5 Unknown Facts About the USPS

America is one of the richest countries (correction, Continents!) in the world. What if you’re asked to guess the income of the US President and Vice President! A lot of zeroes, right! Just so you get an idea of how big the United States Postal Service is, you must know that the Postmaster general of the USPS earns more than the Vice President of the United States of America.

The USPS is one of the most widely spread postal networks in the world. The new facilities added to it like the USPS tracking have made the services more efficient. USPS is, therefore, a global parcel tracker and to figure out how huge it is, let’s visit some facts about the same.

A postmaster general AKA a presidential candidate: 

John McLean was the USPS postmaster from 1823 to 1829. He wasn’t any less than a White House official or instead, was even at a higher rank. He had the right to report directly to the President of America at any point he found something was necessary to be brought to his knowledge. In his career of 6 years as a Postmaster General, he reported to James Monroe and then John Quincy Adams, who were the presidents during this period. He was appointed as the U.S. Supreme Court Justice after being promoted and in later years of his life, he even stood up as a candidate for the presidential elections.

You receive, you pay!

In most countries, like in India too, the one who sends a parcel or a mail, is the one who pays for it and not the receiver. Well, it is said that until the 19th century and also during it, the person who received the mail, was supposed to pay for it. This led to people disowning the mails and refusing to accept them, which then had to be returned to the sender. This causes a lot of chaos in the post office and thus the rule of prepaid mails was drafted.

Go fetch your mails!

Cleveland was the first country to receive its free mail delivery service in 1863. Until then people had to go to the post office to fetch their mail. Joseph Briggs was the first person to propose the idea that mails could be delivered to people’s houses and that too, for free. The idea was popularized after the civil war and several countries adopted it.

The popularity of newspapers accounts to the post offices:

In 1792, a post office act was passed that said that newspapers were an important factor that encouraged people to study and was an easy way to promote education. Therefore, they allowed newspapers to be mailed to every citizen and at very low rates. The high literacy rate of America is due to the newspapers that were supplied daily, to every household. As per a report, 91 percent of people in America could read and write and were literate, in the year 1840.

Theft deserves death!

If we consider this, American surely was one of the strictest countries in terms of punishing the thieves. Till 1799, if a person stole a mail, they were sentenced to death. It was the time when people used the postal service to send money. And the government wanted the mail delivery system to be as safe as possible. They, therefore, punished the culprits with a cold heart. In 1799, a rule was made after which a mail thief was subjected to public whipping and 10 years of a prison sentence. But if they repeated the crime, they were sentenced to death. These rules remained alive till 1872.

Wrapping Up

The postmaster general of the United States Postal Service has the right to directly report to the US President. Also, John McLean, one of the postmaster generals of the United States Postal Service even participated in the presidential elections of the USA. Initially, as per the laws, the person who received the mail was supposed to pay for it. However, later the rules were changed. People had to visit the post office to fetch their mails. Also, post offices had a big hand in popularizing newspapers.