United States Statutes at Large/Volume 1/4th Congress/2nd Session/Chapter 19

March 3, 1797
Chap. ⅩⅨ.—An Act in addition to the act intituled “An act to establish the Post-Office and Post Roads within the United States.”

1794, ch. 23.
Post roads discontinued.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following post roads be discontinued, namely: from Blue-hill, in Maine, to Penobscot, Frankfort and Belfast; from Bardstown, in Kentucky, to Nashville, in Tennessee; from Taunton to Providence; from Bethlehem, by Reading, to Lancaster; from Elkton to Warwick; from Georgetown to Cheraw Courthouse; from Bethlehem to Wilkesbarre; from Plymouth to Windsor; 1799, ch. 43.from Winton, by the bridge on Bennett’s creek, to R. Mitchell’s; from Mecklenburg to Halifax Courthouse; from Richmond, by Newcastle, to Aylett’s Warehouse; from Morgantown, by Lincolntown, to Pinckney Courthouse; from Springfield, by Northampton, Brattleborough and Charleston, by Windsor, in Vermont, to Hanover.

Post roads established.Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the following be established as post roads, namely: from Blue-hill, in Maine, through Castine, Penobscot, Buckston, Frankfort and Prospect, to Belfast; from Hallowell, in Maine, to Farmington, on Sandy river; from Portland, in Maine, by Falmouth, Gorham, Buxton and Standish, to Limerick; from Berwick, in Maine, through Lebanon, Shapleigh and Parsonfield, to Limerick; from Standish, by Flintstown, to Fryburg academy; from Sandwich, by Tamworth and Conway, in New Hampshire, to Fryburg, in Massachusetts; from Portsmouth to Dover, in New Hampshire; from Newburyport to Haverhill; and from Haverhill, by Kingston, Exeter, Newmarket and Durham, to Dover; from Yarmouth, by Dennis, Harwich and Chatham, to Truro; from Worcester, in Massachusetts, by Petersham and Northfield, to Brattleborough, in Vermont; from Newport, in Rhode Island, through Taunton, Norton, Mansfield and Sharon, to Boston; from Boston, through Charlestown, Medford, Wooburn, Billerica, Chelmsford and Tyngsborough, in Massachusetts, to Amherst, in New Hampshire; from Windsor, in Vermont, by Royalton, Randolph, Williamston and Montpelier, to Burlington; from New Haven, in Connecticut, by such route as the postmaster shall deem expedient, to Litchfield and Sheffield, in Massachusetts; from New York, by Whiteplains, Bedford, Frederickstown, Dover, Sharon, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Pittsfield and Williamston, to Bennington, in Vermont; from Lansingburg, in New York, by Waterford, Stillwater, Fort Edward, Whitehall landing, and Fairhaven, to Rutland, in Vermont; from New York to Hackensack, Paramus, New Antrim, thence to Chester and Goshen; from Lansingburg, by Salem, Fairhaven, Vergennes and Bason harbor, to Plattsburg; from Plattsburg to Pliny Moore’s in the town of Champlain; from Schenectady, by Ballston Springs and Glen’s bridge, to Sandy-hill; from Old Fort Schuyler, in New York, by Cincinnatus, to Oxford academy, on the Chenango; from Rome, in the state of New York, to Rotterdam, on the Oneida Lake; from Philadelphia to Tuckerton, in New Jersey; from Bristol, in Pennsylvania, to Burlington, in New Jersey; from Bethlehem, by Easton, to Wilkesbarre, in Pennsylvania; from Harrisburg, upon the east side of the Susquehanna river, to Clark’s Ferry at Petersburg, by Millerstown, Thompson-town, Mifflintown, Lewistown, and Huntingdon, to Alexandria; from thence, by Center Furnace and Bellefount, to Milesburg, on the Bald Eagle river, at the mouth of Spring Creek; from thence, by Aaronsburg, Mifflinburg, Lewisburg (Deerston) and Northumberland, to Sunbury, and from thence down the east side of the Susquehanna river, to Harrisburg; from Somerset, through Connelsville, to Uniontown, and from Bedford, in Pennsylvania, the mail shall be carried through Somerset, to Greensburg, after the expiration of the present contract for carrying the mail; from Baltimore, by Ellicott’s lower mills, Montgomery Courthouse and Charlesburg, to Leesburg, in Virginia; from Morgantown, in Virginia, to Clarksburg, in Harrison county: from Leesburg, by Middleburg, in Loudoun county, by Fauquier Courthouse, to Culpeper Courthouse; from Petersburg, by Sussex Courthouse, and Southampton Courthouse, Post roads established.to South Quay; from Richmond, by Hanover-town, to Aylett’s Warehouse; from Todd’s bridge to King and Queen Courthouse; from Halifax Courthouse, in Virginia, by Danville, to Caswell Courthouse in North Carolina; from Newbern to Beaufort and Swansborough, the mail to go alternately; and from Wilmington, in North Carolina, by Georgetown, to Charleston, in South Carolina; from Jonesburg, in North Carolina, by Northwest River Bridge, Great Bridge, and Kempsville, to Norfolk; from Elizabeth city, in North Carolina, by New Lebanon, to Northwest River Bridge; from Morgantown, by Rutherfordton, to Spartan Courthouse, in South Carolina, and from Charlotte, by Lincolnton, to Iredell; from Bethania, in North Carolina, by Grayson Courthouse, to Wythe Courthouse, in Virginia; from Mecklenberg Courthouse, to return by Lunenberg Courthouse and Edmonds’s store, to Goldson’s; from Augusta, in Georgia, by Robison’s at the White Ponds and Gillett’s mill, to Coosawhatchie, in South Carolina; from Moffet’s store, in Tennessee, to Danville, in Kentucky; from Knoxville, by Southwest Point, and Fort Blount, to Nashville; from Winton, by Windsor, to Edenton; from Murfreesborough, by South Quay, to Suffolk, in Virginia; from Fayetteville to Pittsburg, in Chatham county; from Nottingham to Lower Marlborough, in Maryland; from Benedict to Chaptico, by Charlottehall academy; from Allensfresh, in Maryland, by Laidlor’s Ferry, to Port Conway, in Virginia; from Waynesborough to Louisville, by Georgetown to Rock landing, in Georgia; from Kanondaigua, in the state of New York, to Niagara; from Suffield, in Connecticut, by Northampton, Brattleborough and Charlestown, by Windsor, in Vermont, to Hanover; from Springfield, by West Springfield, to Northampton; and that the route of the mail, from Easton, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, to Vienna, shall be through Newmarket.

Allowance to postmaster general for clerk hire.Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the postmaster general be authorized to expend, for clerk hire, a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, in addition to the sum heretofore allowed; and that he be authorized to charge the United States with two hundred and seventy-one dollars and fifty-two cents, for the occasional hire of extra clerks, from the first of January to the thirty-first of December, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six.

Accessories punishable.Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That from and after the passing of this act, every person who shall procure, aid, advise or assist in the doing or perpetration of any of the crimes, or acts, forbidden to be done or perpetrated by the act, intituled, 1794, ch. 23.An act to establish the post-office and post roads within the United States,” shall be subject to the same punishments and penalties as the persons are subject, who shall actually do, or perpetrate any of the acts or crimes forbidden by the said act.

Compensation to deputy post-masters.Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That from and after the thirty-first day of March, of the present year, instead of the compensation heretofore allowed by law to the deputy postmasters, the postmaster general be hereby authorized to allow to the deputy postmasters, respectively, such commission on the monies arising from the postages of letters and packets, as shall be adequate to their respective services and expenses: Provided, the said commission shall not exceed thirty per cent. on the first hundred dollars collected in one quarter, and twenty-five per cent. on a sum over one hundred, and not more than three hundred dollars; and twenty per cent. on any sum over four hundred and not exceeding two thousand dollars; and eight per cent. on any sum collected, being over two thousand four hundred dollars; except to the deputy postmasters, who may be employed in receiving and dispatching foreign mails, whose compensation may be augmented, not exceeding twenty-five dollars, in one quarter; and excepting, to the deputy postmasters, at offices where the mail is regularly to arrive between the hours of nine o’clock at night, and five o’clock in the morning; whose commission, on the first hundred dollars, collected in one quarter, may be increased to a sum not exceeding fifty per cent. The postmaster general may allow to the deputy postmasters, respectively, a commission of fifty per cent. on the money arising from the postages of newspapers, magazines and pamphlets; and to the deputy postmasters, whose compensations shall not exceed five hundred dollars, in one quarter, two cents for every free letter delivered out of the office, excepting such as are for the deputy postmaster himself: Provided, that the authority given by this section to the postmaster general, to regulate the commissions to be allowed to the deputy postmasters, shall continue in force until the thirty-first day of March, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight,1798, ch. 24. and no longer: And that it shall be his duty, to report to the said session, the respective commissions which he shall have allowed, by virtue of the authority herein given.

Regulations respecting newspapers.Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That no newspapers shall be received by the deputy postmasters, to be conveyed by post, unless they are sufficiently dried and enclosed in proper wrappers, on which, besides the direction, shall be noted the number of papers, which are enclosed for subscribers, and the number for printers: The deputy postmasters shall form all newspapers deposited in their offices, to be conveyed by post, into mails; and if any deputy postmaster shall open, or permit any mail of newspapers not directed to his office, to be opened, he shall, on conviction thereof, forfeit, for every such offence, a sum not exceeding twenty dollars; and any other person, who shall open such mail of newspapers, on conviction thereof, shall forfeit a sum not exceeding twenty dollars, for every such offence: Provided, that when mails are directed to places where no post-office is kept, they may be opened at the post-office most convenient to such place, and may also be opened, where the direction is effaced.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That this act shall not be construed to affect any existing contracts.

Postmaster general to report to Congress concerning certain roads.Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the postmaster general, to report annually to Congress, every post-road, which shall not, after the second year, from its establishment, have produced one third of the expense of carrying the mail on the same.

Letters to George Washington to be free.Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That all letters and packets to George Washington, now President of the United States, after the expiration of his term of office, and during his life, shall be received and conveyed by post free of postage.

Approved, March 3, 1797.