A Brief History of the United States Postal Service

When we put a letter into a mailbox, we rely on it to arrive quickly at its intended destination. We take our national postal service for granted, never stopping to consider its long and significant history. The United States Postal Service is based on the principle that every person in this country has the right to equal accessibility to mail service that is affordable, efficient, and secure.

Roots of the Postal Service

The Postal Service has long roots, stretching back to 1755. A committee comprised of notable Americans including Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, Philip Livingston, Richard Henry Lee, and Thomas Lynch was established to consider creating a postal system. Conveying intelligence and letters were considered essential to liberty during this time. The committee made its report to Congress in July 1775 and its recommendations were agreed to the following day.

Benjamin Franklin was named the first Postmaster General and the postal system focused on transporting communications between Congress and the armies fighting for independence from Britain. When the Declaration of Independence was created in July 1776, Franklin still held his postal role, making him the first Postmaster General in the United States. The system that Franklin developed is still evident in current Postal Service operations.

The Postal Service and the Law

Postal issues have been addressed in multiple pieces of legislation beginning with the Articles of Confederation ratified by Congress in 1781. As the population stretched  Liteblue Usps westward, east-west postal routes were established. Postmaster General Ebenezer Hazard introduced mail routes via stagecoach. The Constitution provided Congress with the power to establish postal roads and Post Offices and the Act of September 22, 1789, made the President responsible for directing the Postmaster General. Samuel Osgood was appointed the first Postmaster General under the Constitution by President George Washington.


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