February of 1692 brought the first postal service to America when a grant from King William and Queen Mary encouraged by Thomas Neale "to erect, settle and establish within the chief parts of their majesties' colonies and plantations in America, an office or offices for the receiving and dispatching letters and pacquets, and to receive, send and deliver the same under such rates and sums of money as the planters shall agree to give, and to hold and enjoy the same for the term of twenty-one years."
Prior to the American Revolution there was only a trickle of business and government communication between the colonies. The majority of the mail went back and forth to counting houses and government offices in London.
The United States Postal Service was vital to the westward expansion in the 19th century. It created an inexpensive way to communicate with family members that pioneers had left at home. It wasn't fast in our terms of fast today, but for the early settlers it was fast and convenient.
The postal services is contributed for increased westward pioneers, helping ambitious men find business opportunities, and made it possible for western merchants to stay in contact with wholesalers and factories in the east. The postal service helped the Army expand control over the western territories. Because of the postal's ability to reach a vast area of circulation for the larger newspapers, it enabled politicians to get their agenda out in different states.
Today's 'modern' Post Office originated in 1792. Based on the Constitutional authority, Congress had the power to establish post offices and post roads. The law provided for an expanded postal network, and served editors by charging newspapers an extremely low rate. Guaranteeing the sanctity of personal correspondence, the new law made it possible for the entire country to have access to information on public affairs at a low cost and established the right to personal privacy.
1775 - Benjamin Franklin appointed first Postmaster General by the Continental Congress
1847 - U.S. postage stamps issued
1855 - Prepayment of postage required
1860 - Pony Express began
1863 - Free city delivery began
1873 - U.S. postal cards issued
1893 - First commemorative stamps issued
1896 - Rural free delivery began
1913 - Parcel Post® began
1918 - Scheduled airmail service began
1950 - Residential deliveries reduced to one a day
1963 - ZIP Code inaugurated