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67.936 32 320

Uiah ....


all objects under the control of

sand five hundred and thirty miles by coach, at transportation of mails has been increased 2,990,860 the Navy Department........ 10,801,845 28 $1,290,095, about 6 cents per mile.

miles, at an increased cost of $395,373 per annum, But of this amount there was ex

Fifteen million four hundred and thirty-three divided among the several States and Territories, pended, for special objects, the

thousand three hundred and eighty-nine miles by as follows:

3,910,012 29 sum of. railroad, at $1,758,610 about 11 cents 4 mills per

Incr'd Miles Incr'd mile.

n. Trans. An. Cost. Michigan


$2,189 Leaving, as the legitimate expendFive million seven hundred and ninety-five



60,495 itures for the support of the thousand four hundred and eighty-three miles by Mlinois

.200,618 Navy and Marine Corps for the steamboat, at $489,138, about 8 cents 4 mills per


75,537 Iowa..


39,625 fiscal year ending June 50, 1854, $6,891,832 99 mile.



11.035 Compared with the services of the 30th June, Minnesota


2,002 There are, however, outstanding claims to be 1853, there is an increase of 1,494,463 miles of Kentucky.

.269,258 Tennessee.

16,285 paid out of the appropriation for the fiscal year transportation, or about 24 per cent., and of


19,764 1853–54. $134,708 cost, being about 3 per cent.



49.214 Your attention is invited to the reports and esti- The increase of railroad service is 2,446,684 Arkansas


46,688 mates of the chiefs of the several Bureaus con- miles, and the expense $157,281, being 19 per cent. Louisiana..



Texas... in transportation, and not quite 1 per cent. in ccst.

.....469,148 nected with this Department. I perform but an


California .................... 68,302 act of justice in testifying to the fidelity and atten- The increased transportation by modes not spe

25,960 tion to business of all these officers, and in sug. || cified is 377,157 miles, or about one per cent., ata In Alabama the transportation has been slightly gęsting that the compensation to the heads of the cost of $37,520, or 3 35-100 per cent.

decreased, though the total cost of service is inBureau of Construction, Equipment, and Repair, The transportation by coaches is less by 439,796 creased $19,764. and Medicine and Surgery, should be the same miles, or about 2 per cent., though at an increased In New Mexico the same amount of transporas that now allowed to the others. cost of $83,137, or 6 88-100 per cent.

tation continues as under the former contracts, but You will perceive, from reference to the report The unprecedented extension of railroads super- at a reduced cost of $10,700. of the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance and Hy- seded much coach service. The increased cost for

In California, 68,302 miles of additional trans. drography, the importance of the action of Con- a diminished amount of such service may be ac- portation is obtained at a reduced annual cost of gress, in making necessary appropriations for counted for from the fact that the new contracts

$41,804 , according to the accepted bids; but, ordnance, which will be much larger than usual, in New England and New York, commencing 1st

owing to the failure of the bidders on two important in order to enable the Department to supply the July, 1853, were made at largely enhanced rates, routes, it is expected that the actual cost of the six new steam-frigates with armament, which it is increasing theaggregate expense, while the amount

service will be largely increased. designed shall be of different and heavier caliber of service was largely reduced.

The service in Oregon has been reduced by not than heretofore used.

The steamboat transportation during the past renewing the contraces on the routes from ColumIn pursuance of the suggestions of the Chief | year was reduced 889,582 miles, or 15. per cent., bia to Cascades, Cascades to Wascapum, and of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, the naval at a reduced cost of $143,230 or 29 7-10 per cent. Wascanum to Salt Lake. laboratory in connection with the hospital at This is accounted for by the discontinuance of

In Kentucky, 269,258 miles of additional serBrooklyn was reorganized in the fall of 1853, and service between Wilmington, North Carolina, and

vice were obtained at less pay than under the placed on a basis to secure its success, and enlarge Charleston, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, former contracts. its benefits to the service. Since January last the and Charleston, and Detroit, and Buffalo, and the of the 2.990,860 miles of transportation above entire supply of medicines for the Navy has been suspension of service on the Arkansas and White i stated, 1,292,650 miles are performed by railroad. prepared at that laboratory, thereby giving assur- rivers, owing to the failures of the contractors. of the additional cost of $395,373, $106,951 is ance that a reliable article is supplied, and that Several steamboat routes were also dispensed for railroad service. the service will not suffer from the imposition of with at the lettings of new contracts for New The total annual transportation under the new spurious and deleterious drugs. As a matter of England and New York.

contracts, as adjusted for the quarter ending 30th economy, also, the advantages will not be incon- The portions of service in the foregoing esti- || September, is 29,047,050 miles, and the total ansiderable. mates chargeable to California, are 591 630 miles

nual cost $2,375,789, divided as follows, viz: The letters of Commander Charles H. Davis, of annual transportation, costing $142,933, and Three million five hundred and seventy-six thoutouching the Nautical Almanac, and of Professor varying but slighily from last year's report. sand nine hundred and sixty-six miles by railroad, Alexander, in regard to the character of aliment- F'or steamboat iransportation, 159,120 miles, at $343,118, or 9 cents and 6 mills per mile. ary substances, accompany this report, and will $21,000.

Four million one hundred and fifty-nine thouexplain the progress made in their departments. For coach transportation, 174,026 miles, $35,185. sand eight hundred and sixty-four miles by i have the honor to be, with great respect, your

Modes not specified, transportation 258,484 || steamboat, at $436,768, or 10 cents per mile. obedient servant,

miles, at $86,748.

Six million six hundred and seventy-four To the PRESIDENT of the United States.

In Oregon the service is as follows:

thousand and seventy-two miles by coach, at Steamboat, 38,038 miles, nt $17,000.

$646,068, or 9 cents and 6 mills per mile. Modes not specified, 98.988 miles, at $28,151. Fourteen million six hundred and thirty-six Report of the Postmaster General. Total transportation, 137,026 miles.

thousand one hundred and forty-eight miles by Total cost, $45,151.

modes not specified, at $949,835, or 64 cents per Post Office DEPARTMENT,

The annual transportation by steamboat was mile.

increased 10,760 miles during the year, without Contracts have been made to convey mails by The whole number of post offices in the United additional pay:

steamboat between New Orleans, St. Francisville, States, on the 30th of June, 1854, was 23,548. Of The following table exhibits the extension of and Vicksburg, at $75,000 per annum, and this number 257 are offices the annual commis. railroad service during the year, separately, in five between Mobile and Montgomery, Alabama, at sions from which amount to one thousand dollars groups of States:

$35,000 per annum, which are not included in the or upwards, and the appointments at these offices

Length. Miles trans. Add. cost.

foregoing statements. The amount of pay for are therefore made by the President, by and with New England and New York, 629 971,341 $29,488 service, as in operation on 30th September, the advice and consent of the Senate, agreeably to New Jersey, Penosylvania,

between New Orleans and St. Francisville, by

Delaware, Maryland, and the provisions of the act of 1836. The number of

453,660 15,518

transient boats, is $33,680. It is proper, therefore, offices established during the last fiscal year was Virginia, North Carolina,

to add for the new regular service $41,320, which, 1,842, and the number discontinued 614, showing South Carolina, Georgia,

with the $35,000 on the Alabama river route, will and Florida...

398 235,227 a net increase in one year of 1.228. The number


increase ihe cost of the service for the current Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, of which the sites and names have been changed

and Wisconsin..

710,952 44,214 year, $76,320-making the whole additional cost in the course of the year was 499. The number Kentucky, Tennessee, Ala

of the new contracts $471,693. To these must of postmasters appointed during the year was bama, Mississippi,' and

also be added the cost of additional route agents, Louisiana.....

75,504 8,618. Of these, 4,185 were appointed to fill vacan

11,234 | local agents, and mail messengers, appointed cies occasioned by resignations; 1,977 by removals; The lettings for the year embraced the States since 1st July, amounting to $7,988. 320 by deaths; 294 by change of name and sites; of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, There were in service on 30th June last 236 and 1,842 on establishment of new offices. Texas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, lowa, route agents, at a compensation of $181,600 per

The total number of offices on the 1st of De- Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Califor- annum; 21 local agents, at $15,490" per annum; cember, 1854, was 23,925.

nia, and the Territories of Oregon, New Mexico, || and 968 mail messengers, at $92,131 80 per On the 30th June last there were in operation Utah, Washington, and Minnesota. In some of annum; making a total cost of $289,221 80 per 6,697 mail routes. The number of contractors was the States and Territories I found the mail facili- | annum to be added to the other cost of transpor5,167.

ties greatly deficient, and not at all such as the tation, stated above at $4,630,676. The length of these routes is estimated at 219,935 wants and requirements of the people absolutely Pursuant to the act of Congress of 5th August, miles.

demanded. After a careful survey of each State | 1854, I invited proposals on the 31st August for The total annual transportation of mails was and Territory, I gave to it such additional facili- i conveying mails from Cairo, Illinois, io New 63,387,005 miles, costing $4,630,676, and divided ties as its increasing trade and population seemed Orleans, and back, daily, in steamboats. Only as follows, viz: to require.

one bid was received within the prescribed time, Twenty-one million two hundred and sixty- A comparison of the service under the new con- (6th November;) and that being for $300,000, I Beven thousand six hundred and three miles by tracts commencing 1st July last, as in operation did not feel myself at liberty io accept it. A modes not specified, at $1,092,833, about 5 cents on the 30th September, with that under the expired il second bid, at a much more reasonable rate, was per mile.

contracts in the northwestern and southwestern received after the regular time had expired. Twenty million eight hundred and ninety thou- " sections of the Union, shows that the annual There are now no great mail lines in operation

December 4, 1954. }

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...... 121

330 CONG....20 SESS.

Report of the Postmaster General.

SENATE & Ho. OF Reps.

with which to connect the proposed one at Cairo. route agent, the mail being placed with the bag. | alone will be authorized to give the required cerThe time is, however, not distant when the neces- gage in one, and the balance of the car appropriated | tificate. sary connections will be effected by the completion for a smoking-room. The calculations which I The proper distribution of mail matter in a of the Illinois Central railroad to Cairo, and of the have made and those which some of the compa- country so vast as ours, with so many mail routes Ohio and Mississippi road to its point of intersec- nies make, differ most widely, and show that they and so many post offices, is a subject attended tion from the East with the Illinois Central. I am are receiving for the mail much more than for first- with great difficulty, and to which the attention of informed that by the 1st of January the Ilinois class freight; but the question whether the calcula- my predecessors has frequently been directed. Central will be completed, and that by the 1st of tions of the Department or the companies be correct, | Letters, instead of having one or, at most, two July the Ohio and Mississippi road will make its could be readily settled by a committee of Con- distributions, have been distributed four or five eastern connection with that road. The chain of gress; and if the companies wish Government to times before their arrival at the destined point. railroads between the Atlantic at various points pay them only such prices as they receive from The consequence has been that the distribution and the Mississippi river, thus completed, will individuals, the whole matter is one of easy solu- and delivery commissions have almost consumed attract large and important mails which are now tion. In the opinion that this Government is pay- the postage; but the worst evil arising from this conveyed on other routes, and most materially ing much more for railroad mail service than it is practice has been that great delays have been enhance the importance of a steamboat route be- l worth, I have been confirmed by the prices paid occasioned, which have always been the subject tween Cairo and New Orleans. Moreover, it is for similar services in England, France, Germany, of just complaint. To distribute mail matter reasonable to anticipate such an increase of trade and Canada. With the Great Western Railroad properly requires a minute knowledge of mail and travel in the same direction as will go very | Company in the latter country, the Department, il arrangements, and this the Department alone can far towards sustaining a line of boats, thus re. in March last, entered into a contract to carry the have. If the postmasters at the various distribu. ducing the cost of mail service.

United States mail from Suspension Bridge, New ting post offices were permitted to make their own At present the principal, if not the only support | York, to Detroit, Michigan, for the sum of thirty distribution schemes, with their necessarily imof the line, would be from this Department; and I dollars a mile. The same cars carry the local perfect knowledge, great mistakes must occur, have, therefore, deemed it my duty not to enter Canada mail, and if the Canadian Government and, instead of a letter being mailed direct to the into a contract now, but await developments so allow this company thirty dollars a mile in addi- distribution office to which it belongs, it would be B000 to be expected, enabling me to negotiate tion to the sum received from this Department, mailed from point to point along the route until it terms much more advantageous both to the public this important trunk road will be receiving sixty reached its destined 'point. To prevent these and this Department. dollars a mile.

delays, and at the same time to possess myself of In the mean time mails are regularly conveyed It is of very great importance that kind relations the local knowledge of the postmasters at the disas heretofore, by the trip between Louisville and should always exist between the Post Office tributing post offices, I caused to be forwarded to New Orleans, and St. Louis and New Orleans. Department and the different railroad companies, me the different schemes of distribution. Some of

I have also contracted for separate service be- because when such is the case the public interests them I found quite perfect, but the great majority tween New Orleans and Vicksburg, Vicksburg are always better served. It has been and ever of them were very defective, and my only surprise and Napoleon, and Memphis.

will be, my effort to preserve these relations. Ex. has been that greater delays in the delivery of There were in operation on the 30th September orbitant demands for services, however, will letters have not taken place. last, 239 railroad routes; their aggregate length always be refused; and when a schedule is ar- I am now having prepared distribution schemes was 16,621 miles, and the cost of mail transpor-ranged, not by the Department alone, because it for every distributing office in the country, allottation thereon was $1,923,747 89. Add to this has no such power, but by the joint concurrence ting to each its proper distribution. When they the sums paid mail messengers, route and local of the Department and the company, who always are completed the postmaster at the mailing point agents, and the whole cost of this service will be have regard to the local business of the road, the can, by turning to his scheme and looking to the $2,196,249 89.

public officer would be derelict in his duty, who counties and towns in each State allotted to the In adjusting the rate per mile to be paid these would not exact a conformity thereto. "Unless various distributing offices, be enabled to mail railroads, great difficulties continue to exist. The such were the case, there would be no order or direct. The Department will likewise have the principle which should regulate their pay seems regularity in the mail system, and business in its important matter of distribution under its excla. to be agreed upon. The companies allege that thousand ramifications would be seriously dis- sive control, and when new mail arrangements the Government should not ask or expecê them turbed. When a fine is laid, if afterwards good are made, by railroad or otherwise, which would to perform for it any service at a less rate than cause be shown, it is always remitted; but it is change the course of distribution, the different that paid by individuals for similar services. This not asserting too much to say that every delay of offices can be instructed accordingly. Much, how. principle has never been denied or disputed by the the mail causes embarrassment, if not injury, to ever, remains to be done. Every distribution Post Office Department; but, on the contrary, it hundreds, and therefore every excuse should be causes delay, and this must necessarily take place has always mantained—and this has been ever carefully examined. The merchant, manufac- | under our present system once or twice, which is the great cause of difficulty between the Depart-turer, and farmer, rely upon the mail principally one great cause of complaint that letters do not ment and the companies--that the Government || for their remittances. All classes of our citizens reach their point of destination as soon as passenhas been charged and paying much greater prices anxiously await the arrival of their letters and gers. When the letter is from one distributing than those paid by individuals. Whether this be newspapers; and if, through the inattention or office to another the mailing is direct, and if sent so or not, is a matter that could be easily settled neglect of the railroad companies or their agents, on its proper course there is no good reason for by computation. And when the Post Office Com- delays take place, what good reason can be as- any delay. The mailing, indeed,

should be direct mittee of the House of Representatives at its last signed why they should not be treated as other from every post office in the United States to ansession proposed a bill fixing certain rates per contractors?

other, but this, under our present system, I view mile for mail transportation on the roads, if it By the act of 21 July, 1836, it is provided that as impracticable. With our existing regulations, could have been shown to them that the rates

contracts shall in all cases be awarded to the lowest which prescribe that every postmaster shall mail thus fixed were too low, considering the weight || bidder. In order to guard the Department against direct to the place addressed all letters for his own of the mail, its importance, and the facilities and fraud and imposition, the form of a bid is pre- State or Territory, and all letters for the post space given for its transportation, I am satisfied scribed by the regulations. A guarantee is like- offices in other States and Territories which should they would have at once increased the rates. wise provided from the act, by which two respon- not pass through a distributing office on their What is required is to fix fair and just prices, sible persons undertake that, if the party bidding proper route to the office of delivery, rigorously companies performing similar services to receive | be accepted, he shall enter into the contract for enforced, and the new schemes of distribution in the same pay, which is not now the case, and all the service proposed, with good and sufficient se. operation at the various distributing post offices, of them to be paid according to the bulk of the curities. A certificate is then required to be signed || I trust to be able to give to our mails greater speed mails, the speed with which they are conveyed, || by a postmaster, judge, or clerk of record, who and regularity. and the accommodations required. The sums paid certifies to the sufficiency of the guarantors. Not- The Auditor reports the expenditures of the Deby express companies would be a very unfair cri- withstanding these precautions, irresponsible men partment for the last fiscal year at $8,577,424 12, terion by which to regulate the charges to be paid | frequently become bidders, having no design of for the following objects, viz: for the conveyance of the mails. Controlled by performing the service, but with the sole object of Compensation to postmasters.

$1,707,708 19 no competition excepting such as it is in the power selling out their bid. Failing to find a purchaser, Extra compensation to postmasters by the act of the railroad companies themselves to prevent, they refuse to enter into the contract, and when

of March 3, 1851....

34,799 97

Ship, steamboat, and way letters ...... they can pay any prices which may be demanded inquiry is made into the sufficiency of the guar

19,519 67

Transportation of the mails, including the of them, and assess it upon their customers. It antors, in order to institute an action against them, mails to Bremen, Havre, and Havana, and would be unjust, too, to found a calculation upon it is discovered that they are pecuniarily worth

the muils across íbe Isthmus of Panama... 5,401,382 50 the assumption that the mail car was twenty-five less. On failures of this description, the contract

Wrapping paper ...

40,463 66 Office furniture for post offices..

5,929 35 feet in length, fifteen for a mail room, and ten for ais awarded to the next lowest bidder; but, as he


103,663 57 post office, and then to estimate and charge both is not bound by his bid, after the acceptance of

Mail bags

48,861 57 for weight of car and mails at fourteen tons. the lowest bidder, it very frequently happens that

78,176 BL Accommodations, such as these, are required both he declines its acceptance, and the Department is

Mail locks, keys, and stamps..

10,070 77

Mail depredations and special agents. thus obliged to pay much more for the service than for the security of the mails and to enable route

48,769 51 Clerks for offices, (of postmasters).

631,138 26 agents properly to discharge their duties; and to it could have been had for, or than it is really Official letters received by postmasters...... this fact, I early drew the attention of the com- worth. Such instances occurred frequently at the

Postage stamps.....................

13,664 57 panies; but these accommodations have not been last lettings, which have increased very much the

Stapped envelopes.......

47,418 77 cost of the service. Some discretion should be

Postage stamps of old issue redeemed. given. Many of the railroads, desirous of properly

Payments to letter carriers....

135,968 52 serving the public, devote a car exclusively for mail | lodged in the Postmaster General to prevent such | Compilation of post routes.................. 1,000 00 purposes; but in the great majority of cases a car frauda; but, in its absence, I have determined, at

Miscellaneous payments....................

153,617 96 is divided between the Government and the express the next lettings, to designate certain postmasters

Payments for British mails................. 94,541 39 companies, or a space is apportioned off for the" in each State in which a letting is to be had, who

$8,577,434 12


447 32

51 65

330 CONG....20 SESS.

Report of the Postmaster General.


Revenue as

17 50

the Auditor.

400 00


The gross revenue of the last fiscal year, in accord to it its due proportion of the stamps sold. thirteen cents a quarter. The newspapers to subcluding foreign postages and the annual appropri- If we admit 75 per cent. of the average amount of scribers living in the county where published will ations from the Treasury granted by the acts of the blue stamps sold in the last three years to continue to go free. 30 March, 1847, and 31 March, 1851, in compen- belong to the revenue from printed matter, then The expenditures of the current year ending sation of mail services rendered to the Govern- the condition of the revenue derived from that || June 30, 1855, owing to causes not within the ment, amounted to $6,955,586 22, viz:

branch in the last four years will be shown by control of the Department, will greatly exceed Letter postage... $3,277,110 50 the following statement:

those of the past year. Postage stamps sold.. 2,146,476 02


fourths In my report of the 1st December last, I had Newspapers and pamphlets................. 606,148 18

stated by

of blue

the honor to state that the commissions allowed Fines, other than from contractors..........

stamps sold. Emolument accounts of postmasters......... 81,952 46

to postmasters by the 6th section of the act to Letier carriers..........

Year ending June 30, 1851...$1,035, 130 89 None issued. 135,968 52

establish certain post roads, &c., approved 3d Year ending June 30, 1852., Recovered from failing contractors..........

789,246 36 38,081 64

Year ending June 30, 1853.. 611,333 42 32,858 17 March, 1853, had proved insufficient at several of Dead letter money unclaimed..

4,346 u Miscellaneous receipts..................... Year ending June 30, 1854... 606,148 18 53,950 61

the distributing offices to defray the expenses 3,166 93 Total for 1851

$1,0.35,130 89 necessary to their efficient administration; and to $6,255,586 22 Total for 1852.

827,328 00 remedy a state of things so injurious to the serAnnual appropriations above stated..... 700,000 00 Total for 1853..............................

644,291 59

vice, I then recommended the restoration to the Total for 1854........

660,098 79 $6,955,586 22

Postmaster General of the discretion given him

As the act of the 30th August, 1852, fixing the by the 6th section of the “ Act to reduce and The revenue, as above stated, includes the

present rates of postage on printed matter, took modify the rates of postage," approved March 3, balance against the Department of $138,565 61, effect on the 1st October following, a fair coniresulting from our postal account with Great Brit- | parison can only be instituted between the reve

1851, so that he might have it in his power to allow ain, Prussia, and Bremen, for the last fiscal year. I nue of the two last fiscal years, through the whole

to the postmasters at such distributing offices the

means necessary to defray expenses. At the The expenditures of the Department for the past year, of which the existing rates of postage prevailed. same time I took occasion io say that, while this including payments for foreign postages, were, as already

This shows that after giving to each year the liberal power should be given to meet the exigencies of stated..

$8,577,424 12 The revenue of the year, including foreign

allowance of three fourths of the one cent stamps a particular class of cases, not exceeding iwenty postages and the appropriation for free

sold, the year ending June 30, 1854, exceeds the in number, there were abundant reasons why a matter, amounted 10.... 6,955,586 22 previous year only 2 45-100 per cent.

larger share of the postages should not be diverted Deficiency...

In this act there is a clause which provides that •$1,621,837 90

from the general purposes of the Department. To the deficiency above stated should be

" when the postage upon any newspaper or peri- | Upon representations subsequently made, it was added the balances due and unpaid to the

odical is paid quarterly or yearly in advance," one deemed expedient to ask an enlargement of the London and Bremen offices up to the Ist

half only of ihe regular rates shall be charged. power above mentioned so far only as to embrace of July last, less the balances due by the

In view of the trivial increase of the postage on Prussian office up to the same period, viz:

a few separating offices situated at points exacting Balances due the London office from April

printed matter, and of the extremely low rates, great labor, and affording but a nominal compen1, 1853, 10 June 30, 1854......$230,259 07

particularly for newspapers and periodicals, I sation to the incumbents. Careful estimates were Balances due and unpaid to the

would recommend that the law be so far changed made by the Auditor of the increase of expense Bremen office to the same period......

13,465 40

as to omit the clause referred to, leaving the De- necessary to relieve the few distributing and sep

partment to fall back upon the act of 1825, under | arating offices which might, upon investigation, $243,724 47

which quarterly payments in advance on news- appear to be justly entitled to aid from the DeLess balances due from the

papers and periodicals have heretofore always partment, and the conclusion was that the whole Prussian office 1st January, 1853, to June 30, 1854......... 110,241 14

been required. The propriety of this recom- amount could not exceed $45,000 per annum. 133,483 33 mendation will be apparent not only for the rea- This sum would certainly have been sufficient

sons above suggested, but also from the following to cover all proper demands for additional aid. Total deficiency for 1854...........$1,755,321 23

comparative statement of facts: Under the act in But the views of the Department did not prevail, The deficiency for the year ending June 30,

operation prior and up to July 1, 1851, the post- || and Congress passed the act of June 22, 1854, 1853, as stated in my report of last year,

age, for instance, on a weekly newspaper, when fixing an increased scale of commissions and

2,117,078 20 sent not over one hundred miles, or any distance raising the aggregate compensation of all the postIn the year 1854 the deficiency, as stated

in the State where published, was thirteen cents, masters in the United States not less than $300,000 above, was...

1,755,321 23

and when sent over one hundred miles, or out of per annum, thereby increasing the expenditures Difference in favor of 1854.......... $361,756 97 the State where published, nineteen and a half of the Department to that amount, instead of One of the results of the great activity and ex

cents a quarter. By the act of March 3, 1851, six $45,000, as had been recommended. The expendipansion which have prevailed in the general busi-different rates, according to distance, were estab- tures of the current year for "compensation to ness operations of the country during ihe past year lished. Thus, on a weekly newspaper, for any postmasters," "clerks for offices,”' &c., will be is manifest in an extraordinary increase of the distance not exceeding fifty miles, five cents a further increased by the operation of the fourth Post Office revenue; and that it may be seen in quarter; over fifty, and not exceeding three hun. || and fifth sections of the act of 27th July, 1854, which branch this increase has mainly arisen, the dred miles, ten cents; over three hundred and not making provision for the postal service in the revenue of the past and preceding year is here exceeding one thousand miles, fifteen cents; over State of California, and the Territories of Oregon presented in a comparative statement from which one, and not exceeding two thousand miles, and Washington. By the fifth section of the act the foreign postages are excluded:

twenty cents; over two, and not exceeding four the Postmaster General is authorized and directed Rerenue Revenue thousand miles, twenty-five cents; over four to allow in the statement of the accounts of postof 1853.

of 1854. thousand miles, thirty cents a quarter; and masters in California and Oregon originating preLetter postage......

$2,843 965 42 $3,277,110 50 weekly newspapers to subscribers in the county vious to the 30th June, 1853, “all just and Stamps sold... 1,629 262 12 2,146,476 02

where published were made free. By this act the reasonable expenses incurred by them in and Newspapers and pamphlets., 611,333 42 606,148 18 Emolument account of post

postage, it will be perceived, for any distance not about the business of their respective offices and masters......

38,386 01 81.952 46 over one thousand miles, was greatly reduced; | the discharge of their official duties: provided, that Received from letter carriers, 113,017 73 135,968 52

but owing to the diversity of rates—the too great no allowance shall be made whereby the United Miscellaneous receipts.

4,760 00

7,930 54

reduction for the shorter and too great increase for States shall be charged with any indebtedness Annual appropriations for free

700,000 00 700,000 00

the longer distances its modification was at once whatsoever.The balances due from late and

called for, and this resulted in the present law, by present postmasters in California and the Territo5,940,724 70 6,955,586 22 || which the quarterly rate on any weekly newsDeduct th

ries of Oregon and Washington, subject to the balance in each year resulting from our pospaper or pericdical not exceeding three ounces in

operation of the fourth and fifth sections of the ial accounts with England, . weight sent any distance in the United States, is

act just mentioned, amounted on the 30th June, Prussia, and Bremen... 94,466 27 138,928 31 | only six and a half cents. On newspapers not 1854, to $164,144 41, of which sum it is estimated

exceeding one and a half ounce in weighi, when that not less than $50,000 must be canceled under 5,846,258 43 6,816,657 91 5,846,258 43

circulated in the State where published, the quar- the provisions of the fifth section, and carried

terly rate is still one half less, being only three into the general accounts of the Department as Total increase of 1854...

$970,399 48 and a quarter cents; and weekly newspapers to expenditures of the current year. Or 18 85-100 per centum.

subscribers in the county where published go free. In addition to the burdens thrown upon the If from the letter postage and stamps sold in I cannot avoid the conviction, that had it been revenue of the Department by the general increase each year the foreign balances be deducted, there clearly understood that the act of 1825 required of the compensation of postmasters, and the spe. will appear an increase over 1853 of 20 67-100 || payment quarterly in advance on regular news- cial legislation for those in California, Oregon, and per cent.; while the revenue from newspapers and papers to subscribers, and that the effect of the

Washington Territories, the cost of transporting pamphlets in 1854 seenis to have fallen off nearly | clause in question would be to reduce the postage the mails will be greatly increased in the present one per cent.

on the great bulk of printed matter to rates so year by putting new post routes in operation, by But the general account of " stamps sold” is exceedingly low, Congress never would have the enhanced prices demanded in the very large necessarily so kept as to embrace not only the given its sanction to the measure. If my recom- section let to contract from the 1st July last, and letter postage stamps and stamped envelopes, but mendation be adopted, the quarterly postage, for by important improvements in the grades of seralso the one cent blue stamps, which are generally | instance, on a weekly newspaper or periodical not vice generally. used to prepay transient newspapers, printed cir- | exceeding one and a half ounce, circulated in the Whilst I shall take care that the expenditures culars, and dropped letters, and occasionally upon State where published, (and in the same propor- of the Department are not unnecessarily increased, domestic and foreign correspondence.

tion for more frequent publications,) will be six and that it shall draw from the General Treasury Therefore, to arrive at a proper estimate of the and a half cents; and when not over three ounces only as much as its absolute wants require, which, revenue from printed matter, it is necessary to li in weight, sent to any part of the United States, ll I fear, it must necessarily do for some years under


33d Cong....20 Sess.

Report of the Postmaster General.


ments ..........

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the present rates of postage, it would be neither while it would facilitate and expedite the opera- In Great Britain the“ registration fee' on inland wise nor expedient to deprive or keep from our tions of the post offices in mailing and delivering and most foreign letters is sixpence sterling (about people the mail facilities which they require. The letters, and inspire confidence in the Department twelve cents) in addition to the ordinary rates of principle adopted in the infancy of our Republic, as a safe means of transmitting letters containing postage, and it is expressly provided that “such ihat the Post Office Department should sustain remittances.

registration shall not render ihe Postmaster Genitself from its own revenues, was, in my opinion, Very soon after I entered upon my duties in eral or the post office revenue in any manner liable most wise and salutary. A postage was then laid this Department, its large and increasing corre- for the loss of any such post letters or the con. sufficient to meet the wants of the service, and spondence in regard to the loss of valuable letters tents thereof." li is believed that authority to under this system each citizen paid the expenses intrusted to the mails attracted my attention. I establish an additional rate of five cents on each of the transportation of his own letters, and others found, on examination of the subject, that al- | letter registered, and to require the postage on all were not taxed for his benefit, as they must be i though Congress, in establishing our postal registered letters to be prepaid, would enable the when sums have to be drawn from the General || system, appears to have had principally in con- || Department to carry into effect the plan here subTreasury, to meet deficiencies in the Post Office templation the providing of suitableand convenient | mitted without prejudice to its revenues. revenues.

means of correspondence, and the diffusion of in- It is not proposed to make the registering of Having thus briefly adverted to some of the telligence, yet, from that time until now, the mails valuable letters compulsory, nor that the Governcauses of increase in the expenditures in the cur- have been used to a large and constantly increas- ment shall become liable for such letters when rent year, I proceed to show what those expendi- ing extent for the transmission of bank-notes, lost, but only to enable each person mailing a tures will probably be, and whal means the De- and other valuable inclosures, and are now the valuable letter to do so in the ordinary manner, partment will have to meet them.

principal means through which the remittances of or to add something to its security by the payIt is estimated that the expenditures for the year the country are made; while neither the laws nor ment of a small registration fee. 1855, exclusive of payments for foreign post- || any regulations of this Department have provided I have no doubt that the registration of valuable ages accruing within the year, will be about any additional guards for their security against letters, as proposed, would be highly appreciated $9,841,921 33, viz:

loss or depredation beyond those originally estab- as a means of security by the large commercial The rate of cost of transportation, including foreign mails,

lished. In view of the enormous sums which are classes of the community, whose collections and on the 30th June, 1854, was...

• $5,517,312 00 constantly passing through the mails, the losses exchanges are made principally through the mails, To the cost of transportation in 1854, add the

by depredation are inconsideral)'e. Still, such and who have from time to time urged in vain increase in the current year, wbich will be occasioned by the enhanced prices of the

losses are numerous, their aggregate amount is upon this Department the adoption of some such new contracts commenced 1st July last, in

large, and they are increasing with the growth of plan for their protection. I believe, too, that such the northwestern, western, and southwestour country, and the extension of its mail service.

a system of registration would relieve this Deern States and Territories, including California and Oregon, by the extension and im

Under these circumstances, I have thought it 'partment from the imputation of numerous losses provement of the service in, and by im

proper to recommend such legislation on this sub. not properly chargeable upon il-cases in which provements in other secuons, about...... 650,000 00 ject as may enable this Department to give greater | valuable letters alleged to have been lost through

security to valuable letters in the mails, without the mails either never reached any post office, or Total for transportation in 1855.... 6,167,312 00 For compensation to postinastere, clerks for

assuming any liability for their ultimate loss. have been stolen after arriving at the places of offices, ship, steamboat, and way-letters,

By our present system, all letters mailed at a their destination. wrapping paper, advertising, office furni

given date at one post office for delivery or distri- The cost of the service for the last fiscal year, ture, mail bags, blanks, maillocks, keys, and

bution at another, are entered in gross, according on the several United States mail steamship lines stamps, mail depredations and special to their several rates of postage, upon one post

and across the Isthmus of Panama, is as follows: agents, postage stamps, and stamped envelopes, letter-carriers, and miscellaneous paybill. If a letter of great value be embraced in the

New York to Liverpool, Collins line, lwenty-six rolind 3,541,126 00 | bill, neither its address nor any other description trips...

$858,000 00 For balances due to foreign countries up to

of it is entered on the post-bill, by which it can New York, via Southampton, 10 Bremen, June 30, 1854, whicb will be paid in 1855,

eleven round trips.. amounting 10...... be distinguished from other letters of the same

183,333 26 133,483 33

New York, via Cowes, 10 Havre, eleven grade or rate of postage. Nor is the address or round trips.

137,500 00 $9,841,921 33 description of any such letter entered on the post- New York' and New Orleans to Aspin wall, master's arcount of mails sent, nor indeed upon

twenty-four round trips, including same The means for the year 1855 will probably any other record kept the office from which it

number of trips betwcen New York and
New Orleans, via llavana...

289,000 00 amount to $9,989,944 90.

is sent. The only account kept by the postmaster Astoria, via San Francisco, to Panoma, The balance stated by the Auditor as at the credit of the is a money account, made up each day, of the sev- twenty four round trips..

348,250 00 revenue account on the 30th June last was..$740,078 63 eral aggregates of postages of the different rates,

Charlesion, via Savannah and Key West, 10 From the above balance the following deduc

llavana, tiventy four round trips..... either collected or charged as unpaid. It will be

50,000 05 tions should be made, viz:

New Orleans to Vera Cruz, twenty-four round Doubtful and unavailable balances due by late seen that, under such a system of accounts, a trips, omitting Tampico..

37,20 00 postmasters, originating prior to June 30, missing letter can never be traced with certainty, Aspinwall to Panama...

119,727 03 9:49,438 31

for the account neither furnishes evidence that a California accounts estimated ai... 50,000 09

$2,023,010 29 Balances due from foreign postage

particular letter ever reached the place of its desaccounts prior to June 30, 1854.. 133,483 33

tination, nor even that it left the office of mailing. By the act of Congress approved the 31 of 332,921 67 | Believing that this imperfection in our system can March, 1947, the President was authorized to

only be remedied by the adoption of a general and contract for the construction and equipment of Available for 1855....

417,156 96 The gross revenucor the year, exclusive of bal

uniform plan of registration for all valuable let- four first-class sea-going steamships, to be attached ances resulting from the foreign postage ac

ters, I have, after consulting the experience of to the Navy of the United States. It was by counts, is estimated at...

.6,728,324 00 other countries on the subject, devised a plan of the second section made the duty of the Secretary The appropriations for free matter, less $200,000

registration which I think suited to our circumdrawn in 1834...... 500,000 00

of the Navy to accept on the part of the GovernThe appropriation to supply deficiencies is the

stances, and likely to add greatly to the security ment of the United States the proposals of E. K. year 1855, inade by the act of August 5, 1854.2,344,464 00 It provides that receipts shall be given for valu. ll of the United States mail between New York of against

Collins and his associates for the transportation 9,989,944 96 Estimated expenditures of 1855.

able letters when posted, and that duplicates of and Liverpool. The steamships to be employed .9,841,921 33

these receipts shall be kept for reference at the were to be so constructed as to render them conEstimated surplus June 30, 1855...... $148.023 63 offico of mailing; that the full address of such vertible at the least possible cost into war steam

letter shall be entered on a separate post-bill, ships of the first class. By the fourth section of During the three years which commenced on the which shall be copied at large upon an account to the same act it was likewise made the duty of the 1st July, 1851, and ended on the 30th June, 1854, be kept of registered letters sent. This post-bill Secretary of the Navy to contract with A. G. the Department issued 166,126,417 postagestamps, is to be forwarded in a sealed envelope, separate Sioo for the transportation of the mail from New and 25,076,656 stamped envelopes, amounting from the package of letters to which it relates, and York to New Orleans twice a month and back, in the aggregate to $5 507,022 03, of which its receipt at the office of its destination is to be touching at Charleston, if practicable, Savannah, $5,092,301 73 were sold, being about 924 per cent. acknowledged by a duplicate thereof returned to and Havana, and from Havana to Chagres, and of the whole amount issued.

the office of mailing-marked correct, or otherwise, 1 back twice a month. The fifth section authorized Having ascertained that the mode of examining as it may be found on comparison. It provides him to enter into a contract to carry the mail from and checking the quarterly returns of postmasters that at the large offices valuable letters shall be Panama to Oregon once a month. The sixth was radically defective, I took occasion to invite received at one window only, and that the receiv- section made it the duty of the Secretary of the attention to the subject in my report of last year, ing clerk shall check them to the register clerk, Navy to provide in the contracts authorized and I again advert to it because subsequent inves- and he in the mailing clerk. It is, in short, de- by the act that the Navy Department shall at tigation and experience have convinced me that a signed to fix responsibility and to furnish means all times exercise control over said steamships, thorough check of the accounts under the present which do not now exist for tracing a missing and at any time have the right to take them system is wholly impracticable. Such a check is letter from the point of its reception to that of its for the exclusive use and service of the United indispensable to the safety of the revenue, and can disappearance.' To carry this plan into effect, it States, due provision being made in the contracts in no way be effected so certainly, at so little cost, will be required that new and expensive blanks be for the mode of ascertaining the proper compenand with so much advantage to the service, as by prepared and distributed, and that an increased sation to the contractors therefor. adopting prepayment of postage in all cases not clerical force be employed in the principal post On the 1st of March, 1847, the Secretary of the coming within our poslal arrangements with for- offices. I have not, therefore, felt at liberty to adopt Navy entered into a contract with E. K. Collins and eign countries.

it without the sanction of Congress, and authority his associates. The contract contains all the stipuThis plan, connected with a well-digested sys- to establish such additional rate of postage on this lations required by the act of Congress; the service tem for the registration of letters, to which I shall class of letters as may be deemed adequate to the lo be performed was twice each month for eight presently allude, would quicken correspondence, il expense of registration.

months of the year, and once a month during the


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other four months. The sum to be paid was of pay which ought to be demanded. The pres- conveying the mails between the United Kingdom three hundred and eighty-five thousand dollars, or ent semi-monthly service, including the sum of and the United States." nineteen thousand two hundred and fifty dollars a $119,727 03 paid for the Isthmus transportation, By this article a similar privilege is secured to trip, and the contract was to continue in force for will cost this year the sum of $757,977 03. By Great Britain in respect to letters to and from the ten years from the date of the commencement of the act of July 21, 1852, the number of trips on United Kingdom to be forwarded through the Unithe service. A. G. Sloo was contracted with by the Collins line was increased to twenty-six, and ted States. But letters and newspapers passing the Secretary of the Navy on the 20th of April, the price raised from $19,250 to $33,000 a trip, through the United Kingdom to and from 1847, to perform the service mentioned in the making the yearly cosi of this service $858,000. France" are expressly excepted from the stipulafourth section. The service was to be twice a The section thus increasing the compensation con

tions of said article. The two contracting parmonth; the sum to be paid two hundred and ninety tains a proviso reserving the power to Congress to ties, however, agreed “ to invite France to enter thousand dollars, and the contract to continue terminate this additional allowance at any time into communication with them, without loss of in force for ten years from the commencement after the 31st December, 1854, upon giving six

time, in order to effect such arrangement for the of the service. This contract likewise contains all months' notice.

conveyance of letters and newspapers, and closed the stipulations required by the act of Congress, While I shall always take great pleasure in mails ihrough the territories of the United Kingand was assigned by A. G. Sloo to George Law, || testifying to the faithfulness with which those dom, of the United States, and of France, reMarshal 0. Roberts, and B. R. Mcllvain, on the contractors have performed the service, and in spectively, as may be most conducive to the inter3d of September, 1847. The contract to trans- saying that the ships built under the contract re- ests of the three countries." The clause above port the mail from Panama to Oregon was entered fiect great credit upon American skill and enter- referred to, excluding the correspondence between into with Arnold Harris on the 16th of November, i prise, I cannot resist coming to the conclusion the United States and France from the adran1847. 'The service was to be once a month; the ihat the sums now paid are too high, and that the tages of the convention, was strongly objected price to be paid was one hundred and ninety-nine notice should be given. Considering the size and to by Mr. Bancroft, who negotiated the Treaty Thousand dollars, and the contract was to continue cost of these steamships, and the speed with which on our part, and he was induced finally to confor ten years from the 1st of October, 1848. All the mail is carried, the sums fixed in the contract sent to it only on being assured by the British the stipulations required by the act of Congress may have been too low; but however that may be, Government that “the treaty stipulations between are contained in this contract also, which was as. the present rates are much too high, and such as England and France rendered its insertion necessigned on the 19th of November, 1847, to William ought not to be paid. For the mail service be- sary, as without it the latter Power would have H. Aspinwall. On the 13th of March, 1851, the tween Liverpool and the United States, the Eng. jusi cause of complaint against the former.” This Secretary of the Navy and Postmaster General, in lish Government pay the Cunard line the sum of representation, however, appears to have been inpursuance of a law passed on the 3d of March, one hundred and seventy-three thousand three correct, as Mr. Lawrence, the successor of Mr. 1851, entered into an additional contract wich the hundred and forty pounds, which, computing the Bancroft, was subsequently assured that “ France Pacific Mail Steamship Company, acting, by pound sterling at five dollars, will make the sum was then ready to negotiate a once, waiving the William H. Aspinwall, by which the service from of eight hundred and sixty-six thousand seven privileges of the convention which England sel up Panama to California and Oregon was increased hundred dollars. For this sum they have weekly

in her behalf.” This Government, deeming the to twice a month, at an increased price of one service, the seven steamships which constitute the treaty unequal in its bearing upon the interests of hundred and forty-nine thousand two hundred and line running alternately between Liverpool and the two countries, particularly on account of the fifty dollars, making the whole cost of the service New York and Liverpool and Boston, and re- exceptional clause referred to, and being desirous three hundred and forty-eight thousand two hun-ceiving sixteen thousand six hundred and eighty- of consummating, without loss of time, the triple dred and fifty dollars.

six dollars a trip. It is true there is a difference arrangement contemplated by the twelfth article, The object of Congress in the passage of this in the tonnage of the Collins and Cunard lines, commenced negotiations for that purpose immediact seems to have been to build up a naval steam and that the American steamers make their voy- ately after the treaty was executed; which negomarine, which might temporarily be employed for ages in a shorter time; but the difference in the ciations have been continued to the present timecommercial purposes. In order to enable private | tonnage and speed of the two lines does not, in nearly six years—without any beneficial result. individuals to build and equip those steamships in my judgment, afford any valid reason why there | The British Government has steadily declined to the mode pointed out by Congress, sums of money I should be so marked a disparity in the prices paid unite in effecting such arrangements as would were advanced to them, and, to sustain them until by the two Governments.

"be most conducive to the interests of the three wanted for Government purposes, large sums of The steamships Humboldt and Franklin, of the countries;" which arrangements might have ren. money were paid them for conveying the mails. New York and Havre line, have both been dered the treaty more equal in its operation; and If in the progress of time it is discovered that wrecked during the year. The former was lost the original terms of the convention still remain these steamships are not suited for naval pur- in the month of December, 1853, and the latter in unchanged. The more important parts of the corposes, or that the large sums paid their owners July, 1854, in consequence of which the service respondence which has passed between the two for mail transportation have created a monopoly, on that line has been irregular. Temporary | Governments on this subject is contained in Execchecking the energy and enterprise of others of arrangements have been made to supply the places utive Document No. 32, published by order of the our citizens, Congress, in my opinion, is called of the lost steamers until suitable steamships can Senate at the second session of the Thirty-Second upon to terminate their contracts, if it can do so be built to replace them on the line, and such ves. Congress. On the part of this Government, it is consistently with plighted faith. By the terms of sels are now in course of construction. Both on claimed that the British transit charge for the the act, and of the contracts entered into between this and on the Bremen line one of the monthly United States and French correspondence, if sent the Navy Department and these companies in trips have been omiited. These irregularities in closed mails through the United Kingdom, shall pursuance of the act, it will be seen that Congress i materially detract from the efficiency of our mail not exceed twelve and a half cents an ounce, that reserved to itself the right to purchase the steam- service across the Atlantic.

being the price paid by Great Britain for the transit ships, and thus terminate the connection between In September last, the United States Mail || of British closed mails through the United States the companies and the Government. When they Sleamship Company having withdrawn their to and from the British North American provinces. have been paid for their vessels the sums fixed by direct steamers between New Orleans and Aspin- || The lowest offer of the British Government is that the appraisers mutually chosen, everything has wall, the mails between New Orleans and the contained in Lord Palmerston's note of the 9th been done which the faith of the nation requires. Pacific have since been conveyed, according to the May, 1851, in reply to Mr. Lawrence's communi. It is, of course, of great importance to the com

original contract, by the way of Havana. On the cation of 18th October preceding, of one shilling, mercial and other interests of ihe country that the Pacific line the company are permitted to omit (lwenty-four cents) an ounce—sum nearly or mails should continue to be corried, but if these Monterey and San Diego by their ocean steam- quite double that received by the United States contracts are to be considered with reference to the ers, and thus expedite the through mails, on con- for similar service. Under a partial arrangement transportation of the mails, the prices paid are too dition of their supplying those offices, together concluded between Great Britain and France in high, and if continued, all competition on the part with Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, May 1851, the mails from France for the United of private individuals unconnecied with the Gov- || (if practicable,) and San Pedro, semi-monthly by States have been forwarded through England as erament must cease. High, however, as are the à coastwise steamer from San Francisco, in due closed mails, France agreeing to pay to Great present prices, if the competition on the New York connection with the through route, without change Britain the price demanded, viz: a transit postage and California line be driven off by the aid of funds of pay.

of one shilling, (twenty-four cents,) and for the derived from the General Government, no one can No progress has been made since my last an- Atlantic sea conveyance one shilling eight pence, foretell the prices that will have to be paid aster nual report in the pending negotiations with Great (forty cenis,) an ounce. Prior to that date, the the expiration of the present contract. If the pres- Britain relative to the admission of France into British office was charging and receiving the ser ent contractors do not wish the Government to

the arrangement as contemplated by the provision postage on all correspondence between the United purchase their steamships, and thus to end the con- in the twelfth article of our postal convention. This States and France, via England, conveyed across tracts, it will be for them to agree to a reduction | article provides that the rate of postage to be the Atlantic by United States steamers, the same of the present prices. Government will then pay taken by the British post office upon letters arriv- as when conveyed by their own packets; the result a fair remuneration for all the service which it ing in the United Kingdom from the United States, of which was that double sea postage having to receives, and the carrying and passenger trade be- either by British or United States packets, and to be paid on all correspondence forwarded by United tween our Atlantic and Pacific coasts will not bave be forwarded through the United Kingdom to States packets, the great bulk of the United States become a monopoly. In the bids received under colonies or possessions of the United Kingdom, and French mails, via England, was sent by the an advertiseinent issued to obtain information, re- or of the United States, or to foreign countries Cunard line. Since the partial arrangement above quired by the third section of the act of 3) March, and vice versa-shall be the same as the rate which referred to went into operation, no charge has 1853, thé Nicaragua Company proposed to carry is now or which may hereafter be taken by the been made by Great Britain for the sea postage of a semi-monthly mail belween New York and British post office upon letters to or from such

letters conveyed by American packets; yet, under California for a sum not exceeding $300,000, or colonies or possessions, or foreign countries, re- its operation, the single rate of postage between $600 000 for a weekly service, which is now re- spectively, when posted at the port of arrival or

the United States and France, by United States quired; and this, in my opinion, is the highest rate delivered at the port of departure of the packets packets, is six cents higher on each letter of the

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