Notes from the Past

Free Franking for Postmasters

Postmasters were were permitted to use the mails free under certain circumstances.  The following is an excerpt from the Laws and Regulations for the Government of the Post Office published in 1847 under the heading What May go Free in the Mails.
All Postmasters are authorized to send free, through the mails, all letters and packets which they may have occasion to write or send, relative exclusively to the business of their office or of the Post Office Department, endorsing thereon "post office business," and signing their names thereto.  And those whose compensation did not exceed $200 for the year ending the 30th of June, 1846, may also send free, through the mails, letters written by themselves, and receive free all written communications on their own private business, not weighing over one half ounce.
A list of the post offices whose postmasters received compensation exceeding $200 is included in an appendix.  It is summarized below.
Post Offices in the United States at which the compensation for Postmasters
exceeded $200 for the year ending 30 June 1846.
State:
Maine
New Hampshire
Vermont
Massachusetts
Rhode Island
Connecticut
New York
Delaware
Pennsylvania
Maryland
District of Columbia
Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia
Number:
35
17
25
101
7
28
195
6
88
22
2
57
30
28
39
   
State:
Florida
Alabama
Mississippi
Louisiana
Tennessee
Kentucky
Missouri
Illinois
Arkansas
Ohio
Michigan
Indiana
Iowa*
Wisconsin*
Texas
        Total:

Number:
8
31
33
19
34
37
18
34
11
81
28
30
7
13
3
1067
                              * Territorial data

Note: Texas may have been treated somewhat differently inasmuch as Texas had only been admitted to statehood December 29, 1845, in the middle of the 1846 fiscal year.

Posted May 11, 2000

Editor's Note:  Modern philatelists are indebted to Theron Wierenga who republished this volume in 1980.

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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