The Postal Act of March 3, 1851 reduced the basic postage rate in the United State to 3c prepaid (under 3000 miles destination) and 6c prepaid (over 3000 miles destination) and correspondingly to 5c (under 3000 miles) AND 10c (over 3000 miles) on unpaid letters. This reduction became effective July 1, 1851.
From 1847 to 1851 only 4.4million postage stamps had been produced. In the next 10 Years 1 billion 3c stamps were printed and used. The reduction in rates of 40% accelerated the public's use of the postal system.
This presentation shows how Vermont post
offices responded to the new postal rates. Until 1855 customers did
not need to send their letter prepaid. And since some post offices
did not receive the new 3c stamps at first, prepayent was noted by the
postal clerk on the letter. Other post offices had such little
business they did not have date stamps and needed to add the sending
information by manuscript.
page created January 6, 2021
page updated January 6, 2021