Timeline of American Colonial and Revolutionary Posts

1638: June 3: Massachusetts Bay Colony required postmasters to mark incoming mail.
1639: post offices established in Boston, Mass.
1657: 1: June 12: New Netherlands director-general and council forbid boarding of incoming vessels until letters delivered. 2: Colonial Court of Virginia decreed official letters must be conveyed free of charge to next plantation by messenger as they arrived.
1693: postmarks authorized by Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1672: governor of New York, Francis Lovelace, established the Merchants Exchange and the inter-colonial post
1673: Massachusetts province act require "messengers be sent posts"
1674: 24 post routes in operation
1677: John Hayward appointed postmaster of Boston
1683: William Penn, granted the right to carry letters, Penn Post
1684: Gov. Thomas Dongan, New York, unsuccessfully tried to establish an inter-colonial post with Sir John Werden, who held the English monopoly for all post offices in America
1685: Edward Randolph appointed postmaster for the Colonies
1688: July 22: prescribed post rates between England and Jamaica
1689: King James II deposed from office and Randolph's postal activities ceased New Jersey had six post offices
1692: Feb. 17: Thomas Neale received postal patent (concession) for the American and West Indies Colonial Post; Neale never saw America; Neale appointed Andrew Hamilton as his deputy
1693: 1: May 1: Hamilton started weekly service between Portsmouth, N.H. and Virginia. 2: Campbell, Duncan and John organized first postal network in America, for mail to and from Boston to New York.
1698: Neale dropped Hamilton; Hamilton had revenue of less than 2,000 dollars, expenses totaling app. 5,000 dollars for period in office
1702-14: packet service between England and Jamaica (The Plantation Islands), by Edward Dummer
1710: 1: stage coach wagon, Amboy-Burlington route. 2: Parliamentary act directed that a post office be established at New York as center of operations. 3: Crown repurchased Neale grant with payment of 1,664 pounds; appointed John Hamilton, son of Andrew Hamilton, as Deputy Postmaster General with a salary of 200 pounds per year. 4: established rates. 4: post started between New York and Virginia with six-week delivery time required
1711: post road completed between Boston and New York
1717: John Dickenson wrote that trip between Boston and Williamsburgh, Virginia completed in four weeks, except in winter when it took eight weeks
1718: 1: Virginia House of Burgesses declared that the Crown had no authority to impose a tax upon them without their consent; House exempted all merchants' letters from payment of post fees. 2: Bradford post, via New Castle, was removed from office due to poor accounts and was first postmaster who "went wrong."
1721: Hamilton replaced by John Lloyd of South Carolina
1729: map of American Colonies showed the Post Road from Portsmouth through Boston, New York and ending in Philadelphia
1730: 1: Postmaster Richard Nichols of New York advertised for a postman "whoever inclines to perform the foot-post to Albany this winter." 2: Alexander Spottswood became Postmaster for the Colonies, headquartering at Philadelphia, named Benjamin Franklin as Postmaster of Philadelphia
1737: 1: Franklin named supervisor of the posts, his son William, was a post rider at Philadelphia. 2: opened the mails to all newspapers
1740: post road completed between Jersey City and Philadelphia
1744: mail stage route in New England
1747: Dr. Douglas wrote that post was not dispatched until a sufficient number of letters were deposited to pay the charges.
1750: New Brunswick to New York time shortened to five days
1753: Franklin appointed Deputy for the Crown and with, William Hunter, Postmaster Generals for the Colonies. Franklin: established business-like practices putting the post office in good financial condition; established post service from Maine to Georgia with cross roads at necessary points; visited every post office in the colonies; pioneer in day and night posts; arranged for weekly post between New York and Philadelphia; served as Deputy Postmaster General until 1774
1755: Nov. 15: British Post Office started regular mail packet from Falmouth to New York
1756: 1: Penn Post switched to stage coaches from horses. 2: town names used in postmarks, New York in two lines found on cover
1757-62: Franklin in England as lobbyist for the colonies
1760-70: Bishop Mark, sent to New York and Quebec post offices from London, without the dividing line in center, to mark date mail received at post office.
1761: 1: Franklin-Hunter post offices sent London Post office 499 pounds as net profit for year, first in history
2: Hunter died and Thomas Foxcroft appointed to replace him
1763: 1: Franklin returned to America for one year, made tour of inspection. 2: appointed Hugh Finlay postmaster of the English province of Canada
1764: 1: Franklin returned to England. 2: two sailing packets operating from the Colonies to Great Britain
1765: 1: Oct. 10: Parliament created rates for inland conveyance within British dominions in America
2: "Sons of Liberty" stated that ships' captains must deliver mail to coffee houses instead of the post offices
1766: John Barnhill route, Philadelphia to New York took three days
1769: profit sent to London was 1,859 pounds
1771: town names used in postmarks, Philadelphia found on cover
1772: 1: Bishop Mark, sent to Boston post office from London, without the dividing line in center, to mark date mail received at post office. 2: town names used in postmarks, Boston found on cover. 3: Dec.: Finlay appointed Surveyor of the Post Offices and Post Roads on the Continent of North America
1773: Paul Revere employed by the Selectmen of town of Boston to carry the account of the destruction of the tea to New York and in 1774 to carry their despatches to New York and Philadelphia calling for a Congress
1774: 1: profit sent to London was 3,000 pounds. 2: Jan. 3: Franklin dismissed from his major office of Colonial Post. 3: Feb. 25: Finlay replaced Franklin as Deputy Postmaster General in North America, John Foxcroft named Resident Deputy Postmaster General, start of Constitutional Post. 4: May 14: Paul Revere sent by the Committee of Correspondence of Massachusetts with important dispatches to the Southern Colonies, Revere was not a postal employee, known then as post riders. 5: June 16: news item in Boson paper from London stated that "as soon as General Gage arrives he will stop the career of this new Post, Riders and their employees." 6: July 2: public notice appeared in The Maryland Journal by William Goddard, advertising for an American Post office on constitutional principles
1775: 1: Elias Nixon appointed postmaster for province of New York. 2: May 8: John Holt began independent service of the Constitutional Post in Hartford, could not function in Boston since British were in control of the city. 3: May 29: Continental Congress made first effort to establish posts through the continent. 4: June: Rhode Island Assembly resolved to establish post offices and appoint post riders. 5: July 26: Postmaster General to be appointed for the United Colonies with office in Philadelphia, line of posts be established from Falmouth in New England to Savannah, Georgia, rates of postage shall be 20 percent less that those appointed by Parliament; Ebenezier Hazard appointed Postmaster of New York by the Continental Congress, and Franklin unanimously chosen as Postmaster General. 6: Dec. 5: Provincial Congress of Maryland resolved not to permit the Parliamentary (British) Post to pass through their province, and an independent post was opened same day. 7: New Jersey helped the Revolutionary Post Office by resolving that a man and horse be kept ready in various towns to forward all expresses to and from the Continental Congress. 8: thirty Constitutional post offices existed
1776: 1: Goddard appointed surveyor in the Post office Department of the Constitutional Post, New York taken by British and post office moved to Dobbs Ferry, then Fish Kill. 2: Postmasters and post riders exempted from military duty during the revolutionary period. 3: Aug. 30: Congress decreed that post riders shall be employed for every 25 or 30 miles. 4: Franklin appointed envoy to France, and his son-in-law Richard Bache named Postmaster General
1778: July 9: Articles of Confederation established a federal post office, limited to inter-state mail
1781, March 1: United States of America created
1782: 1: Hazard succeeded Bache as Postmaster General; all the surplus income of the post office was to be used for new post offices and the support of packets. 2: handstamp Paid and Free on official mail came into use
1784, Feb.: State of Vermont passed an act establishing post offices in that state, post riders were given exclusive rights to carry mail free mailing rights were given to the Governor and other such persons as authorized by the legislature.
1785, June: first stage line established in New York between New York City and Albany
1789: 1: Congress passed a resolution that all rates of postage be doubled. 2: April 3: George Washington inaugurated President of the United States. 3: Sept 26: Washington replaced Bache with Samuel Osgood as PMG, there were 75 established post offices, PMG moved to Philadelphia with three penny post carriers, New York had only one carrier
1790: the 75 post offices carried 265,545 letters, revenue $7,526 with expenses at $7,578.
1793, Dec. 2: Congress passed an act designating the President and other named officials to send and receive their letters free of charge, "free letters" with post officials receiving two cents for each free letter, ended in 1847 when the government appropriated money to the Post Office Department for the "free" postal services.
1794: City delivery authorized carriers received two cents on each letter delivered, in lieu of salary, but many residents received their mail at post offices
1799: President George Washington given the "free" frank privilege for life
1800: Martha Washington given the "free" frank privilege for life
1802: the government operated its own line of stages between New York and Philadelphia
1829: PMG admitted to cabinet, PMG submitted his reports to the Treasury department during Constitutional Period
1830, Jan. 1: Detroit received its first government post office