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The conveyance of mail matter between this and foreign countries, and between the Atlantic and Pacific portions of the United States, is a large and important branch of the mail service. The following table exhibits this service.

1. New York, by Southampton, to Bremen Haven,

Foreign Mail Service of the United States in Operation October 1, 1853.*


Distance No. trips
in miles. monthly.



3,760 1

2. Charleston, by Savannah and Key West, to Havana.

3. New York to Aspinwall, New Orleans to Aspinwall,

New York, by Havana, to New Orleans,

4. Astoria, by Port Orford, San Francisco, Monterey, and San Diego, to Panama,


7. Aspinwall to Panama,

8. New Orleans, by Tampico, to Vera Cruz,








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Ocean Steam $200,000
Nav. Co., C.
H. Sands, Pt.
M. C. Mor-

G. Law, M.
O. Roberts,
and B. R.

Under contract with Postmaster Gen., Act of Mar. 3, 1845. 50,000 Contracts withP.M. G., Acts Mar.3,'47, & July 10, 1848. Contract with Secretary of Navy, Acts Mar. 3, 1847, and Mar. 3, 1851.


retary of Navy, Act March 3, 1847, and March 3, 1851.

5. New York to Liverpool, 3,100 26 a year E. K. Collins, 858,000 Cont. with Sec.of N.


Acts Mar. 3, 1847, and July 21, 1852.

6. New York, by Cowes, 3,270 la month Ocean Steam 150,000 Contract with P. M. to Havre,

G., Act of March 3,

Nav.Co., M.
Panama Rail-
road Co.

Pacific Mail 348,250 Contract with Sec-
Steam. Co.,
W.H. Aspin-
wall, Pres.


22 cents per pound. Act March, 3, 1851. Contract with P. M. G., Act of Aug. 30, 1852.†

The gross amount received from the mail service to Bremen, via Southampton, from June 1, 1847, to Oct. 4, 1848, was $20,082.51; for the year ending Oct. 4, 1849, it was $61,114.20; from Oct. 5, 1849, to Sept. 30, 1850, it was $56,865.60; during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1851, it was $94,598.03; during the year ending June 30, 1852, it was $77,219.87; and during the year ending June 30, 1853, it was $100,297.79. The net revenue by this line for the last fiscal year was $69,951.45. The postages on the Charleston and Havana line, from Oct. 18, 1848, to Sept. 30, 1850, were $22,406.37; for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1852, $11,958.99; and for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1853, $7,945.63. The postages by the New York, Chagres, and California line for the same year were $263,137.58; and by the New Orleans and Vera Cruz line, from April 14, 1853, to June 30, $630.84.

The gross amount received for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1852, for postages on mailable matter from the Collins line, New York and Liverpool, was $228,867.61; for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1853, it was $303,733.70. The net revenue by this line for the last year was $192,313.87.

*The service is substantially the same at the present time, October, 1854.

†The service in No. 8 is as yet semi-monthly, and one third of the pay is deducted: and Tampico is omitted, and for this one fifth of the pay is deducted.

The gross amount received during the year ending June 30, 1852, from the New York and Havre line was 80,804,08; for year ending June 30, 1853, it was $100,070.44. The net revenue by this line for the same year was $71,147.74.

The letter postage by the Cunard line for the year ending June 30, 1853, was $578,033.39; newspaper postage, $20,683.26.

Revenue and Expenditure of the Post-Office under the old Law (prior to 1845), under the law of 1845, and under that of 1851.

Letter Postage.

Average of nine years under the old law, Average of the six years of the law of 1845, Average of two years under the law of 1851,



Newspapers and

Letter postage, including foreign
postage and stamps sold,
Newspapers and periodicals,
Fines, except on contractors,
Excess of emoluments of post-




Total Annual



Total Annual Expenditures.





By reference to the detailed statement of the receipts and expenditures of the Post-Office below, it will be seen that the item "letter postage" includes stamps sold, and also how the total annual receipts, &c. are made up.

Under the Act of 1845 the gross revenue from letter postage fell off in 1846, the first year of the reduction, $988,738.92, or 27 per cent; in the second year, 1847, it increased $363,959.49, or 133 per cent. over 1846.

In the year ending June 30, 1852, the first after the reduction by the Act of 1851, the gross revenue from letter postage was reduced $1,185,993.73, or 22 per cent.; in 1853 the increase from the same source over the gross revenue from letter postage in the previous year was $251,747.68, or 60 per cent.

The cost of the transportation of the mails has increased rapidly each year. In 1849 it was $2,577,407.71; in 1850, $2,965,786.36; in 1851, $3,538,063.64; in 1852, $4,225,311.28; in 1853, $4,906,308.05; and the estimate for transportation for the year 1854 was $5,506,601.

The amount of postage stamps sold in 1853 was $1,629,262.12. The proportion of the different denominations of stamps issued for 1853 was, 1 cent, 4,736,311; 3 cent, 51,461,040; 12 cent, 146,655. Of the stamped envelopes, there were issued to postmasters for sale during the quarter ending September 30, 1853; 3 cent, note size, 464,350; ditto, letter size, 8,118,250; 6 cent, letter size, 150,000; ditto official size, 181,050.


The following is the detail of the receipts and expenditures of the Department for the contract year, ending June 30, 1853:


Transportation of mails,

$4,473,227.25 Compensation to postmasters,
611,333.42 Extra compensation to postmas-
Ship, steamboat, and way letters, 23,105.83
38,386.01 Wrapping-paper,

$ 4,906,308.05 1,406,477.05


Damages from contractors,

Dead letters,
Miscellaneous receipts,
Annual appropriations to pay for
mail service performed for the

Gross revenue for the year,
Total expenditures for the year,
Excess of expenditures,

By Cunard line,

By Collins line,



Total expenditures,

Revenue under the Postal Treaty with Great Britain.

The amount of correspondence between the United States and Great Britain for the year ending June 30, 1853, was as follows:


By United States packets,
By British packets,


Gross amount letter postage by United States packets,
Deduct British inland 3-24ths,

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Whole number.






Mail locks, keys, and stamps,
New mail locks and keys,


700,000.00 Mail depredations and special agents, 55,275.43 Clerks for offices of postmasters, 509,820.24 5,940,724.70 Miscellaneous payments, 116,408.31 7,982,956.59 34.26

Repayment of money in dead letters,
$2,042,031.89 Postage stamps,

Stamps returned and overcharged,
Official letters to postmasters,
Payments to letter-carriers,
Post-office Laws, Lists, &c.,
Stamped envelopes,

$ 1,384.00 Office furniture,
45.00 Advertising,
113,017.73 Mail-bags,
3,248.50 Blanks,

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Add for United States inland 5-24ths of $ 578,033.39, amount

by British packets,

Newspaper postages, by Collins line,

British closed mails in transit through United States,

Miscellaneous British postages,



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Paid. Unpaid.

2,774,423 1,132,53 6
1,018,345 410,564
406,126 174,766
412,117 166,124



$343,748.68 578,033.39

$444,516.35 $921,782.07

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The number of letters conveyed by the Cunard, Collins, Bremen, and Havre lines of steamers, from July 1, 1852, to June 30, 1853, was as follows:

Postage collected in











3,565.09 7,982,756.59

$343,748.68 42,968.58 $ 300,780.10

1,641,887 $355,253.14 $222,780.25
607,781 154,188.88




1,883,990 | 2,727,021

$120,423.60 6,118.90

37,811.39 4,670.80


No. of newspapers.

1,034,163 305,945

4,987 3,613

The number of letters to and from Continental Europe in transit through the United Kingdom for the same year was as follows:

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The commissions allowed postmasters are as follows, viz.:1. On the postage collected at their respective offices, not exceeding $100 in any one quarter, But if mails arrive regularly at any office between 9 P. M. and 5 A. M., then


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2. On any sum between $100 and $400 in any quarter,
3. On any sum between $400 and $2,400 in any quarter,
4. On any sum over $2,400 in any quarter,

5. On the amount of letters and packets received for distribution at offices designated by the Postmaster-General for that purpose,

6. Box rents not exceeding $2,000 per annum. The postmasters at New Orleans and Washington have special allowances for extra labor. To postmasters whose pay does not exceed $500 in any quarter, one cent is paid for the delivery of each free letter or document, except for the delivery of such as are for himself.

On postages on letters and packages received at a distributing office for distribution, the postmaster may be allowed 12 per cent. Those postmasters who are required to keep a register of the arrival and departure of the mails, are allowed ten cents for each monthly return made to the Postmaster-General. Two mills are allowed for delivery of each newspaper not chargeable with postage. Additional allowances may be made to the postmasters at distributing and separating offices, to defray actual and necessary expenses, when the commissions, allowances, and emoluments are insufficient.

60 per cent.

70 cent.
50 per cent.






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The term letter postage includes all postages received, except those which arise from newspapers sent from the offices of publication to subscribers, and from pamphlets and magazines.

6. RATES OF POSTAGE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. For a single letter, sent not exceeding 3,000 miles, if prepaid, If not prepaid,

Sent over 3,000 miles, if prepaid,

If not prepaid,

For such a letter, conveyed wholly or in part by sea to or from a foreign country (except all cases where different rates have been or shall be established by postal arrangements), sent not exceeding 2,500 miles,

Sent over 2,500 miles,

For a double letter there shall be charged double the above rates; for a treble letter, treble the above rates, &c. Every letter or parcel not exceeding half an ounce (avoirdupois) in weight is a single letter, and every additional weight of half an ounce or of less than half an ounce is charged with an additional single postage. When advertised, one cent additional is charged on each letter. For a letter delivered by a carrier, there is an additional charge of not exceeding one or two cents.

For drop letters (not to be mailed) each,

For all letters or packages (ship letters) conveyed by any vessel not employed in conveying the mail,

To this charge of 2 cents is added 4 cents, when the letters are not transmitted through the mail, but are delivered at the post-office where deposited; and the ordinary rates of United States postage are added when the letter is transmitted through the mails.

Each newspaper, periodical, unsealed circular, or other article of printed matter, not exceeding three ounces in weight, to any part of the United States,

For every additional ounce or fraction of an ounce,

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If the postage on any newspaper or periodical is paid quarterly or yearly in advance, at the office where the same is either mailed or delivered, then half the above rates are charged. Newspapers and periodicals not weighing over one and a half ounces, circulated in the State where published, are likewise charged but half of the above rates.

Small newspapers and periodicals, published monthly or oftener, and pamphlets not containing more than sixteen octavo pages each, when sent in single packages, weighing at least eight ounces, to one address, and prepaid by affixing postage stamps thereto, shall be charged only half a cent for each ounce or fraction of an ounce, notwithstanding the postage calculated on each separate article of such package would exceed that amount. The postage on all transient matter, unless prepaid, shall be charged double the first-mentioned rates.

Books, bound or unbound, not weighing over four pounds, shall be deemed mailable matter, and shall pay,

For all distances under 3,000 miles, per ounce,

1 cent.

2 66

For all distances over 3,000 miles,

Fifty per cent. shall be added in all cases when not prepaid. All printed matter chargeable by weight shall be weighed when dry. The publishers of newspapers and periodicals may send to each other from their respective offices of publication, free of postage, one copy of each publication; and may also send to each actual subscriber, inclosed in their publications, bills and receipts for the same, free of postage. The publishers of weekly newspapers may send to each actual subscriber within the county where their papers are printed and published one copy thereof free of postage.

No printed matter shall be sent at the above rates, unless either without any wrapper, or with one open at the ends or sides, so that the character of the matter may be seen without removing the wrapper; or if any written

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