In 1839 the Postmaster-general estimated the number of letters sent yearly by the post at less than twenty-five millions.
The report of the Postmaster-General in like manner exhibits a satisfactory view of the important branch of the Government under his charge.
The report from the Postmaster-General exhibits the condition of that Department as highly satisfactory for the present and still more promising for the future.
With the report from the Postmaster-General is exhibited a comparative view of the gradual increase of that establishment, from five to five years, since 1792 till this time in the number of post-offices, which has grown from less than 200 to nearly 8,000; in the revenue yielded by them, which from $67,000 has swollen to upward of a million and a half, and in the number of miles of post-roads, which from 5,642 have multiplied to 114,536.
For instance, on page 410 certain figures are given from a report of the Postmaster-General, which when added do not produce the total given.
" Still earlier, on March 18, 1845, in one of his reports to the Postmaster-General, Cave Johnson, he adds: "In regard to the salary of the 'one clerk at Washington$1200,' Mr. Vail, who would from the necessity of the case take that post, is my right-hand man in the whole enterprise.
I transmit herewith the reports made to me by the Secretaries of War and of the Navy, of the Interior, and of the Postmaster-General.
In addition to this sum the Postmaster-General will require from the Treasury for the service of the Post-Office Department $3,838,728, as explained in the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, which will increase the estimated deficit on June 30, 1860, to $7,914,576.89.
Besides, no injury could result to the public, as the Postmaster-General already possessed the discretionary power under existing laws to increase the speed upon this as well as all other mail routes.
The course of legislation recommended by the Postmaster-General for the relief of the Department from its present embarrassments and for restoring it to its original independence is deserving of your early and earnest consideration.
The report of the Postmaster-General details the circumstances under which Cornelius Vanderbilt, on my request, agreed in the month of July last to carry the ocean mails between our Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
" Before the Postmaster-General ordered this curtailment he had an interview with the Secretary of War upon the subject, in the course of which the Secretary agreed that a weekly mail to St. Joseph and Salt Lake City was no longer needed for the purposes of the Governmentthis, evidently, because the trouble in Utah had ended.
It will be for Congress to consider whether the precedent established by this bill will not in effect annul all restrictions contained in the mail contracts enabling the Postmaster-General to reduce or curtail the postal service according to the public exigencies as they may arise.
The report of the Postmaster-General, to which you are referred for many interesting details in relation to this important and rapidly extending branch of the public service, shows that the expenditure of the year ending June 30, 1854, including $133,483 of balance due to foreign offices, amounted to $8,710,907.
To obviate, if possible, the necessity of considering this question, it is suggested whether it be not expedient to fix by law the amounts which shall be offered to railroad companies for the conveyance of the mails, graduated according to their average weight, to be ascertained and declared by the Postmaster-General.
Afterward the department of the navy was separated from that of war, the postmaster-general was made a member of the administration, and as lately as 1849 the department of the interior was organized.
At last Benjamin Franklin, then deputy postmaster-general of the colonies, persuaded the farmers of Pennsylvania, who had plenty, to rent the wagons and horses to the general.
There was a general post, and Benjamin Franklin was deputy postmaster-general for the northern district of the colonies.
The Postmaster-General did not become a member of the Cabinet until 1829.]
Pope, Gen. John, 103, 122 Port Hudson, surrender of, 112 Presidential election in Libby prison, 158 Prisoners, the exchange of, 158 Putnam, George Palmer, and the Cooper Union address, 212 R Reagan, Postmaster-general, at Goldsborough, 184 Reconstruction, Lincoln's views on, 180 ff.
Fillmore and his Postmaster-General, N.K. Hall, were old family friends.
The Postmaster-General has also opened a correspondence through the Department of State with foreign governments proposing a convention of postal representatives for the purpose of simplifying the rates of foreign postage and to expedite the foreign mails.
W. DENNISON, Postmaster-General.
These considerations have satisfied the Postmaster-General that, with certain modifications of the act of 1845, the revenue may be still further increased and a reduction of postages made to a uniform rate of 5 cents, without an interference with the principle, which has been constantly and properly enforced, of making that Department sustain itself.
In referring you to the accompanying report of the Postmaster-General it affords me continued cause of gratification to be able to advert to the fact that the affairs of the Department for the last four years have been so conducted as from its unaided resources to meet its large expenditures.