Notes from the Past

Postage on Letters

The Post Office Department in 1847 implemented its role by publishing a manual of operations for its personnel entitled Regulations for the Government of the Post Office Department.  This document appears as part of Laws and Regulations for the Government of the Post Office Department published in 1847.  It addressed the question of current postage rates as follows:
Postage on Letters.

   115.  On a letter not exceeding half an ounce in weight, sent any distance not exceeding three hundred miles, five cents.
   116.  When sent any distance over three hundred miles ten cents.
   117.  For every additional weight of half an ounce, or any fractional excess of less than half an ounce, there shall be charged an additional postage of five or ten cents, according to the distance.
   118.  On letters "dropped" in the post office for delivery in the same place, two cents, each.
   119.  Letters addressed to different persons, enclosed in the same envelope or packet cannot be sent through the mails, under a penalty of ten dollars, unless addressed to foreign countries.  this is not applicable to packets made up by postmasters to be forwarded from one office to another.
   120.  The distance according to which postage is chargeable is that on the post road from one office to another, upon which the mail is conveyed.
   121.  Letters should in all cases be sent by the most expeditious routes, unless otherwise ordered by the person sending the same.

Posted June 3, 2000

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

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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