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141 years ago today

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  • Bob Huddleston
    Today is a memorable day in the history of the United States as a nation. No, I am not referring to two Great Armies beginning to kill each other in Southern
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 1, 2004
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      Today is a memorable day in the history of the United States as a nation.
      No, I am not referring to two Great Armies beginning to kill each other in
      Southern Pennsylvania or two other Great Armies nearing the end of a siege
      along the Mississippi.
      141 years ago, in 49 of the largest cities, mail carriers began fanning out
      from the main post office and for the first time provided free home delivery
      of mail. Until then recipients had to go to the post office to see if there
      was any mail waiting for them. And, until 1855, the recipient could decide
      not to accept the letter or package - especially if the item had not been
      prepaid. After 1855, all letters and packages had to be prepaid. Postage
      stamps had been introduced in the United Kingdom in 1840 and in the United
      States in 1847 for those who wished to make certain their mail was
      delivered. Postage was fixed by miles the item traveled.
      For the average anti-bellum American the postmaster, a political appointee,
      was the only evidence of a national government. And the post office was the
      village center, where people gathered to hear and discuss the news. You will
      recall Abraham Lincoln's years as the postmaster of New Salem.
      But the increasing growth of cities made going to the post office an
      increasingly onerous task. In 1855, mail boxes began to appear in the larger
      cities, making it easier for those wishing to mail a letter.
      Southern opposition had prevented any additional expansion of the mail
      system and the significant subsidy of the more rural and less literate South
      at the expense of the North had also worked against a more efficient post
      office. Secession made if possible for the post office to look into
      alternative methods of delivery.
      We tend to look at the Civil War as the movements of armies and the killing
      of battles, and forget how much of the things we take for granted came from
      the civilian side of the early 1860s: the Morrill Land Grant colleges, the
      Homestead Act, the Pacific Railroad Act - and free home delivery of mail.

      Take care,

      Bob

      Judy and Bob Huddleston
      10643 Sperry Street
      Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
      303.451.6376 Huddleston.r@...
    • Mary Hawthorne
      Well now that is very interesting! I will have to tell that one to my mail man husband! ... From: Bob Huddleston To:
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 1, 2004
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        Well now that is very interesting! I will have to tell that one to my mail
        man husband!
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Bob Huddleston" <huddleston.r@...>
        To: <civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2004 12:41 PM
        Subject: [civilwarwest] 141 years ago today


        > Today is a memorable day in the history of the United States as a nation.
        > No, I am not referring to two Great Armies beginning to kill each other in
        > Southern Pennsylvania or two other Great Armies nearing the end of a siege
        > along the Mississippi.
        > 141 years ago, in 49 of the largest cities, mail carriers began fanning
        out
        > from the main post office and for the first time provided free home
        delivery
        > of mail. Until then recipients had to go to the post office to see if
        there
        > was any mail waiting for them. And, until 1855, the recipient could decide
        > not to accept the letter or package - especially if the item had not been
        > prepaid. After 1855, all letters and packages had to be prepaid. Postage
        > stamps had been introduced in the United Kingdom in 1840 and in the United
        > States in 1847 for those who wished to make certain their mail was
        > delivered. Postage was fixed by miles the item traveled.
        > For the average anti-bellum American the postmaster, a political
        appointee,
        > was the only evidence of a national government. And the post office was
        the
        > village center, where people gathered to hear and discuss the news. You
        will
        > recall Abraham Lincoln's years as the postmaster of New Salem.
        > But the increasing growth of cities made going to the post office an
        > increasingly onerous task. In 1855, mail boxes began to appear in the
        larger
        > cities, making it easier for those wishing to mail a letter.
        > Southern opposition had prevented any additional expansion of the mail
        > system and the significant subsidy of the more rural and less literate
        South
        > at the expense of the North had also worked against a more efficient post
        > office. Secession made if possible for the post office to look into
        > alternative methods of delivery.
        > We tend to look at the Civil War as the movements of armies and the
        killing
        > of battles, and forget how much of the things we take for granted came
        from
        > the civilian side of the early 1860s: the Morrill Land Grant colleges, the
        > Homestead Act, the Pacific Railroad Act - and free home delivery of mail.
        >
        > Take care,
        >
        > Bob
        >
        > Judy and Bob Huddleston
        > 10643 Sperry Street
        > Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
        > 303.451.6376 Huddleston.r@...
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
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