Notes from the Past

Postage Rates in 1847 - Part III

Mail carriers were expected to accept mail from people as they moved along their routes between post offices.  Such letters were designated 'way' letters and regulations for such letters were provided by Postal Laws and Regulations for the Government of the Post Office Department published in 1847 as follows:
CHAPTER 17.

Postage on Way Letters.

     134.  Way letters are such letters as a mail carrier receives on his way between two post offices.  The carrier will deliver them to the first post office at which he arrives.  The postmaster will inquire of the carrier at what places he received them, and rate them with postage from those places to the offices to which they are directed, writing against the rate, the word "way."--Act of 1825, sec. 20.
    135.  If such way letters are within the delivery of the office, the amount of their postage is to be noted on one of the bills received by the same post, and when the bills in the Account of mails received are entered, such amount of postage in the column headed Way letter, is to be entered also.
    136.  If any of these way letters are not to be delivered by the postmaster, their postage is not to be entered in that column, but the letters are to be included in the post bill with other letters for the office to which they are addressed.
    137.  The postmaster will pay the mail carrier one cent if demanded for each way letter which he delivers to him, and add that cent to the ordinary postage on the letter.

To Be Continued.

Posted September 1, 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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