Statues at Large on Mail
regarding mail and postage rates
through the general mails and or through the United States mail.
Statues at Large 1789-1875 Volumes 1-18 Selections below
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THIRTY-SIXTH CONGRESS. Sess. I. CH. 10, 11, 13, 27. 1860. 11
CHAP. XI.-An Act authorizing Publishers to print on their Papers the Date when
Subscriptions expire, and in Relation to the Postage on drop Letters.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Unite States of .America in Congress assembled, That the second clause of section third of the act of thirtieth August, eighteen hundred and fifty-two, establishing the rates of postage on printed matter, is hereby so modified as to read as follows, namely
Second : There shall be no word or communication printed on the same after its publication, or upon the cover or wrapper thereof, nor any writing nor mark upon it, nor upon the cover or wrapper thereof, except the name, the date when the subscription expires, and the address of the person to whom it is to be sent.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That on all drop letters delivered within the limits of any city or town by carriers, under the authority of the Post Office Department, one cent each shall be charged for the receipt and delivery of said letters, and no more.
APPROVED, April 3, 1860.
Date of expiration of subscriptions may be printed on papers.
Post, pp. 705, 707.
Postage on drop letters delivered by carriers.
Post. p. 705.
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THIRTY-SIXTH CONGRESS. Sess. II CH. 57. 1861. 169
Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That maps, engravings, lithographs, or photographic prints, on rollers or in paper covers ; books, bound or unbound, phonographic paper, and letter envelopes, shall be deemed mailable matter, and charged with postage by the weight of the package, not in any ease to exceed four pounds, at the rate of one cent an ounce, or fraction of an ounce, to any place in the United States under fifteen hundred miles, and at the rate of two cents an ounce, or fraction of an ounce, over fifteen hundred miles, to be prepaid by postage stamps.
Sac. 13. And be it further enacted, That cards, blank or printed, blanks in packages weighing at least eight ounces, and seeds or cuttings, in packages not exceeding eight ounces in weight, shall also be deemed mailable matter, and charged with postage at the rate of one cent an ounce, or fraction of an ounce, to any place in the United States under fifteen hundred miles, and at the rate of two cents an ounce or fraction of an ounce, over fifteen hundred miles, to be prepaid by postage stamps.
Sac. 14. And be it further enacted, That the act of third of March, eighteen hundred and fifty-five , entitled "An act further to amend the act entitled `An act to reduce and modify the rates of postage in the United States, and for other purposes,"' passed March third, eighteen hundred and fifty-one , be and the same is hereby so modified as to require the ten cent rate of postage to be prepaid on letters conveyed in the mail from any point in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, to any State or Territory on the Pacific, and from any State or Territory on the Pacific to any point in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. And all drop letters shall be prepaid by postage stamps.
VOL. XII. Pub. 22
Maps, engravings, &c., mailable matter. Postage thereon.
Post,. p. 704. Cards, &c.,
mailable matter, Postage. Post, p. 704.
Postage between east of Rocky Mountains and Pacific.
1855, cb. 173. Vol. x. p. 641.
On drop-letters to be prepaid by stamps.
Overland mail to California.
Proposals to be advertised.
Ch. 73, 4 9, p. 205.
Contract to lowest responsible bidder.
Maximum of bid.
Denver City, &c.
Time of letter &c. mail.
Pamphlet, &c. mail.
Weight of newspaper mail limit
Mail-route 8076 in Texas.
The Butterfield route
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THIRTY-SEVENTH CONGRESS. Sess. III. CH. 71. 1863. 705
vided into three classes, namely: first, letters; second, regular printed matter ; third, miscellaneous matter.
SEC. 20. And be it further enacted, That the first class embraces all correspondence, wholly or partly in writing, except that mentioned in the third class. The second class embraces all mailable matter exclusively in print, and regularly issued at stated periods, without addition by writing, mark, or sign. The third class embraces all other matter which is or may hereafter he by law declared mailable; embracing all pamphlets, occasional publications, books, book manuscripts, and proof sheets, whether corrected or not, maps, prints, engravings, blanks, flexible patterns, samples and sample cards, phonographic paper, letter envelopes, postal envelopes, or wrappers, cards, paper, plain or ornamental, photographic representations of different types, seeds, cuttings, bulbs, roots, and scions.
SEC. 21. And be it further enacted, That the maximum standard weight for the single rate of letter postage is one half ounce avoirdupois.
SEC. 22. And be it further enacted, That the rate of postage on all domestic letters transmitted in the mails of the United States, and not exceeding one half ounce in weight, shall be uniform at three cents; and for each half ounce, or fraction thereof of additional weight, there shall be charged an additional rate of three cents, to be in all cases prepaid by postage stamps plainly affixed to such letter.
SEC. 23. And be it further enacted, That the rate of postage on all letters not transmitted through the mails of the United States, but delivered through the post-office or its carriers, commonly described as local or drop letters, and not exceeding one half ounce in weight, shall be uniform at two cents, and an additional rate for each half ounce or fraction thereof of additional weight, to be in all cases prepaid by postage stamps affixed to the envelope of such letter, but no extra postage or carrier's fee shall hereafter be charged or collected upon letters delivered by carriers, nor upon letters collected by them for mailing or for delivery.
Sec. 24. And be it further enacted, That the domestic letter rate of postage is established for all mailable matter which is wholly or partly in writing, or is so marked as to convey any other or further intelligence or information than is conveyed by the original print in case of printed matter, or which is sent in violation of law or regulations of the department touching the enclosure of matter which may be sent at less than letter rates, and for all matter introduced into. the mails for which no different rate is provided by law : Provided, That book manuscripts and corrected proofs passing between authors and publishers may pass at the rate of printed matter : And provided further, That publishers of newspapers and periodicals may print or write upon their publications sent to regular subscribers the address of subscribers and the date when the subscription expires, and may enclose therewith receipts for payment and bills for subscription thereto.
SEC. 25. And be it further enacted, That on all matter not enumerated as mailable matter, and to which no specific rates of postage are assigned, and which shall nevertheless be mailed, the rate, if the same shall be forwarded, is established at the rate of letter postage.
VOL. XII. PUB. - 89
First class. Second class. Third class.
Weight and rate of single letter postage.
Prepayment. Drop letters. No carrier's fee.
Address of subscribers may be written or printed.
Matter not enumerated to be treated as letter postage.
Matter not prepaid to be charged double on delivery.
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706 THIRTY-SEVENTH CONGRESS. Sess. III. CH. 71. 1863.
Letters, when may be returned to writers.
Postage on dead letters.
Forwarding of letters.
Ship, &c., letters.
Registration of valuable letters.
Department not made liable.
Maximum of single rate of printed matter.
Postage on transient matter.
To be prepaid by stamps.
except certified soldiers and naval letters, the same shall be charged with double rates of postage, to be collected on delivery.
SEC. 28. And be it further enacted, That when any writer of a letter on which the postage is prepaid shall indorse in writing or in print upon the outside thereof his name and address, with a request that the same be returned to him if not called for or delivered within any number of days, (not to exceed thirty days,) any such letter shall not be advertised nor treated as a dead letter at the office addressed, but shall be returned as requested, charged with the proper postage at the prepaid rate, to be collected on the return delivery; and if not then delivered, shall be treated as a dead letter.
SEC. 29. And be it further enacted, That the postage on returned dead letters, not registered as valuable, shall be three cents for the single rate ; on returned dead letters, registered as valuable, double rates shall be charged.
SEC. 30. And be it further enacted, That all letters directed to any person not found at the office addressed may be forwarded to any other office where he may be found, with additional charge of postage therefor.
SEC. 31. And be it further enacted, That the Postmaster-General shall have authority to pay, or cause to be paid, a sum not exceeding two cents each for all letters conveyed in any vessel or steamboat, not employed in carrying the mail, from one port or place to any other port or place in the United States, or from any foreign port to any port within the United States, subject to such regulations as the Postmaster-General may prescribe, but all such letters shall be deposited in the post-office at the port of arrival, for mailing or delivery ; and if for delivery within the United States shall be rated with double rates of postage, which shall cover the fee paid to the vessel ; no fees shall be allowed for letters collected by a carrier on a mail route.
SEC. 32. And be it further enacted, That, for the greater security of valuable letters posted for transmission in the mails of the United States, the Postmaster-General is authorized to establish a uniform plan for the registration of such letters on application of parties posting the same, and to require the payment of the postage, as well as a registration fee not exceeding twenty cents, on every such letter or packet, to be accounted for by postmasters receiving the same in such manner as the Postmaster-General shall direct: Provided, however, That such registration shall not be compulsory, and it shall not render the Post-Office Department or its revenue liable for the loss of such letters or packets, or the contents thereof; and provision shall be made by regulation for a return receipt to the writer, showing to whom and when such registered letter was delivered, which receipt shall be received in the courts as prima facie evidence of such delivery.
SEC. 33. And be it further enacted, That the maximum standard weight for the single rate of postage on matter classed as printed matter, and also on that classed as miscellaneous matter, is four ounces avoirdupois, subject to the exception in the next following section provided.
Sec. 34. And be it further enacted, That the rate of postage on transient mailable matter of the second class, and also on all miscellaneous mailable matter of the third class, (except circulars and books,) shall be two cents for each four ounces or fraction thereof contained in any one package to one address ; and such postage shall in all cases be fully prepaid by stamps, plainly affixed to the wrapper thereof. Double these rates shall be charged for books. Unsealed circulars not exceeding three in number shall pass at the single rate of two cents, and in that proportion for a greater number, adding one rate for three circulars, or less number thereof, directed to one address. No extra postage shall be charged for a card printed or impressed upon an envelope or wrapper. These rates must in all cases be prepaid by stamps.
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THIRTY-SEVENTH CONGRESS. Sess. III. Ch. 71. 1863. 707
SEC. 35. And be it further enacted, That the rate of postage upon mailable matter of the second class, issued once a week or more frequently from a known office of publication, and sent to regular subscribers, shall be as follows : Upon newspapers and other periodical publications, each not exceeding the standard weight of four ounces, and passing through the mails or post-offices of the United States between any points therein, the rate for each quarter of the year shall be : for publications issued once a week, five cents ; issued twice a week, ten cents ; issued three times a week, fifteen cents ; issued six times a week, thirty cents ; issued seven times a week, thirty-five cents ; and in that proportion, adding one rate for each issue more frequent than once a week. For weight exceeding four ounces, and not exceeding eight ounces, an additional rate shall be charged; and on the same scale, an additional rate for each additional weight of four ounces or fraction thereof ; and such postage must be prepaid for a term not less than one quarter nor more than one year, at either the office of mailing or of delivery, at the option of the subscriber, of which payments a record shall be made and preserved in the post-office where paid ; and no such publication shall be delivered from the office until such payment is made ; but the publishers of weekly newspapers may send to each actual subscriber within the county where their papers are printed and published one copy thereof free of postage.
Sec. 36. And be it further enacted, That the rate of postage upon mailable matter of the second class, issued less frequently than once a week, from a known office of publication, and sent to regular subscribers, shall be as follows : Upon newspapers, magazines, and other periodical publications, each not exceeding the standard weight of four ounces, and passing through the mails or post-offices of the United States between any points therein, the rate for each such paper or periodical shall be one cent, and an additional rate of one cent for each additional weight of four ounces or fraction thereof: Provided, That the Postmaster-General may provide by regulation for the transportation of small newspapers in packages at the same rate by the standard weight of the package when sent to one address; and the rates herein provided must be prepaid at either the office of mailing or of delivery, at the option of the subscriber, for a term not less than one quarter nor more than one year, except that news-dealers may pay the postage upon their packages as received at the same rates pro rata as yearly or semi-annual subscribers who pay postage quarterly in advance.
SEC. 37. And be it further enacted, That publishers may enclose in their publications sent to regular subscribers the bills for subscription thereto without any additional charge for postage, and may write or print upon their publications, or upon the wrappers thereof, the name and address of the subscribers thereto, and the date when the subscription will expire; but any other enclosure or addition in writing or in print shall subject the same to letter postage, which shall be collected before delivery thereof.
Sec. 38. And be it further enacted, That the Postmaster-General may from time to time provide by order the rates and terms upon which route agents may receive and deliver at the mail car or steamer packages of newspapers and periodicals delivered to them for that purpose by the publishers, or any news-agent in charge thereof, and not received from, nor designed for delivery at any post-office.
Sec. 39. And be it further enacted, That the Postmaster-General has authority to prescribe by regulation the manner of wrapping and securing for the mails all matter not charged with letter postage nor lawfully franked, so that the same may be conveniently examined by postmasters ; and if not so wrapped and secured, the same shall be subject to letter postage. He may also provide by regulation for ascertaining by furnished lists, by affidavit or otherwise, whether publishers send or have sent their
Postage on matter of second class.
Over four ounces in weight.
Newspapers within the county to be free.
Postage on periodicals issued less than once a week.
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708 THIRTY-SEVENTH CONGRESS. Sess III CH. 71 1863
Postmasters may remove wrappers, &c.
Publishers may be required to make affidavit,
Penalty for sending to other: than subscribers
One half to informer.
Envelopes, how marked.
Penalty for false marking.
Limit in weight.
publications unpaid through the mails to other than their regular subscribers.
SEC. 40. And be it further enacted, That postmasters, at the office of delivery, are authorized, and it shall be their duty, to remove the wrappers and envelopes from printed and other matter not charged with letter postage, nor lawfully franked, for the purpose of ascertaining whether there is upon, or connected with, any such printed matter or in such package any matter or thing which would authorize or require the charge of a higher rate of postage thereon.
SEC. 41. And be it further enacted, That the Postmaster-General may require an affidavit in form, to be prescribed by general regulation, to be taken by any publisher, or any clerk, agent, or servant of such publisher of any paper or periodical, which, by the terms of this act, may be sent to regular subscribers without prepayment of postage at the mailing office, to the effect that neither he nor any other proprietor, clerk, agent, or employe, within his knowledge, has sent, or caused or permitted to be sent, through the mails, without prepayment by postage stamps, any copies of such paper or periodical, (naming it,) except the same were sent to bona fide and regular subscribers thereto. And if it be ascertained that such papers or periodicals have been thus unlawfully sent, with the knowledge or consent of such proprietors, or of the agent or clerk in charge of that business, or if such affidavit, when required by the Postmaster-General, or by a special agent of the Post-Office Department, shall be refused, the person guilty of such offence, or refusing such oath, shall be liable to a fine of fifty dollars in each case, to be recovered by suit before any court of competent jurisdiction, one half of which when recovered shall be paid to the informer.
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THIRTY-SEVENTH CONGRESS. Sess. III. CH. 71, 72, 73. 1863. 709
shall be considered as public documents, and entitled to be franked as such ; and except also seeds, cuttings, roots, and scions, the weight of the packages of which may be fixed by regulation of the Postmaster-General.
Sec. 43. And be it further enacted, That all publishers of periodicals, magazines, and newspapers which shall not exceed sixteen ounces in weight shall be allowed to interchange their publications reciprocally free of postage : Provided, That such interchange shall be confined to a single copy of each publication.
Sec. 44. And be it further enacted, That this act shall be in force and take effect from and after the thirtieth day of June, eighteen hundred and sixty-three.
Sec. 45. And be it further enacted, That all acts and parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of this act are hereby repealed. APPROVED, March 3, 1863.