Post Office History in the United States

A lot has been said about the United States Post Office over the years. Some favorable and some not so favorable. However, one thing is for sure, the American mail system has come a long way since it’s beginnings and has done it right one step at a time. post office open near me

Although history shows that a tavern in Boston, owned by Richard Fairbanks, was the first location to handle overseas mail, it wasn’t until July 26, 1775 that the United States Post Office was officially born.

It was at the meeting of the second Continental Congress in Philadelphia did our forefathers meet to start a new government. During this meeting, it was also decided that we needed a better way of delivering mail to the thirteen colonies. Thus, Benjamin Franklin was appointed as the first U.S. Postmaster General, under Continental Congress.

It was Franklin that created America’s postal system; one that’s still in service to this day. Franklin was also the one that developed:
– More roads and routes
– Night time mail delivery
– Regular mail schedule deliveries

Since one of the goals that the post office had was for faster delivery, it was the post office that urged for:
– Building of better roads for stagecoaches
– Steamboat usage
– The building of the railway system

Looking for a way to get mail delivery faster to the west coast, particularly California, William H. Russell began a business in 1860 which came to be known as the Pony Express. The idea was to build new or repair old relay stations approximately 10 to 15 miles from one another.

A rider would then ride a horse, taking it from one relay station to another, change horses and he would be off to the next station. A normal day would include approximately 75 to 100 miles traveled per rider. The first known Pony Express rider was Johnny Fry. However, like many businesses, the Pony Express only lasted about a year as America was able to get telegraph lines hooked up all the way to California.

The next step in mail delivery service was the use of the railway system. Although the railroad was used on and off in short runs in only certain parts of the nation, it wasn’t until August 28, 1864 that the first U.S. railroad post office route became official.