Virtual Museum of Public Service

Postal Service: A-3

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
-Inscription on the James Farley Post Office in New York City 
The United States Postal Service (also known as USPS, the Post Office or U.S. Mail) is responsible for providing postal service in the United States as one of the representative frontline agencies serving citizens from 1775.
An American History 1775 to 2006 was published by the United States Postal Service (USPS) to document its history as a universal mail system from its inception. The authors affirm that its system has strengthened the bonds of friendship, family, and community, encouraged civil discourse, disseminated information, and bolstered the national economy serving as the hub of vital industry and as a trusted courier for American businesses and businesses worldwide. Much of the development that took place in the US is attributable to the postal service, for “binding” the nation. Mail was first moved using steamboats, along the rivers and then by rail. More inland communities were later served by the Pony Express. There were also innovative ways of moving mail due to challenges faced in different terrains. Mail was transported into the mountains via horse-drawn sleds, early in the 20th Century.
Title 39 of the United States Code, enacted in 1960, outlines the function of the postal service. (See under Primary Documents). Chapters 10 and 12 of Part 2 of the Code outline the personnel and labor-management policies and establish a framework for a postal career service. Famous public servants, who began their careers in the postal service, include Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman. In 1833, at the age of 24, Lincoln was appointed postmaster of New Salem, Illinois and served in that capacity for three years. According to postal records, Harry Truman was appointed postmaster of Grandview, Missouri, on December 2, 1914. It is further stated that he turned the position over to a widow in need of money.

Barefoot Mailman

The barefoot mailmen of Florida worked as carriers on the first U.S. mail route from Palm Beach to Miami. It took them three days each way walking barefoot on the sand to complete their routes. Though the United States Post Office Department has maintained no record of the Barefoot Mailmen, a monument at Hillsborough Inlet and a New Deal era mural currently hanging in the West Palm Beach Post Office depict the mail carriers at work