How The Post Office Created America A History?

In 1775, before the Declaration of Independence was even signed, the Continental Congress turned the Constitutional Post into the Post Office of the United States, whose operations became the first—and for many citizens, the most consequential—function of the new government itself.
A masterful history of a long underappreciated institution, How the Post Office Created America examines the surprising role of the postal service in our nation’s political, social, economic, and physical development.

What is the history of the US Post Office?

The history of its post office is nothing less than the story of America. Of the nation’s founding institutions, it is the least appreci- ated or studied, and yet for a very long time it was the U.S. govern- ment’s major endeavor. Indeed, it was that government in the experience of most citizens.

Why read “how the post office created America?

“Winifred Gallagher’s How the Post Office Created America is a book of amazing revelations. Gallagher writes with great wisdom and verve. Highly recommended.” —Douglas Brinkley, author of Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America

Is the history of the post office nothing less than the story?

“Winifred Gallagher makes a big claim in the first sentence of her new book—‘The history of the Post Office is nothing less than the story of America.’ And then, in a sweeping tour of American and postal history from the colonial period to the present, she makes us all believers.

Why is the post office so important?

Publishers Weekly “Long the most important activity of the federal government, the Post Office knit together America’s geographically spread out democracy.

How the Post Office Created America summary?

The United States Postal Service was created in 1970, transforming a government agency into a government-owned corporation. The author regrets Congress’ “dysfunctional relationship” with the USPS and suggests ways to modernize “the world’s most productive postal system.”

What is the history of the US postal service?

The USPS traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general; he also served a similar position for the colonies of the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Post Office Department was created in 1792 with the passage of the Postal Service Act.

How the Post Office Created America Goodreads?

How the Post Office Created America tells this story, tracing the role of a unique institution and its leaders, such as Benjamin Franklin, the Crown’s first postmaster general–a position that for a great deal of America’s history belonged to the cabinet, and as such was politically important and influential.

What was the first post office in the US?

Richard Fairbank’s Tavern, in what is now Boston, Massachusetts, was the official repository for mail received from overseas at the time, and is thus the first American post office.

When was post invented?

The Birth of Modern Mail Systems

A schoolmaster from England, Rowland Hill (1795–1879), invented the adhesive postage stamp in 1837, an act for which he was knighted. Through his efforts, the first postage stamp system in the world was issued in England in 1840.

Who owns the US Post Office?

The “Post Office,” or the United States Postal Service, is owned by the United States Federal Government. It is classified as an “independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States” and operates independently of government control, run by its own non-political directors.

Who made the mail service dependable?

Making sure that the mail was delivered as quickly and dependably as possible was critical to the colonies’ survival. That’s why three months after the battles of Lexington and Concord, the Continental Congress turned to Benjamin Franklin to establish a national post service as the first Postmaster General.

Who invented the postal system?

On July 26, 1775, the U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. Franklin (1706-1790) put in place the foundation for many aspects of today’s mail system.

Who invented post office?

The Post Office dates way back to 1660 when it was established by Charles II. Under the guise of the General Post Office (GPO), it soon grew as an important organisation integral within the infrastructure of England during the seventeenth century.

Is the post office funded by the government?

The agency is not funded by the government. How does the USPS pay for its workforce and operations? It’s all through the price of stamps and services. According to the USPS, if the USPS were a private sector company, the postal service would rank 46th in the 2020 Fortune 500.

A Brief History of the United States Postal Service

Benjamin Franklin oversaw Britain’s colonial mail service from 1753 to 1774, during which time he transformed a primitive courier system connecting the 13 fragmented colonies into a more efficient organization that reduced delivery times between Philadelphia and New York City to just 33 hours, according to historians.Following Franklin’s journeys along the post routes, he developed a novel idea for how a new nation could exist without relying on the United Kingdom.However, not even he could have predicted the vital significance that the office would play in the establishment of the Republic.By the early 1770s, Franklin’s fellow patriots had formed underground networks, first known as the Committees of Correspondence and then known as the Constitutional Post, that allowed the founders to discuss treasonous activities while remaining under the radar of the British.

The Continental Congress transformed the Constitutional Post into the Post Office of the United States in 1775, before the Declaration of Independence had even been signed.The Post Office of the United States’ operations became the first—and, for many citizens, the most consequential—function of the newly formed government itself.For example, James Madison and others recognized that the post could assist in the development of a fledgling democracy by informing the electorate, and in 1792 they devised a Robin Hood scheme in which high-priced postage for letters, which were mostly sent by businessmen and lawyers, subsidized the delivery of cheap, uncensored newspapers to the electorate.This approach contributed to the emergence of America’s vibrant and contentious political culture, as well as the country’s rapid rise to the status of a communications powerhouse.When Alexis de Tocqueville visited the fledgling country in 1831, the United States had twice the number of post offices as the United Kingdom and five times the number of post offices as France.

  1. He described driving over the Michigan frontier in a ramshackle wagon simply known as ″the mail,″ stopping at ″huts″ where the driver would throw down a bundle of newspapers and letters before hastening along his route, which he described as ″astonishing.″ The residents of the adjoining log huts were left to send for their portion of the treasure while we continued on our trip at full speed.

Pony Up

When railways only reached as far west as Missouri in the early 1900s, the Pony Express, which is seen in this 1904 artwork, assisted in filling up the gaps for around a year and a half. From St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, mounted carriers were legendary for delivering mail in under ten days across the 1,800-mile route.

All Aboard

According to Daniel Piazza, curator of the Postal Museum, this is one of the first pictures of a train on a postage stamp. The first edition was published in 1869, the same year that the transcontinental railroad was finished, heralding the beginning of a new age in communication and growth.

Rural Free Delivery: A Lifeline

Early example (about 1910) of a Rural Free Delivery man utilizing an automobile to reach the destinations on his long and winding route is seen below. Piazza explains that when the boundary shifted westward, the Post Office followed, establishing connections between isolated communities and regions and the rest of the country and the rest of the globe.

Dog Days of Winter

During the winters of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, couriers delivered mail to Americans living in the Alaska Territory using dog sleds.In 1935, after suffering a severe case of frostbite on his 160-mile route between Circle and Eagle, Alaska, Ed Biederman withdrew from postal delivery and sold his sled.″The Post Office connected Americans as the nation grew in territory and population throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries,″ says Lynn Heidelbaugh, a curator in the history department of the National Postal Museum.″The Post Office connected Americans as the nation grew in territory and population throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.″

Making Bank

During the early twentieth century, this box, which was one of several kinds made by tinsmith Charles Boyer in Marengo, Illinois, served as a form of itinerant post office for rural and frontier couriers.By advertising his boxes, Boyer told carriers that his boxes would ″additional respect to your position″ and ″enhance the efficiency of your work″ by carrying up to 500 stamps and 35 money orders.This one belongs to John Goudy, who worked as a rural mail carrier in Steuben County, in the state of Indiana.When the United States government established the Postal Savings System in 1911, all citizens of the United States gained immediate access to banking services.

″Savings stamps, certificates of deposit, and interest-bearing bonds were available to customers as young as 10 years old,″ says Heidelbaugh, who adds that customers could also accumulate interest on their accounts.″The program enabled people, many of whom did not have access to financial institutions, to save their money in a safe place with a federal agency.″

“Neither Snow Nor Rain….”

Known as the Postal Service’s unofficial motto, ″Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will prevent these couriers from completing their assigned rounds as quickly as possible,″ it has been associated with the organization since the opening of the 8th Avenue Post Office in New York City in 1914.In the Greek and Persian wars, the word is attributed to the Greek historian Herodotus, who used it to describe Persian couriers (500-449 BCE).″Despite the commitment to duty, significant interruptions have occurred in the aftermath of severe natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires,″ adds Heidelbaugh.There are mailbox fragments from the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, California, as well as from the tornado that ravaged Greensburg, Kansas, in 2007.

Both of these events are represented in the National Postal Museum’s collections.″The United States Postal Service works to resume operations as quickly as possible by delivering mail including finances, medication, and supplies to consumers and assisting communities in their recovery,″ Heidelbaugh said.

How the Post Office Created America: A History

As America’s own tale, delivered from a fresh viewpoint across more than two centuries, Winifred Gallagher recounts the history of the post office as America’s own story.Gallagher contends that the post office, which is in risk now more than ever, is deserving of this endeavor because, as the founders predicted, it helped to shape a forward-looking, communication-oriented, and idea-driven America via its creation.By the 1840s, however, the position had reached a critical juncture.Average residents, unhappy up with excessive postal charges (sending a letter more than 150 miles cost approximately 20 cents, or around $6 today), were increasingly resorting to cheaper private carriers, almost driving the Post Office out of business in the process.

To combat this, Congress declared the post office a public service that was no longer required to break even, and in 1845 reduced the cost of letter postage from five to ten cents, depending on distance traveled.The Post Office Department continued to fund the nation’s transportation infrastructure after World War II.Railroads took the role of horse couriers and stagecoaches in the Eastern United States.As part of its efforts to connect the coastlines, the government first funded steamships to transport mail through the Isthmus of Panama.When the gold rush began, the company invested in stagecoaches, which transported mail from Missouri and Tennessee, where the railways had terminated, to California, allowing for critical connections during the gold rush.

  1. The construction of the great transcontinental railroad was finished in 1869.
  2. The postal system provided a vital link between Western settlers and their families back home.
  3. The Union’s postal system was upgraded as a result of the Civil War, thanks in part to Montgomery Blair, President Lincoln’s postmaster general, who used the savings from halting operations in the Confederacy to improve the Union’s mail infrastructure.
  4. The Railway Mail Service was expanded by him, and the first money orders were issued, as well as the first deliveries to urban dwellings.
  5. The Post Office became the first major organization to employ a significant number of women and African Americans.
  • Rural Free Delivery (1896) and Parcel Post (1913), two inventions that brought rural dwellers into the mainstream, were among the advancements that came after that.
  • During a period in which banks mostly overlooked the financial requirements of ordinary residents, the Postal Savings System (1911) offered essential financial services.
  • At a time when Europe was consumed by World War I, the Postal Service realized the importance of air transportation and provided almost solely financial assistance to the aviation sector until the late 1920s.
  • The postwar boom more than quadrupled the volume of mail, even as the cash-strapped Postal Service built up massive deficits and faced a budgetary crisis reminiscent of the one that occurred in the 1840s.
  • Concerned, Congress reorganized the agency into the United States Postal Service in 1970, creating a mix of government and industry that has received no tax monies since 1982 but is nonetheless subject to legislative scrutiny.
  • As a result of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which mandated that the Postal Service prefund retiree health benefits, the service was stuck with hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.

A Gallup survey conducted in 2019 found that, while the position is once again the focus of controversy, it remains the government service that Americans value the most.The comedian Jerry Seinfeld recently joked that he couldn’t fathom how a ″system that relies on licking, walking, and a random number of pennies″ could be failing, seemingly unaware that parcel delivery has become a significant portion of the USPS’s business, with revenue increasing by $1.3 billion from 2018 to 2019.Yet, in 2020, with Americans cut off from the rest of the world by Covid-19, countless people rely on a system that delivers crucial items to every location, including stimulus checks, ballots, and, maybe, medical testing in the near future.

History of the United States Recommended Videos on the American Revolution Founding Fathers from the National Postal Museum

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How the Post Office Created America: A History: Gallagher, Winifred: 9780143130062: Amazon.com: Books

″’The history of its Post Office is nothing less than the history of America,’ Ms.Gallagher argues in her first phrase, and she makes an excellent argument for this claim in her colorful book.″ The Wall Street Journal published an article stating that How the Post Office Was Created is a brilliant history of an institution that has been undervalued for a long time.America investigates the extraordinary role played by the United States Postal Service in the political, social, economic, and physical evolution of our country.The post office was created before the founding fathers had even signed the Declaration of Independence, and for a very long time, it was the greatest and most significant undertaking of the United States government—indeed, it served as the primary means of communication between residents.

Instead of a conventional mail network, this was to serve as the central nervous system of the new body politic, intended to bind the thirteen fractious colonies together into the United States by delivering news about public affairs to every citizen—a radical idea that appalled the great powers of Europe at the time.America’s distinctively democratic ethos profoundly influenced its vibrant, combative culture of unfettered ideas and opinions, propelling the country to the top of the world’s information and communications rankings in astonishingly short order.As America’s own tale, delivered from a fresh viewpoint across more than two centuries, Winifred Gallagher recounts the history of the post office as America’s own story.As part of its responsibility to transport the mail—then referred to as ″the media″—the federal government established a federal presence throughout broad, sometimes contentious areas of the continent, transforming a wilderness into a social landscape of post highways and settlements centered on post offices.The post served as the spur for the development of the nation’s transportation infrastructure, which included everything from stagecoach lines to commercial airplanes, as well as the lifeline for the vast migration from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

  1. It made it possible for America to transition from an agrarian to an industrial economy, as well as to build the publishing industry, consumer culture, and political party system, among other things.
  2. In addition to continuing to serve as a significant civilian employer in the country, this post was one of the first in the country to hire women, African Americans, and other minorities for positions in government.
  3. The postal service suffered greatly during the turbulent 1960s, having been starved by two world wars and the Great Depression, as well as dealing with the country’s growing anti-institutional mindset and dealing with a doubled amount of correspondence.
  4. Distracted by the subsequent modernisation of its conventional services, however, it was unable to complete the shift from paper mail to email, which many foresighted observers predicted would be the next natural step.
  5. The post office has reached a fork in the road.
  • It is important for Americans to grasp what this great but underappreciated organization has achieved since its founding in 1775 and to examine what it should and should contribute in the twenty-first century before making decisions about its future.
  • Gallagher contends that the post office, which is in risk now more than ever, is deserving of this endeavor because, as the founders predicted, it helped to shape a forward-looking, communication-oriented, and idea-driven America via its creation.

How the Post Office Created America

According to the author’s opening statement, ″the history of the Post Office is nothing less than the history of America,″ and she makes a compelling argument for this claim in this entertaining book.The Wall Street Journal published an article about this.What Happened When the Post Office Was Created is an excellent history of a long-underappreciated institution.’America’ investigates the remarkable role played by the United States Postal Service in the development of our country’s political, social, economic, and physical infrastructure.

Even before signing the Declaration of Independence, the founders founded the United States Postal Service, which for a very long time was the greatest and most significant undertaking of the United States government—indeed, it served as the government for the vast majority of its people.Instead of a conventional mail network, this was to serve as the central nervous system of the new body politic, intended to bind the thirteen fractious colonies together into the United States by delivering news about public affairs to every citizen—a radical idea that appalled the great powers of Europe and the rest of the world.America’s distinctively democratic ethos profoundly influenced its vibrant, combative culture of unfettered ideas and opinions, propelling the country to the top of the world’s information and communications rankings in record time.Over more than two centuries, Winifred Gallagher tells the narrative of the post office as though it were America’s own story, delivered from a new viewpoint.As part of its responsibility to transport the mail—then referred to as ″the media″—the federal government established a federal presence throughout broad, sometimes contentious areas of the continent, transforming a wilderness into a social landscape of post roads and communities centered around post offices.

  1. The office served as a stimulus for the development of the nation’s transportation infrastructure, which included everything from stagecoach lines to commercial airplanes, as well as the lifeline for the vast migration from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans.
  2. Because of this, America was able to make the transition from an agricultural to an industrial economy, as well as to establish the publishing industry, consumer culture, and political party system.
  3. It is still one of the country’s two largest civilian employers, and it was the first to recruit women, African Americans, and other minorities for roles in public life, and it continues to do so.
  4. The postal service suffered greatly during the chaotic 1960s, having been starved by two world wars and the Great Depression, dealing with the country’s growing anti-institutional mindset, and dealing with a doubling of mail traffic.
  5. But it was sidetracked by the subsequent modernisation of its traditional services that it failed to make the transition from paper mail to email, which many foresighted observers said would be the next natural step.
  • It appears that the post office has reached a fork in the road.
  • It is important for Americans to grasp what this great but underappreciated organization has achieved since its founding in 1775 and to examine what it should and should contribute in the twenty-first century before making decisions about its fate.
  • Gallagher contends that the post office, which is in risk now more than ever, is deserving of this endeavor because, as the founders predicted, it helped to shape a forward-looking, communication-oriented, and idea-driven America.

How the Post Office Created America

How the Post Office Was Created is a brilliant history of an institution that has been undervalued for a long time.America investigates the extraordinary role played by the United States Postal Service in the political, social, economic, and physical evolution of our country.The post office was created before the founding fathers had even signed the Declaration of Independence, and for a very long time, it was the greatest and most significant undertaking of the United States government—indeed, it served as the primary means of communication between residents.Instead of a conventional mail network, this was to serve as the central nervous system of the new body politic, intended to bind the thirteen fractious colonies together into the United States by delivering news about public affairs to every citizen—a radical idea that appalled the great powers of Europe at the time.

America’s distinctively democratic ethos profoundly influenced its vibrant, combative culture of unfettered ideas and opinions, propelling the country to the top of the world’s information and communications rankings in astonishingly short order.As America’s own tale, delivered from a fresh viewpoint across more than two centuries, Winifred Gallagher recounts the history of the post office as America’s own story.As part of its responsibility to transport the mail—then referred to as ″the media″—the federal government established a federal presence throughout broad, sometimes contentious areas of the continent, transforming a wilderness into a social landscape of post highways and settlements centered on post offices.The post served as the spur for the development of the nation’s transportation infrastructure, which included everything from stagecoach lines to commercial airplanes, as well as the lifeline for the vast migration from the Atlantic to the Pacific.It made it possible for America to transition from an agrarian to an industrial economy, as well as to build the publishing industry, consumer culture, and political party system, among other things.

  1. In addition to continuing to serve as a significant civilian employer in the country, this post was one of the first in the country to hire women, African Americans, and other minorities for positions in government.
  2. The postal service suffered greatly during the turbulent 1960s, having been starved by two world wars and the Great Depression, as well as dealing with the country’s growing anti-institutional mindset and dealing with a doubled amount of correspondence.
  3. Distracted by the subsequent modernisation of its conventional services, however, it was unable to complete the shift from paper mail to email, which many foresighted observers predicted would be the next natural step.
  4. The post office has reached a fork in the road.
  5. It is important for Americans to grasp what this great but underappreciated organization has achieved since its founding in 1775 and to examine what it should and should contribute in the twenty-first century before making decisions about its future.
  • Gallagher contends that the post office, which is in risk now more than ever, is deserving of this endeavor because, as the founders predicted, it helped to shape a forward-looking, communication-oriented, and idea-driven America via its creation.

Benjamin Franklin Established the Post Office to Connect and Unite the Colonies

During the Revolutionary War, when there was no internet or telephones to provide instantaneous communication over long distances, the mail that was transported by horseback riders on the rough-hewn roads between cities and towns served as the connective tissue that held the American colonies together.Maintaining the highest level of efficiency and dependability in the delivery of mail was vital to the sustainability of the colonies’ mail delivery system.That is why, three months after the battles of Lexington and Concord, the Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin as the nation’s first Postmaster General to oversee the establishment of a national postal service.″When he was appointed postmaster general for the American confederation in 1775, it clearly demonstrated the extent to which he was trusted by American leaders to have Americans’ best interests at heart,″ says Carla J.

Mulford, a professor of English at Penn State University and author of an upcoming book, Benjamin Franklin’s Electrical Diplomacy.″It clearly demonstrated the extent to which he was trusted by American leaders to have Americans’ best interests at heart,″ she adds.Franklin had already accumulated a substantial amount of expertise in the mail-delivery industry.The documentary ″Ben Franklin: Citizen of the World″ may be seen on HISTORY Vault.

Ben Franklin Kept Mail Moving Swiftly as Philadelphia Postmaster

Franklin had already established a successful company as a printer, merchant, and publisher of a newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette, by the time he was thirty-one years old in 1737.In the same year, he was named postmaster of Philadelphia, when British officials ousted his predecessor for failing to submit financial reports on time.Neither Snow Nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service by Devin Leonard points out that being a local postmaster didn’t pay much—a 10 percent fee on customers’ postage—but it came with a significant side benefit.Franklin possessed franking powers, which enabled him to send his newspaper to subscribers at no charge.

This assisted Franklin in building a large circulation and transforming the Pennsylvania Gazette into one of the most successful magazines in the colonies.Franklin utilized the mail for self-promotion in a similar way to how current politicians and celebrities rely on social media sites like Twitter.As Leonard points out, Franklin’s ability to send his own letters without having to pay postage—he simply inscribed them with ″Free.B.Franklin″—enabled him to connect with other intellectuals in Europe throughout his time there.That assisted in publicizing Franklin’s accomplishments, ″thereby assisting in establishing Franklin as one of the world’s most admired Americans,″ according to Leonard’s book.In her research of Franklin’s 20,000 letters left behind by him, Stanford University historian Caroline Winterer characterizes the president as ″a guy with a vibrant social network,″ which she compares to our modern-day linked society.

  1. Continue reading Presidents’ Communication with the Public Throughout History: From the Telegraph to Twitter.

Britain Appoints Franklin as Postmaster of 13 Colonies

In 1753, the British Crown named Franklin as joint postmaster for the thirteen colonies, recognizing his abilities as a diligent record-keeper and as a skilled administrator of mail operations in Philadelphia.According to Leonard’s book, despite the fact that he ostensibly shared responsibility with William Hunter, a printer located in Virginia, Hunter really allowed Franklin make all of the decisions.More than two decades passed while Franklin served as Postmaster General, during which time he oversaw significant advances in postal delivery, including the establishment of a regular schedule that allowed mail to travel smoothly along post roads up and down the Eastern Seaboard.Mulford explains that Franklin ″traveled widely to inspect postal routes, find the most reliable postal clerks to serve as his associates in the various towns and cities, and create a system of communication that would work well for riders of the post.″ Franklin ″traveled widely to inspect postal routes, find the most reliable postal clerks to serve as his associates in the various towns and cities, and create a system of communication that would work well for riders of the post,″ Mulford explains.

″Franklin had a keen sense of the future.″He was an excellent systems analyst,″ Mulford recalls of his former colleague.″He was easy to deal with when the other people were easy to work with.″ Furthermore, he was an adept troubleshooter, capable of devising workaround solutions when things did not go as planned.″ READ MORE: 11 Surprising Facts About Ben Franklin (in English)

Mail Delivery Time Is Cut, Newspaper Get Flat Rate

Franklin was eventually successful in cutting the delivery time for a letter from Philadelphia to New York and the time it took to receive a response to only 24 hours by deploying postal riders on the highways at night.Continue by scrolling down.According to Franklin biographer Walter Isaacson, Franklin also arranged for small, swift packet ships to transport mail to and from the West Indies and Canada, which supplemented the transatlantic service that the British Crown provided from England and established the first home-delivery system in the colonies.Franklin also arranged for small, swift packet ships to transport mail to and from the West Indies and Canada, which complemented the transatlantic service that the British Crown provided from England.

He even set up a dead-letter office in Philadelphia to deal with undeliverable mail once it was returned to him.According to Winifred Gallagher’s book How the Post Office Created America: A History, another of Franklin’s initiatives, implemented after he’d amassed his own riches, was to issue a 1758 edict requiring all publications to be carried by postal riders for the same, uniformly low charge.Because of this, the colonists had far more access to information, particularly about what was going on in the rest of the globe.As colonial postmaster, Franklin was able to complete most of his duties from a distance.Beginning in the late 1750s, he began to spend the most of his time in England, where he carried out the majority of his duties through the mail, examining postal statements from a distance and putting his judgements into effect through letters.

  1. The British government didn’t seem to mind because, by 1760, the postal service in the colonies had become profitable for the first time in the country’s history.
  2. Franklin’s engagement with the developing opposition to British taxes and control, on the other hand, led to his coming into conflict with British authorities in the end.
  3. READ MORE: How Ben Franklin’s Political Cartoon Went Viral and Aided in the Unification of the Colonies
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Leaked Letters Lead to Franklin’s Dismissal

Things came to a climax after Franklin received a box of letters addressed to him from Thomas Hutchinson, the British governor of Massachusetts, which had been mailed anonymously.It all started when Franklin provided them to a friend who subsequently leaked them to a Boston newspaper, which made quite a stir.In Mulford’s words, ″the letters despatched from London to Massachusetts demonstrated how far British authorities in the colonies were willing to go to subdue colonists at any costs.″ After this incident, in January 1774, Franklin was ″brutally and abruptly fired″ from his postmaster-general job in New York City.Following Franklin’s return to America, the clockwork-like postal system he had established began to come apart due to a lack of managerial abilities on Franklin’s side.

The colonists began to establish their own independent post offices in the early 1800s.An alumnus of Providence College and a former postmaster from Rhode Island named William Goddard founded the Constitutional Post, an alternative postal service that allowed colonists to communicate with one another without fear of their letters being opened and read by the Crown’s postmasters.

After Declaration of Independence, US Post Office Is Born

A failed attempt by Goddard to persuade the Continental Congress to adopt his improvised postal system as the official mail system ended in failure.However, the delegates want something more substantial and superior.After two months of research, they offered Franklin the position of Postmaster General in July 1775, with a salary of $1,000 (equivalent to $33,500 in today’s currencies), and gave him the authority to hire a staff of three.He was tasked with establishing a new system of postal routes from Falmouth, Massachusetts (now Portland, Maine) to Savannah, Georgia, with as many links as he saw necessary between the two destinations.

Franklin brought in his son-in-law, Richard Bache, to serve as his deputy, and the dissatisfied Goddard to serve as head surveyor, and he began about reproducing the system that he had constructed for the British Crown.It was only natural for a man who was already familiar with the terrain to build up additional post offices and employ local postmasters to administer them as soon as he did.Unfortunately, just a few records from Franklin’s tenure as Postmaster General have survived to give further insight into his thinking.However, according to Gallagher, he was so effective at siphoning revenue away from the Crown’s postal service in the colonies that by Christmas of that year, the service was so desperate for business that it was forced to close.Additionally, Franklin took use of his franking privileges to send out his normal prolific production of letters, substituting his franking mark with ″B.

  1. Free Franklin″ in a lighthearted gesture to demonstrate his defiance of the British authorities.
  2. Franklin served as Postmaster General for approximately about a year and a half, according to historical records.
  3. Several months after the Declaration of Independence was signed in July 1776, Benjamin Franklin was assigned to France to serve as an ambassador at the court of King Louis XVI, which was another crucial diplomatic assignment.
  4. However, the postal system, which Franklin was instrumental in establishing, continued to thrive and eventually became a crucial component of the new democracy.
  5. In 1847, his accomplishments were recognized by the United States Postal Service, who included him alongside George Washington on the country’s inaugural postage stamps.
  • MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: The Top Ten Most Valuable United States Postage Stamps

How the Post Office Created America

How the Post Office Was Created is a brilliant history of an institution that has been undervalued for a long time.America investigates the extraordinary role played by the United States Postal Service in the political, social, economic, and physical evolution of our country.The United States Postal Service was formed before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and for a very long time, it was the greatest and most significant undertaking of the United States government—indeed, it was the government for the vast majority of its residents.Instead of a conventional mail network, this was the central nervous system of the new body politic, designed to bind thirteen warring colonies into the United States by delivering news about public affairs to every citizen-a radical idea that appalled Europe’s great powers-and to bind them together, they achieved success.

America’s distinctively democratic ethos profoundly influenced its vibrant, combative culture of unfettered ideas and opinions, propelling the country to the top of the world’s information and communications rankings in astonishingly short order.As America’s own tale, delivered from a fresh viewpoint across more than two centuries, Winifred Gallagher recounts the history of the post office as America’s own story.When the federal government was given the responsibility to transport the mail—then known as ″the media,″ it expanded the federal government’s influence across broad, often contentious areas of the continent and converted a wilderness into a socio-economic environment centered on post offices.The post served as the spur for the development of the nation’s transportation infrastructure, which included everything from stagecoach lines to commercial airplanes, as well as the lifeline for the vast migration from the Atlantic to the Pacific.It made it possible for America to transition from an agrarian to an industrial economy, as well as to build the publishing industry, consumer culture, and political party system, among other things.

  1. In addition to continuing to serve as a significant civilian employer in the country, this post was one of the first in the country to hire women, African Americans, and other minorities for positions in government.
  2. The postal service suffered greatly during the turbulent 1960s, having been starved by two world wars and the Great Depression, as well as dealing with the country’s growing anti-institutional mindset and dealing with a doubled amount of correspondence.
  3. Distracted by the subsequent modernisation of its conventional services, however, it was unable to complete the shift from paper mail to email, which many foresighted observers predicted would be the next natural step.
  4. The post office has reached a fork in the road.
  5. It is important for Americans to grasp what this great but underappreciated organization has achieved since its founding in 1775 and to examine what it should and should contribute in the twenty-first century before making decisions about its future.
  • Gallagher contends that the post office, which is in risk now more than ever, is deserving of this endeavor because, as the founders predicted, it helped to shape a forward-looking, communication-oriented, and idea-driven America via its creation.

How the Post Office Created America: A History

A Bibliography of Hardcover Books on History Price: 28.00* *Please note that pricing may differ from shop to store.Other editions of this title are available: Audiobook in digital format (as of June 30, 2016) Paperback (released on July 4, 2017) Compact Disc (released on July 1, 2016) MP3 CD (released on July 1, 2016) Compact Disc (released on July 1, 2016) Compact Disc (released on July 1, 2016)

Description

How the Post Office Was Created is a brilliant history of an institution that has been undervalued for a long time.America investigates the extraordinary role played by the United States Postal Service in the political, social, economic, and physical evolution of our country.The post office was created before the founding fathers had even signed the Declaration of Independence, and for a very long time, it was the greatest and most significant undertaking of the United States government—indeed, it served as the primary means of communication between residents.Instead of a conventional mail network, this was to serve as the central nervous system of the new body politic, intended to bind the thirteen fractious colonies together into the United States by delivering news about public affairs to every citizen—a radical idea that appalled the great powers of Europe at the time.

America’s distinctively democratic ethos profoundly influenced its vibrant, combative culture of unfettered ideas and opinions, propelling the country to the top of the world’s information and communications rankings in astonishingly short order.As America’s own tale, delivered from a fresh viewpoint across more than two centuries, Winifred Gallagher recounts the history of the post office as America’s own story.As part of its responsibility to transport the mail—then referred to as ″the media″—the federal government established a federal presence throughout broad, sometimes contentious areas of the continent, transforming a wilderness into a social landscape of post highways and settlements centered on post offices.The post served as the spur for the development of the nation’s transportation infrastructure, which included everything from stagecoach lines to commercial airplanes, as well as the lifeline for the vast migration from the Atlantic to the Pacific.It made it possible for America to transition from an agrarian to an industrial economy, as well as to build the publishing industry, consumer culture, and political party system, among other things.

  1. In addition to continuing to serve as a significant civilian employer in the country, this post was one of the first in the country to hire women, African Americans, and other minorities for positions in government.
  2. The postal service suffered greatly during the turbulent 1960s, having been starved by two world wars and the Great Depression, as well as dealing with the country’s growing anti-institutional mindset and dealing with a doubled amount of correspondence.
  3. Distracted by the subsequent modernisation of its conventional services, however, it was unable to complete the shift from paper mail to email, which many foresighted observers predicted would be the next natural step.
  4. The post office has reached a fork in the road.
  5. It is important for Americans to grasp what this great but underappreciated organization has achieved since its founding in 1775 and to examine what it should and should contribute in the twenty-first century before making decisions about its future.
  • Gallagher contends that the post office, which is in risk now more than ever, is deserving of this endeavor because, as the founders predicted, it helped to shape a forward-looking, communication-oriented, and idea-driven America via its creation.

Praise For How the Post Office Created America: A History…

″This is a tribute to a little-known but important government enterprise.″ the postal service initiated a communications revolution equal in scope and scope and breadth to that of the subsequent telegraph and internet revolutions,″ says the author.The New York Times Book Review included this quote: The tales Gallagher tells are intriguing and engrossing.″Interesting and well-written.″ —Washington Post et al.

  • ″Impressively researched…Gallagher connects the transformations of the Post Office with broader economic, socio-cultural, and political changes affecting the country.″ ″Gallagher connects the transformations of the Post Office with broader economic, socio-cultural, and political changes affecting the country.″ —The United States of America ″Interesting….
  • This easily read book recounts the convoluted history of an institution that has become deeply ingrained in American culture.″ —Library Journal, et al.
  • “Invigorating.” —Oprah Magazine (Oprah Magazine) ″’The history of its Post Office is nothing less than the history of America,’ Ms.

Gallagher argues in her first phrase, and she makes an excellent argument for this claim in her colorful book.″ The Wall Street Journal published an article stating that ″Gallagher makes a compelling argument for the historical significance of this frenetic period in history.″ —Publishers Weekly, et al.″For many years, the Post Office was the most essential function of the federal government, helping to stitch together America’s geographically dispersed democracy.Winifred Gallagher deftly reveals not just the rich and scenic past of the United States Postal Service, but also the several prospective futures of the organization.″ —Daniel Walker Howe, author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for history.″Winifred Gallagher’s How the Post Office Created America is a book full of startling insights,″ says the New York Times Book Review.

See also:  Where Can I Cash A Post Office Money Order?

Gallagher writes with a tremendous deal of insight and vigor.″It comes highly recommended.″ Douglas Brinkley, author of Rightful Heritage: Franklin D.Roosevelt and the Land of America (Rightful Heritage: Franklin D.Roosevelt and the Land of America), ″In the first phrase of her new book, Winifred Gallagher makes a bold claim: ‘The history of the Post Office is nothing less than the tale of America.’ Finally, in a comprehensive survey of American and postal history from the colonial period to the present, she persuades us all to become believers.″Highly recommended for students, academics, and anyone who are interested in the history of our country.″ “Patriarch” is a book written by David Nasaw, who is the author of The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P.

  1. Kennedy and Andrew Carnegie.
  2. When it comes to a page-turner, a book about the history of the post office does not appear to be the most promising of options.
  3. However, I found it to be so engrossing that I found it difficult to put it down.
  1. With its profound knowledge and study at its foundations, this book is a winner, and it will reach a large audience with a tale that will deepen their respect and understanding of the post office and its contribution to American society.″ Author James McPherson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of Tried by War and Embattled Rebel, published by Penguin Press (9781594205002, 336 pages).
  2. When will it be published?
  3. On June 28th, 2016.

About the Author

Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life (a New York Times bestseller), New: Understanding Our Need for Novelty and Change, House Thinking, Just the Way You Are (a New York Times Notable Book), and The Power of Place are among Winifred Gallagher’s many publications.A number of periodicals, including the Atlantic, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times, have published her work as well.She divides her time between New York City and Dubois, Wyoming, where she works.

Nonfiction Book Review: How the Post Office Created America: A History by Winifred Gallagher. Penguin Press, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-1-59420-500-2

It is possible that the post office did not play a role in the creation of America, but journalist Gallagher (New: Understanding Our Need for Novelty and Change) makes an excellent argument for its historical significance in this brief history.The post office, which was crucial in establishing early connections among the colonies and subsequently integrating the nation and its frontier as people pushed west, has persisted by necessity by modernizing and developing in tandem with the nation.For generations, the institution was unwavering in its pursuit of more efficient systems of delivery, despite the demands of independent contractors—whether stagecoach operators or airlines—and opportunistic competitors who were able to adapt to new circumstances much more quickly than the federal bureaucracy.

  • These challenges were intended to be alleviated by the 1970 reorganization of the Post Office Department into the United States Postal Service, which is now a government-run enterprise.
  • However, as Gallagher shows, this change in emphasis away from innovation and toward the bottom line may have doomed the post office as it transitioned into the digital era.
  • Although the post office is losing its importance, Gallagher still considers it to be a proud institution that should be preserved.

Socially progressive since its inception, the United States Postal Service represents one of the most pure distillations of America and performs one of the most necessary (and time-consuming) tasks of modern democracy: the convenient distribution of information and ideas to every American who owns or rents a mailbox.Kristine Dahl is represented by ICM (July) The book was reviewed on: 05/02/2016 and is scheduled to be released on: 06/28/2016.336 pages in a paperback format Compressed Data Disk (CD) – 978-0-14-31306-2Compact Disc (CD) – 978-1-4690-3489-8 Other file types should be shown.FORMATS

How the Post Office Created America by Winifred Gallagher: 9780143130062

″This is a tribute to a little-known but important government enterprise.″ the postal service initiated a communications revolution equal in scope and scope and breadth to that of the subsequent telegraph and internet revolutions,″ says the author.The New York Times Book Review included this quote: The tales Gallagher tells are intriguing and engrossing.″Interesting and well-written.″ —Washington Post et al.

  • ″Impressively researched…Gallagher connects the transformations of the Post Office with broader economic, socio-cultural, and political changes affecting the country.″ ″Gallagher connects the transformations of the Post Office with broader economic, socio-cultural, and political changes affecting the country.″ —The United States of America ″Interesting….
  • This easily read book recounts the convoluted history of an institution that has become deeply ingrained in American culture.″ —Library Journal, et al.
  • “Invigorating.” —Oprah Magazine (Oprah Magazine) ″’The history of its Post Office is nothing less than the history of America,’ Ms.

Gallagher argues in her first phrase, and she makes an excellent argument for this claim in her colorful book.″ The Wall Street Journal published an article stating that ″Gallagher makes a compelling argument for the historical significance of this frenetic period in history.″ —Publishers Weekly, et al.″For many years, the Post Office was the most essential function of the federal government, helping to stitch together America’s geographically dispersed democracy.Winifred Gallagher deftly reveals not just the rich and scenic past of the United States Postal Service, but also the several prospective futures of the organization.″ —Daniel Walker Howe, author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for history.″Winifred Gallagher’s How the Post Office Created America is a book full of startling insights,″ says the New York Times Book Review.

Gallagher writes with a tremendous deal of insight and vigor.″It comes highly recommended.″ Douglas Brinkley, author of Rightful Heritage: Franklin D.Roosevelt and the Land of America (Rightful Heritage: Franklin D.Roosevelt and the Land of America), ″In the first phrase of her new book, Winifred Gallagher makes a bold claim: ‘The history of the Post Office is nothing less than the tale of America.’ Finally, in a comprehensive survey of American and postal history from the colonial period to the present, she persuades us all to become believers.″Highly recommended for students, academics, and anyone who are interested in the history of our country.″ “Patriarch” is a book written by David Nasaw, who is the author of The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P.

  1. Kennedy and Andrew Carnegie.
  2. When it comes to a page-turner, a book about the history of the post office does not appear to be the most promising of options.
  3. However, I found it to be so engrossing that I found it difficult to put it down.
  1. With its profound knowledge and study at its foundations, this book is a winner, and it will reach a large audience with a tale that will deepen their respect and understanding of the post office and its contribution to American society.″ The following quote comes from James McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of the books Tried by War and Embattled Rebel.

HOW THE POST OFFICE CREATED AMERICA

A history of the United States postal system, which George Washington hoped would ″tranquilize″ the country’s restless citizens, according to the author.The Post Office Act, established by the first Congress of the new nation in 1792, provided residents with access to mail delivery.As Gallagher (New: Understanding Our Need for Novelty and Change, 2011, among other works) makes clear in this well-researched history, the law did not establish such services as ″basic rights, such as freedom of expression or religion,″ but rather simply stipulated that the government would meet citizens’ requests for such services.

  • ″Ensuring democracy…educating the people, and changing society,″ according to Benjamin Rush and James Madison, was made possible only via postal service.
  • Because newspapers dominated the mail, keeping residents informed was a vital duty of the postal service.
  • Although the postal service was established with good intentions, it was hampered from the start by terrible roads and expensive mailing prices.

It was possible for independent delivery businesses to emerge, undercutting the government’s charges while also providing a faster and more dependable service through the use of their own couriers.During the nation’s westward expansion, these rivals competed to suit the demands of Californians, who sought ″a respected and regularly scheduled stagecoach service that would transport both mail and travelers twice a week.″ It was just a matter of time until the Pony Express and then Wells and Fargo supplied transport across dangerous terrain.Using a Pony Express poster as an example, Gallagher says, ″Wanted: Young, slender guys not over the age of 18.″ They must be experienced motorcyclists who are willing to risk their lives on a regular basis.″Preference is given to orphans.″ During the Civil War, the Southern states hurried to establish their own postal service, which included the printing of stamps.

In one instance, an enslaved man was able to ″successfully mail himself to freedom inside a wooden crate″ that was delivered to abolitionists in Philadelphia, according to Gallagher, who traces the way a burgeoning postal service helped to create a market for pens, stationery, and other letter-writing accessories.Since its inception in 1970, the United States Postal Service has evolved from a government-owned agency to a government-controlled company.According to the author, Congress’ ″dysfunctional relationship″ with the United States Postal Service is regrettable, and he proposes solutions to improve ″the world’s most productive postal system.″ Gallagher argues in this clear, plain history that the survival of the post is dependent on people’ understanding of the institution’s past.Devin Leonard’s novel Neither Snow nor Rain is a more lively, character-driven portrayal of the United States Postal Service (2016).Date of publication: June 28, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-59420-500-2 Number of pages: 336 Penguin Press Review is the publisher.

  1. Published on the internet on March 31, 2016 The 15th issue of Kirkus Reviews was published on April 15, 2016.

Early American Postal Service

The Postal Road Between Boston and New York City as seen on an early American map Although there was an organized postal service in the early American colonies, it did not begin operating until the late 17th century, and even then it worked in a very different manner than it does now.The Americans had previously relied on friends, merchants, and in some cases, even the Native American population, to deliver their mail for them prior to this period.

British North American Postal System

In 1692, New Jersey Governor Andrew Hamilton carried out the orders of the British King and Queen, William and Mary, and appointed postmasters in each of the country’s existing North American colonies.A route between Williamsburg, Virginia and Portsmouth, New Hampshire was the world’s first ″long distance″ route.The early postal riders would drop off mail at pubs in the neighborhood rather than delivering it straight to a person’s address because there was no formal post office in the community at the time.

  • Richard Fairbank’s Tavern, in what is now Boston, Massachusetts, served as the official depository for mail received from overseas at the time, and is therefore considered the world’s first post office.
  • Fairbank’s Tavern is located in what is now Boston, Massachusetts.

The United States Post Office USPO

Prior to the American Revolution, only a little amount of official mail was circulated among the thirteen colonies.However, as things started to heat up in the 1760s, there was a considerably higher need for a more structured postal service.In response to the Stamp Act of 1765, which caused widespread dissatisfaction across the colonies, the inhabitants began plotting to destroy the British Imperial Post and establish a wholly American postal system.

  • On July 26, 1775, the Second Continental Congress passed an act establishing the United States Postal Service (USPS).
  • For a brief period of time, Benjamin Franklin served as the department’s director, overseeing its formation.

The Post Office Department (USPOD)

Samuel Osgood, a Massachusetts citizen, was selected as the nation’s first Postmaster General by President George Washington in 1789.There were 75 recognized post offices and more than 2,000 miles of post roads throughout the country at the time.The Post Office Department engaged post riders who would travel hundreds of miles on barren roads in perilous weather to deliver mail to the numerous post offices around the country.

  • Israel Bissell was one of these postal riders, and he was one of the riders tasked with informing the colonies that British forces were on their way to the colonies during the early phases of the American War for Independence.
  • The first formal, Congressionally recognized Post Office Department in the United States was established in 1792, with Philadelphia serving as its principal base.
  • Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the newly passed United States Constitution gave Congress the authority to create Post Offices and Roads under the supervision of the executive department, which it promptly did.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, which are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.Oak Hill Publishing Company is a publishing company based in the United States.All intellectual property rights are retained.Oak Hill Publishing Company is located at PO Box 6473 in Naperville, Illinois 60567.

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History of Mail and the Postal System

Messages can be sent by mail or courier from one person in one location to another person in another location. The history of postal systems, which began with the development of writing and may have been one of the reasons for writing’s inception, begins with the invention of writing.

Writing as a Commercial Enterprise

The beginning of writing may be traced back to Mesopotamia at least 9,500 years ago, and it entailed the usage of clay tokens, which were lumps of baked clay with dots or lines etched in them to signify the quantities of things being traded.A messenger may deliver tokens

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