The Postal System During The 19th Century

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The postal system played a crucial role in national expansion. It facilitated expansion into the West by creating an inexpensive, fast, convenient communication system. Letters from early settlers provided information and boosterism to encourage increased migration to the West, helped scattered families stay in touch and provide assistance, assisted entrepreneurs in finding business opportunities, and made possible regular commercial relationships between merchants in the west and wholesalers and factories back east. The postal service likewise assisted the Army in expanding control over the vast western territories. The widespread circulation of important newspapers by mail, such as the New York Weekly Tribune, facilitated coordination…show more content…
As the Post Office expanded, difficulties were experienced due to a lack of employees and transportation. The Post Office 's employees at that time were still subject to the so-called "spoils" system, where faithful political supporters of the executive branch were appointed to positions in the post office and other government corporations as a reward for their patronage. These appointees rarely had prior experience in postal service and mail delivery. This system of political patronage was replaced in 1883, after passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act.[19] Ten years before waterways were declared post roads in 1823, the Post Office used steamboats to carry mail between post towns where no roads existed.[citation needed] Once it became clear that the postal system in the United States needed to expand across the entire country, the use of the railroad to transport the mail was instituted in 1832, on one line in Pennsylvania.[20] All railroads in the United States were designated as post routes, after passage of the Act of July 7, 1838. Mail service by railroad increased rapidly thereafter.[21] ~ Benjamin Franklin ~ George Washington ~ The First U.S. Postage Stamps Issued 1847 The first stamp issues were authorized by an act of Congress and approved on March 3, 1847.[22] The earliest known use of the Franklin 5¢ is July 7, 1847, while the earliest known use of the Washington 10¢ is July 2, 1847. Remaining in postal
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