I really enjoy Snail Mail! I haven't sent enough of it lately, and I can feel it in my soul. Any excuse to use a stamp... but just as long as I have a pristine sheet of those stamps in my collection. Imagine my glee when I saw the USPS was started this day in history!
In 1775, Benjamin Franklin had been relieved of his position as a co-postmaster General for Britain (too sympathetic to the American Colonies) and back on American soil. He was part of the Second Continental Congress and served on many committees, including one to establish an independent postal system. On July 26, 1775, the Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin the first Postmaster General of the organization now known as the United States Postal Service.
Franklin received an annual salary of $1,000 plus $340 for a secretary and comptroller. He was responsible for all Post Offices -- from Massachusetts to Georgia -- and had authority to hire as many postmasters as he saw fit.
In the summer of 1776, Franklin worked with the committee that created the Declaration of Independence. In the fall, he left for Paris to secure French support for the war with England. Franklin entrusted the General Post Office to his son-in-law, Richard Bache, who was comptroller and his second in command. Benjamin Franklin's tenure as Postmaster General officially ended when Bache was appointed Postmaster General on November 7, 1776.