People Used To Pay To Have Their Mail Delivered To Them

Before 1863, people went to their local post office to pick up their mail, but for delivery to their house, they would have to pay 2¢. In 1862, Postmaster General Montgomery Blair in his report to President Abraham Lincoln suggested free delivery of mail by salaried letter carriers. Blair believed that home delivery would promote public convenience, causing people to use the service more often, thereby increasing revenue. Congress agreed and on March 3, 1863 they voted to establish free delivery of mail by the U.S. Postal Service, effective July 1, 1863. Then, for the first time, Americans had to put street addresses on their letters.