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office, on account of the duties to be performed, in virtue of his appoint-
Rates of postpersons authorized by the Postmaster General, shall demand and receive, age. for the conveyance of letters and packets, except such as are hereinafter excepted, the following rates of postage: For every single letter conveyed by land, not exceeding thirty miles, six cents; over thirty miles and not exceeding sixty, eight cents; over sixty, and not exceeding one hundred, ten cents; over one hundred miles, and not exceeding one hundred and fifty, twelve cents and a half; over one hundred and fifty miles, and not exceeding two hundred, fifteen cents; over two hundred miles, and not exceeding two hundred and fifty, seventeen cents; over two hundred and fifty miles, and not exceeding three hundred and fifty, twenty cents; over three hundred and fifty miles, and not exceeding four hundred and fifty, twenty-two cents; and more than four hundred and fifty miles, twenty-five cents; and for every double letter, double the said rates; for every triple letter, triple; and for every packet weighing one ounce avoirdupois, at the rate of four single letters; and in that proportion for any greater weight.
Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That for all letters and packets Rates of let. passing by sea, to and from the United States, or from one port to
ters passing by another therein, in packet boats or vessels, the property of, or provided by the United States, postage shall be charged, as follows: For every single letter, eight cents; for every double letter, sixteen cents; for every triple letter, or packet, twenty-four cents; and for every letter or packet brought into the United States, or carried from one port therein to another, by sea, in any private ship or vessel, four cents, if delivered at the place where the same shall arrive; and if directed to be delivered at any other place, with the addition of like postage, as other letters are made subject to the payment of, by this act. Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That if any deputy postmaster,
Penalty on or other person authorized by the Postmaster General to receive the demanding or postages of letters, shall fraudulently demand or receive any rate of yond stipulated postage, or any gratuity or reward, other than is provided by this act, postage. for the postage of letters or packets, on conviction thereof, he shall forfeit, for every such offence, one hundred dollars, and shall be rendered incapable of holding any office or appointment under the United States.
Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That no ship or vessel arriving Duty of mas. at any port within the United States, where a post-office is established, ters of vessels shall be permitted to report, make entry, or break bulk, until the master making report, or commander shall have delivered to the postmaster, all letters directed &c. to any person or persons, within the United States, which, under his care, or within his power, shall be brought in such ship or vessel, except such as are directed to the owner or consignee of the ship or vessel, and except also such as are directed to be delivered at the port of delivery, to which such ship or vessel may be bound. And it shall be the duty of Duty of col.
lectors herein. the collector, or other officer of the port empowered to receive entries of ships or vessels, to require from every master or commander of such ship or vessel, an oath or affirmation, purporting that he has delivered all such letters, except as aforesaid.
Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, That the postmasters, to whom Or Postmas. such letters may be delivered, shall pay to the master, commander or
of foreign let. other person delivering the same, except the commanders of foreign ters. packets, two cents for each letter or packet, and shall obtain from the person delivering the same, a certificate specifying the number of letters and packets, with the name of the ship or vessel, and the place, from whence she last sailed; which certificate, together with a receipt for the money, shall be, with his quarterly accounts, transmitted to the Postmaster General, who shall credit him with the amount.
Penalty on Sec. 14. And be it further enacted, That if any person, other than ing against this the Postmaster General
, or his deputies, or persons by them employed, act.
shall be concerned in setting up, or maintaining any foot or horse-post, stage wagon, or other stage carriage, on any established post-road, or any packet boat or other vessel, to ply regularly from one place to another, between which a regular communication by water shall be established by the United States, and shall receive any letter or packet, other than newspapers, magazines or pamphlets, and carry the same by such foot or horse-post, stage wagon or other stage carriage, packet boat or vessel, (excepting only such letter or letters, as may be directed to the owner or owners of such conveyance, and relating to the same, or to the person, to whom any package or bundle in such conveyance is intended to be delivered) every person, so offending, shall forfeit, for every such offence, the sum of fifty dollars: Provided, That it shall be
lawful for any person to send letters or packets by a special messenger. Deputies to Sec. 15. And be it further enacted, That the deputy postmasters and account with
other agents of the Postmaster General, shall duly account, and answer Postmaster General for
to him, for all way letters, which shall come to their hands: And for way-letters. this purpose, the post-riders and other carriers of the mail, receiving
any way letter or letters (and it shall be their duty to receive them, if presented more than two miles from a post-office) shall deliver the same, together with the postage, if paid, at the first post-office, to which they shall afterwards arrive, where the postmaster shall duly enter the same, and specify the number and rate or rates in the post-bill, adding to the rate of each way letter, one cent, which shall be paid by the deputy postmaster, to the mail carrier from whom such way letter shall be received. And that letters, directed to persons living between postoffices, may be delivered, and the postage thereof duly collected, it shall be the duty of the carriers of the mail, to take charge of, and deliver all such letters, as shall, for that purpose, be committed to them, by any deputy postmaster, and collect the postage thereof, which shall be paid over to such deputy postmaster, on demand: And for every letter, so delivered, the mail carrier delivering the same, shall be allowed to demand and receive two cents to his own use, besides the ordinary postage. And if any deputy postmaster, or other agent of the Postmaster General, shall neglect so to account, he or they so offending, shall, on conviction thereof, forfeit for every such offence, a sum not exceeding fifty dollars: Provided, That no mail carriers shall make such deliveries at any place not on the post-road: Provided also, That the receipt and delivery of letters on the way, between post-offices, shall not be required of the mail carriers, in cases where, in the opinion of the Postmaster General, the time or manner of carrying the mail, or the
speed of conveyance, is incompatible with such receipts and deliveries. On detaining
Sec. 16. And be it further enacted, That if any person employed in or secreting let any of the departments of the general post-office, shall unlawfully detain, ters.
delay or open any letter, packet, bag or mail of letters, with which he shall be entrusted, or which shall have come to his possession, and which are intended to be conveyed by post; or if any such person shall secrete, embezzle or destroy any letter or packet entrusted to him, as aforesaid, and which shall not contain any security for, or assurance relating to money, as herein after described, every such offender, being thereof duly convicted shall, for every such offence, be fined, not exceeding three hundred dollars, or imprisoned, not exceeding six months, or both, according to the circumstances and aggravations of the offence. And if any person employed, as aforesaid, shall secrete, embezzle or destroy, any letter, packet, bag or mail of letters with which he shall be entrusted, or which shall have come to his possession, and are intended to be conveyed by post, containing any bank-note, or bank post-bill, bill of exchange, warrant of the treasury of the United States, note of assigne
ment of stock in the funds, letters of attorney for receiving annuities or Penalty on de. dividends, or for selling stock in the funds, or for receiving the interest taining or sethereof, or any letter of credit, or note for, or relating to the payment creting letters. of money, or any bond or warrant, draft, bill or promissory note; whatsoever, for the payment of money; or if any such person, employed as aforesaid, shall steal or take any of the same, out of any letter, packet, bag or mail of letters, that shall come to his possession, he shall, on conviction for any such offence, suffer death. And if any person, who shall have taken charge of the mail of the United States, shall quit or desert the same, before his arrival at the next post-office, every such person so offending shall forfeit and pay a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, for every such offence." And if any person, concerned in carrying the mail of the United States, shall collect, receive or carry any letter or packet, or shall cause or procure the same to be done, contrary to this act, every such offender shall forfeit and pay, for every such offence, a sum not exceeding fifty dollars.
Sec. 17. And be it further enacted, That if any person or persons On persons shall rob any carrier of the mail of the United States, of such mail
, or robbing the any part thereof, such offender or offenders shall, on conviction thereof, suffer death. And if any person shall steal the mail, or shall steal and take from or out of the mail, or from or out of any post-office, any letter or packet, such person shall, upon conviction, for every such offence, be fined not exceeding three hundred dollars, or imprisoned not exceeding six months, or both, according to the circumstances and aggravations of the offence.
Sec. 18. And be it further enacted, That the deputy-postmasters Deputies to shall
, respectively, publish at the expiration of every three months, or publish every oftener when the Postmaster General shall so direct, in one of the news- list of letters papers published at or nearest the place of his residence, for three suc- then on hand, cessive weeks, a list of all the letters remaining in their respective &c. offices, or instead thereof, shall make out a number of such lists, and cause them to be posted at such public places in their vicinity, as shall appear to them best adapted for the information of the parties concerned; and at the expiration of the next three months, shall send such of the said letters as then remain on hand, as dead letters to the general post-office, where the same shall be opened and inspected; and if any valuable papers or matter of consequence shall be found therein, it shall be the duty of the Postmaster General to cause a descriptive list thereof to be inserted in one of the newspapers published at the place most convenient to the supposed residence of the owner, if within the United States; and such letter, and the contents, shall be preserved, to be delivered to the person to whom the same shall be addressed, upon payment of the postage and the expense of publication. And if such letter, with its contents, be not demanded by the person to whom it is addressed, or the owner thereof, or his lawful agent, within two years after the advertisement thereof, as aforesaid, the said contents shall be applied to the use of the United States, until the same shall be reclaimed by the proprietor thereof. The manner of such application to be specially stated by the Postmaster General to the Secretary of the Treasury. Sec. 19. And be it further enacted, That the following letters and
to be conveyed packets, and no other, shall be received and conveyed by post free of free of postage. postage, under such restrictions as are herein after provided; that is to say; all letters and packets, to or from the President or Vice President of the United States, and all letters and packets, not exceeding two ounces in weight, to or from any member of the Senate or House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Senate or Clerk of the House of Representatives, during their actual attendance in any session of Congress, and twenty days after such session; all letters to and from the Secretary of the Treasury, Comptroller, Register and Auditor of the VOL. 1.-46
Treasury, the Treasurer, the Secretary of State, the Secretary at War, Commissioner of the Revenue, the Postmaster General, his assistant and deputies: And the deputy postmasters shall receive, besides their other allowances, two cents for each free letter or packet (their own excepted) which shall be delivered to the person addressed out of their respective offices. Provided, That no person shall frank or inclose any letter or packet, other than his own; but any public letter or packet from the department of the treasury, may be franked by the Secretary of the Treasury, or by the Commissioner of the Revenue, Comptroller, Register, Auditor or Treasurer: And that each person before named shall deliver into the post-office, every letter or packet inclosed to him, which may be directed to any other person, noting the place from whence it came by post, and the usual postage shall be charged thereon: And provided also, That no letter to or from a deputy postmaster shall be free
of postage, if it exceeds half an ounce in weight. Penalty on Sec. 20. And be it further enacted, That if any person shall councounterfeiting
terfeit the hand-writing of any other person, in order to evade the paythe franking of letters. ment of postage, such person or persons so offending, and being thereof
duly convicted, shall forfeit and pay, for every such offence, the sum of
one hundred dollars. Privilege of Sec. 21. And be it further enacted, That every printer of newspapers newspaper prin- may send one paper to each and every other printer of newspapers within
the United States, free of postage, under such regulations as the Post
master General shall provide. Newspapers
Sec. 22. And be it further enacted, That all newspapers conveyed how to be put in the mail, shall be under cover, open at one end, carried in separate up for the mail. bags from the letters, and charged with the payment of one cent each,
for any distance not more than one hundred miles, and one cent and a half for any greater distance: Provided, That the postage of a single newspaper, from any one place to another in the same state, shall not exceed one cent. And that where the mode of conveyance, and the size of the mails will admit of it, magazines and pamphlets may be transported in the mail, at one cent per sheet, for conveyance, any distance not exceeding fifty miles, one and a half cent for any distance
over fifty miles and not exceeding one hundred, and two cents per sheet Postmaster
for any greater distance. And it shall be the duty of the Postmaster General and General and his deputies to keep a separate account for the newspapers, deputies to keep magazines and pamphlets; and the deputy-postmasters shall receive fifty counts of them. per cent. on the postage thereof, exclusively of their other allowances:
Fine on en- And if any letter, memorandum in writing, or other thing be inclosed closing letters, in, or placed among such newspapers, or if any note or memorandum, &c. in newspa- other than the name of the person to whom it is addressed, be written pers.
upon any such newspaper, the letter, memorandum, or other thing so inclosed or placed, and the newspaper on which such memorandum shall be written, shall be detained by the deputy-postmaster, until a sum shall be paid him equal to the postage of the whole packet in which they shall be found, calculating such postage at the rates established by this act for letters and packets. And that any printer, or other person, who shall conceal a letter, or any memorandum in writing, in a newspaper, or among any package of newspapers, shall be liable, on conviction, to a
fine for each offence not exceeding five dollars. And if any of the perOn embezzling sons employed in any department of the post-office shall unlawfully denewspapers. tain, delay, embezzle or destroy any newspaper, magazine or pamphlet,
with which he shall be entrusted, such offenders, for every such offence,
shall forfeit a sum not exceeding fifty dollars: Provided, That the PostGeneral may master General, in any contract he may enter into, for the conveyance perinit contrac
of the mail, may authorize the person with whom such contract is made, to carry newspapers, magazines and pamphlets, other than those carried in the mail.
tors to carry ewspapers,
Sec. 23. And be it further enacted, That the Postmaster General be,
And allow and he is hereby authorized to allow to the deputy postmasters, respec- commission to tively, such commission on the monies arising from the postage of letters deputies. and packets, as he shall think adequate to their respective services and expenses: Provided, The said commission shall not exceed twenty per Not to exceed cent. to any one deputy, except the postmaster at the port where the 20 per cent. European packets do or shall arrive, to whom such farther allowance, encept at port in addition to the emoluments of his office, shall be made, as the Post- arrive, master General shall deem a reasonable compensation for his extra services, in the receipt and dispatch of letters originally received into his office, from on board such packets, and by him forwarded to other offices: And except the deputy postmaster at Burlington, on Lake Cham- and at Burling. plain, whose compensation the Postmaster General is hereby authorized ton on Lake to augment, on account of his extra trouble in receiving mails passing
Champlain. to and from Canada, to a sum, not exceeding one hundred dollars per annum: And except certain deputy postmasters who are obliged to rise Allowance to in the night to receive mails, whose compensations the Postmaster Gen- certain deputies
who rise in the eral is hereby authorized to increase, not exceeding forty per cent. on
night, the amount of monies arising on the postage of letters and packets: And provided also, That the compensations aforesaid shall not exceed Not to exceed one thousand eight hundred dollars per annum to any one postmaster,
$1,800 per an
num, excepting the deputy postmaster at Philadelphia, who shall be allowed a
Except deputy compensation, not exceeding the sum of three thousand five hundred postmasters ai dollars a year, including all perquisites and emoluments, of which a Philadelphia
and New York. regular account shall be rendered to the Postmaster General: And excepting the deputy postmaster at New York, who shall be allowed a compensation, not exceeding two thousand seven hundred dollars a year, including all perquisites and emoluments, of which a regular account shall be rendered, as aforesaid: Provided also, That the reasonable Allowance of charges of the deputy postmasters for stationery, for cases necessary for stationery, &c. the safe-keeping and convenient distribution of letters, and for advertising the lists of letters, from time to time, remaining in their offices, accompanied with proper vouchers, shall be admitted by the Postmaster General, and placed to their credit : And there shall also be allowed Extra allowto the deputy postmaster of Philadelphia, for his extraordinary expenses
master of Phila. incurred in the execution of his office, under the existing law, an ad
delphia. ditional compensation, at the rate of eight hundred and fifiy dollars a year, to be computed from the first day of July, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, to the first day of June next.(a)
(a) The decisions of the courts of the United States on the duties and obligations of the " Postmaster General,"
," " Postmasters,” and the “ Post-office,” have been: When the issue is taken upon the neglect of the postmaster himself, it is not competent to give in evidence the neglect of his assistant. Dunlop v. Munroe, 7 Cranch, 242; 2 Cond. Rep. 484.
When it is intended to charge a postmaster for the negligence of his assistants, the pleadings must be made up according to the case; and his liability then will only result from his own neglect in not properly superintending the discharge of their duties in his office. Ibid.
In order to make a postmaster liable for negligence, it must appear that the loss or injury sustained by the plaintiff, was the consequence of his negligence. Ibid.
Parol evidence cannot be given, that one set of written instructions from the postmaster general superseded the other. Ibid.
The circuit courts of the Union have jurisdiction, under the constitution, and the acts of April 30, 1810, sec. 29, and of March 3, 1815, sec. X, of suits brought in the name of “i The Postmaster General of the United States," on bonds given to the postmaster general by a deputy postmaster, conditioned “10 pay all monies that shall come to his hands for the postages of whatever is by law chargeable with post. age, to the postmaster general of the United States for the time being, deducting only the commission and allowances made by law, for his care, trouble and charges in managing said office,” &c. Postmaster General v. Early, 12 Wheat, 136; 6 Cond. Rep. 480.
The postmaster general has a right to take a bond from postmasters to him, as postmaster general, under the different acts establishing and regulating the post-office department; and particularly under the act of May 1, 1810, chap. 42, sec. 29. Ibid.
An entry in the post bill, is by no means conclusive evidence of the transmission of a letter so as to charge the postmaster for it; still, it may never have been put into the mail, or it may have been stolen on the passage. Dunlop v. Monroe, 7 Cranch, 242: 2 Cond. Rep. 484.
The neglect of the postmaster eral to sue for balances due by postmasters, within the time pre