott and her family. Sunday, May 3 to Tuesday, May 5, 1846. Microfilm volume 35, page 50

Source

Journal entries by Amédée Papineau mentioning Mary Westcott and her family. Sunday, May 3 to Tuesday, May 5, 1846. Microfilm volume 35, pp. 49 to 50
[PDF 316.53 KB] [PDF 318.82 KB]

 

Letter from Mary Westcott to Louis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau, Saratoga Springs. Jan. 27, 1846. Page 1 Letter from Mary Westcott to Louis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau, Saratoga Springs. Jan. 27, 1846. Page 2 Letter from Mary Westcott to Louis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau, Saratoga Springs. Jan. 27, 1846. Page 3 Letter from Mary Westcott to Louis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau, Saratoga Springs. Jan. 27, 1846. Page 4

Source

Letter from Mary Westcott to Louis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau, Saratoga Springs. Jan. 27, 1846. Four pages

There is very little else; a suggestion that the wedding cake be decorated with flowers was vetoed as being out of fashion (Noël, 301, n. 59). The lack of planning is hardly surprising, as the wedding itself was modest. It was held in Mary's family's parlour, with 30 guests present. The Rev. A.T. Chester, a Presbyterian minister, officiated at the brief ceremony. Lactance distributed wedding cake and Mary gave flowers to the ladies present.

Wealthy and upper-class urban families might give large and elaborate weddings, but Mary and Amédée's wedding was probably far more typical in being brief and low-key. It was a practical time, and there were more important uses for money. Mary's concerns are far more about setting up her new household than they are about a fancy wedding.

Letter from Mary Westcott to Louis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau, Saratoga Springs. March 12, 1846. Page 1 Letter from Mary Westcott to Louis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau, Saratoga Springs. March 12, 1846. Page 2 Letter from Mary Westcott to Louis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau, Saratoga Springs. March 12, 1846. Page 3 Letter from Mary Westcott to Louis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau, Saratoga Springs. March 12, 1846. Page 4

Source

Letter from Mary Westcott to Louis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau, Saratoga Springs. March 12, 1846. Four pages

References

Noël, Françoise. Family Life and Sociability in Upper and Lower Canada, 1780 - 1870: A View from Diaries and Family Correspondence. Montréal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003.