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Mail and the US Post Office 

Obviously EJ Phillips enjoyed getting and sending letters and I'm grateful that they were kept -- and find new insights upon rereading even after many years. Started to think about the history of the US Post Office after going to the National Postal Museum in Washington DC https://www.si.edu/museums/postal-museum in the DC City Post Office next to Union Station. 

   Palmer House letter Sept 4 no year 3 cent stamp  Thanks to John Poss, collector of postal artifacts for the envelope addressed to EJ Phillips at the Palmer House.  Dated Sept 4 and mailed from New York, but no year.  However first class postage decreased in price from 3 cents to 2 cents in October 1883, so perhaps this was mailed in 1880 or 1881 when she was in Chicago in early September.

Stampless letters, paid for by the receiver, and private postal systems, were gradually phased out after the introduction of adhesive postage stamps, first issued by the U.S. government post office July 1, 1847, in the denominations of five and ten cents, with the use of stamps made mandatory in 1855.  Wikipedia     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postage_stamps_and_postal_history_of_the_United_States
  1895 stamp

New York Feby 10th 1886 My dear Son, I will send you money for your next weeks board -- how shall I send it?  In a letter & trust to the honesty of the mail or by Express or money order -- I think I can risk a V in a letter -- do not you?  

Wednesday July 28th/86  West of the Rockies We are to reach Salt Lake in the afternoon.  Guess I shall post this at the driving station at 1.  Not so many stations to post letters at on this road as on the Union Pacific, and I miss Morse who used to find out about the mails for me.  

Baldwin Hotel S. F'co August 17th 1888   By this morning's papers I see there have been a cloud burst on the "Central Pacific" and the tracks are under water, so mails will be late today, if they get here at all. 

Old Homestead A plot twist in the Old Homestead involves relatively new mailboxes in cities. Harvard Theatre Collection has a typescript. Joshua from New Hampshire thinks the postman is robbing the mailbox when he picks up the mail.

National Archives, Post Office Records  https://www.archives.gov/research/post-offices
Railway Mail Service https://postalmuseum.si.edu/rms/index.html
Smithsonian, National Postal Museum https://postalmuseum.si.edu/ Virtual Tour https://postalmuseum.si.edu/virtual-tour
US Domestic Letter Rates since 1863 https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/domestic-letter-rates-since-1863.htm
Wikipedia, Postage Stamps and Postal History https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postage_stamps_and_postal_history_of_the_United_States

The Yankee on the Stage-A Folk Hero of American Drama - Jstor

by RM Dorson - ‎1940 

Last revised  August 23,  2020

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