This couple invited their friends and family to watch them consummate their marriage.
CURIOUS MARRIAGE CONTRACT
In New-Albany, Ind., last Thursday, a marriage, decidedly out of the usual order, was celebrated between Mr. Gardner Knapp and Miss La Mira P. Hobbs, daughter of Dr. Seth Hobbs, all of that city. When the guests who were bidden had assembled the following written agreement was read and subscribed to by the bridal party, no other ceremony being performed. The parties are Spiritualists:
Friends and Fellow-citizens, Ladies and Gentlemen:
We, Gardner Knapp and La Mira P. Hobbs, believing that our hearts and souls are already matrimonially united, appear before you now, thus publicly to celebrate the consummation of our union. We hold the opinion that neither Church nor State has any moral or equitable right to interfere with, or any just claim to be consulted in reference to, the arrangements that our spontaneous sentiments and sympathies have prompted us to make. Therefore, in non-conformity to, and disregarding the rules and regulations in such cases made and provided by what is called society, we adopt such form and ceremony as in our judgments and consciences seem most just and proper. And now, in the presence of those witnesses and of our invisible spirit friends here assembled, we proclaim, publish, and declare ourselves husband and wife; and may God and the angel world add their blessings. [The New York Times, July 5, 1874 (pdf)]