Custom Search

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Colony Postal Service

Have you ever wondered how mail was delivered in the old days?? Well before 1673 most news between the colonies was spread by peddlers or ship captains as they went from town to town or harbor city to harbor city. Can you imagine spreading a story from person to person I am sure the news was not always delivered how it was intended.

When the Boston Post Road was completed from New York City to Boston the people living there rejoiced. New York announced that there would now be monthly postal service routes between the two cities. On January 22 1673 the government stage coach made the first trip. This service was short lived but the post rider's trail became known as the Old Boston Post Road.

In 1683 Governor William Penn set up Pennsylvania's first Post Office. Before either of these post offices colonies only could send messages among selves. In the Southern Colonies private messengers, normally a slave, would be sent to transport mail. Stiff penalties were in line if the mail was not delivered and received properly.

 In 1692 the central postal organizations in the colonies was developed when Thomas Neale was sent a 21 year grant from the British Crown. In 1707 the British government would buy the rights to the North American postal system. John Hamilton was appointed deputy postmaster general of America. He would serve until 1721. In 1730 Alexander Spotswood would become deputy postmaster general of America. Benjamin Franklin would serve postmaster of Philadelphia in 1737. 

 Franklin would install an organizing system in the Colony Post Office. He would tour the Post Offices in the North and as far south as Virginia. Surveys were made, milestones to roads were placed and new and shorter routes were laid out. Post riders carried mail at night to speed service between Philadelphia and New York. All of this led to the North America Registered to make their first profit in 1760. 

Before Franklins departure post roads would operate from Maine to Florida and New York to Canada. Mail between the colonies and the mother country operated on a regular schedule with posted times. 

 By 1775 when the Continental Congress met at Philadelphia there would be 30 post offices operating between Williamsburg Virginia and Portsmouth New Hampshire  Each postmaster was required to only hire reputable post riders. Each post rider had to swear to secure his mail under lock and key. 

It all began on that 22nd day of January so very long ago

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments so if you have a minute leave me your thoughts on the above post