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Posts Tagged ‘us postal service’

“Illiteracy… compromised but did not preclude participation in America’s [antebellum] postal network. “A fascinating correspondence between absentee slaveholder William S. Pettigrew and the enslaved foremen on his two North Carolina plantations illustrates this crucial point nicely. During an an extended convalescence at Healing Springs in Virginia, Pettigrew sought to manage his business affairs by corresponding […]

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“In 1790 the postal system transmitted just under 300,000 letters, or roughly one letter per year for every 10 inhabitants of the United States, excluding Indians and slaves. … By 1856 the comparable total had increased to around 130 million, or 5.3 letters per free person per year. “No less notable was the regional variation. […]

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” ‘Here comes Uncle Sam!’ is what I used to hear on my mail route in west Durham. Mostly I heard this from older African Americans — along with the usual jokes about bills, junk mail and checks. Almost one-fifth of my customers received Social Security checks, and many of them relied on me to […]

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