Mail Service in the early West

stagecoachThe first mail service to the west was carried on horseback. It went to New Mexico territory after the Mexican American War. Mail carriers traveled from Independence, Missouri to Santa Fe.

The use of postage stamps began that same year. Previously, the person who received a letter paid the postage. Mail service was not very dependable. Senders did not want to pay for mail that might not be delivered. Paying to send a letter was like an insult. It suggested the receiver could not afford to pay for it.

Changing habits was difficult. The Post Offices began charging the receiver double for letters without stamps. In 1856 senders were required to pay the postage or the letter was not sent. Exceptions were made with the local post office ran out of stamps.

The first United States mail delivery to Denver arrived on August 10, 1860. Prior to that mail came by stage coach. A person receiving mail had to pay the stage company a fee of “two bits” for a letter and a dime for each newspaper delivered.

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Published in: on August 10, 2015 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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