No. 59.
Mr. Van den Bossche to Mr. Evarts.

Mr. Secretary of State: The Royal Government at present is directing its attention to the conditions upon which marriage in foreign parts between Belgian citizens and those of other countries depends.

It has instructed to this end its diplomatic representatives to collect and transmit detailed information regarding the legislation in force in the matter of marriage in the countries of their temporary residence, and concerning the regulations followed, in order to insure the correct formulation, authenticity, and preservation of the records of the civil state.

Before proceeding with this work, which, in so far as His Majesty’s legation at Washington is concerned, ought to comprehend the special legislation of each of the States of the Union, and to the end of my procuring the documents which would afford the accuracy desirable, I have the honor to have recourse to the kind intervention of your excellency to ask of the proper executive department whether there does not exist some work or official collection containing the legal and other rules in force upon this subject in the various States and Territories.

I shall be greatly indebted to your excellency for all the information I can obtain in this regard, and I embrace this opportunity, Mr. Secretary, to renew to you the assurances of my very highest esteem.