Thursday, May 22, 2008

First Letter Carriers


It is not clear that the letter carriers were regularly employed before 1753, when tradition tells us that Benjamin Franklin, the new postmaster general, employed them in Philadelphia and possibly in New York. The earliest evidence I have is of 1762, when the Philadelphia postmaster advertised that his "boy" had run away, and that patrons must call for their letters at the postoffice. The Postal Journal of Hugh Finlay, a storehouse of sound information, tells us that Boston had no letter carrier in 1773. Of New York he says that "soon after the arrival of a mail the letters are quickly delivered by a runner," which means messenger or letter carrier. — Postal Record.

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