January 12, 2018
On July 26, 1775, President George Washington created the United States Postal Service and appointed Benjamin Franklin the nation’s first postmaster. Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and other enlightened American leaders who had traveled to Europe had been greatly impressed by England’s nearly one-day national delivery service provided by the non-stop mail train which constantly circled the British Isle; the clerks snagged heavy canvas bags of correspondence at all stations — large and small — by the way of a big hook, sorted it aboard, and then delivered the mail by tossing off the same bags on the train’s next trip past, usually in less than 24 hours.
Both the federal government and business leaders understood from the very start that if this gigantic new country was to grow and succeed, it would be commerce — not politics or religion — which would be the unifying and driving force behind American expansion, and thus, as stated in the U.S. Code, “The Postal Service shall have as its function the obligation to provide postal service to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It should provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities.”
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