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The American Postal Service

Louis Melius

Book Overview: 

The history of the postal service in the United States goes back to the colonial period, but was established more formally with the issuing of postage stamps and regular delivery. Through small vignettes, this history is traced with attention to some of the more obscure, but fascinating aspects of the postal service and related topics, as well as the major aspects of the service

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Merchant Strangers” who appointed special postmasters among themselves.

The accession of James I, necessitating more frequent communication between London and Scotland, led to many improvements in the postal service. It was ordered that the posts should travel not less than 7 miles an hour in summer and 5 miles in winter. In 1619 a separate postmaster general for foreign parts was created. Thomas Witherings was one of the successors in this office and entitled to rank as one of the many conspicuous postal reformers in the continental service. All letters were then carried by carriers or footpads 16 or 18 miles a day. It required two months to get answers from Scotland or Ireland to London. He directed that all northern mail be put into one “portmantle” directed to Edinburgh and separate bags to such postmasters as lived upon the road near to any city or town corporate, which was the first step in the separation of mail since carried to such pe. . . Read More