The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: August 4

Extract of a letter from Baltimore ….
It is with inexpressible Pleasure that I can, at this Juncture, from indubitable Authority, assure you, and the respectable People of Virginia, that a complete Plan for establishing a NEW AMERICAN POST OFFICE has been lately executed throught the different Governments in New England. . . . Mr. WILLIAM GODDARD, Printer here, who has conducted this Business hitherto, intends setting out for Williamsburg in a few Days, that he may be present at the general Meeting of your late House of Representatives, and to lay before your Committee of Correspondence . . . recommendatory Letters he has received, from other Committees . . . It will be immediately executed, in a Manner, It is presumed, that will give general Satisfaction, and rescue American Correspondence out of the hands of our wicked and designing Enemies.

Virginia Gazette, (Purdie & Dixon) August 04, 1774

About this entry:

William Goddard proposed an American Post Office to the Continental Congress on April 30, 1774. One of his reasons was that patriot newspapers and private letters were susceptible to manipulation, confiscation, and censorship by the British. Congress did not act on the proposal, but Goddard did organize a private post in the middle colonies, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Williamsburg. John Ross was postmaster at Williamsburg.

Sources: Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues, 11/85, vol 37 #4, p240-243; Lektriever,"Postal Service History"

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