Notes from the Past

The Duties of the Postmasters - Part III

The instructions to the postmasters on making up the mails continued in the Regulations for the Government of the Post Office Department included in Postal Laws and Regulations for the Government of the Post Office Department published in 1847 continued as follows:

How the mails should be made up.

     82.  Way offices on railroads will be supplied by exchanged of pouches as the cars pass, without waiting for time to change the mail, and postmasters at such offices should have the mails ready when the cars come.
    83.  The number of letters and amount of postage are to be entered upon the proper heads in the post bill, to be sent with them; and having written the proper address at the top of the bill, the same must be dated and signed by the postmaster.
    84.  The post bill being completed, its contents are to be entered in the Account of mails sent, stating the name of the office (and State if a different one,) to which the mail is sent, (or if sent to a distributing office the name of such office.)  Letters for distribution, and letters for deliver, should be made up in separate packets, and a way bill  should accompany each packet.
    85.  The letters are to be made up into bundles, and the post bill with them, wrapped in a paper of proper strength, and tied with twine.  If there are more letters for one office than can be conveniently put into one bundle, they should be made up into two or more bundles, and number; the post bill being put into the last number.
    86.  The mails for all the offices to which there are any letters addressed, being in this manner complete, they are to be put into the bag or bags destined to receive them, which is to be locked and delivered to the carrier.
    87.  Post bills as to year, month, and day of the month, should always be fully and plainly dated; and the date should be, in all cases correspond with the day on which they are, or by due course of mail should be, actually sent, without regard to the day on which they may happen to have been made up.

One can see the fine hand of the accountants who had to keep the accounts of the receipts in this record keeping.

To be continued.

Posted June 22, 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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