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In consequence of the increased labor in the offices, and the diminished compensation and privileges of postmasters, under the act of 3d March, 1845, nearly one-third of the offices in the United States have been voluntarily vacated since the passage of the act. The extra commissions allowed by the order of 9th July, 1845, arrested these resignations. By the law of March 1st, 1847, higher rates of commission are allowed postmasters. These rates are as follows, viz.:
1. On the amount of letter postage, not exceeding $100 in
any one year,
2. On any sum between $100 and $400 in any year,
3. On any sum between $400 and $2,400 in a year, 4. On any sum over $2,400 in a year,
5. On the amount of letters and packets received for distribution at offices designated by the Postmaster-General for that purpose,
6. On all sums arising from the postage on newspapers, magazines, and pamphlets,
7. Box rents not exceeding $2,000 per annum.
The postmasters at New Orleans and Washington have special allow. ances for extra labor.
The term letter postage includes all postages received, except those which arise from newspapers, sent from the offices of publication to subscribers, and from pamphlets and magazines.
8. Rates of Postage.
For a letter, not exceeding half an ounce in weight (avoirdupois), sent not exceeding 300 miles,
Sent over 300 miles,
For every half ounce, and any excess over every half ounce, the same rates of postage; and when advertised, two cents on each letter; or four cents, if the advertising cost so much, additional. For drop letters (not to be mailed), each
For all letters or packages, conveyed by any vessel not employed
For each additional ounce, or an excess greater than a half ounce, For newspapers of 1,900 square inches or less, sent from the office of publication, not more than 100 miles, or any distance within the same State,
Sent over such distance,
For transient newspapers, or those not sent from the office of publication to subscribers, handbills or circular letters, printed or lithographed, not exceeding one sheet in size (sent any distance), to be paid upon delivery at the office and before they are put in the mails, 3 cts. Letters, newspapers, and packages, not exceeding one ounce in weight, addressed to any officer, musician, or private, in the army of the United States in Mexico, or at any post or place on the frontier of the United States bordering on Mexico, each letter so addressed to specify, after the name of the person, "belonging to the army,"
The law will continue in force during the war with Mexico, and for three months after its termination.
As the postage on these articles is chargeable on each copy, postmasters will carefully examine all packets, and rate the postage accordingly. When the article to be mailed is a circular, pamphlet, or newspaper, it should be so enveloped or folded that it can be distinctly seen at the office to be such, and also that it contain no writing, marks or signs, to serve the purpose of written communications. If not done up so as to open at the end, it is to be charged as a letter, by weight.
No packet can be mailed which weighs more than three pounds. Bound books of any size are not included in the term "mailable matter," except books sent by Governors of States, and those included under the term "Public Documents."
The establishment of private expresses for the conveyance of any letters, packets, or packages of letters, or other matter transmittable in the United States mail (newspapers, pamphlets, magazines, and periodicals excepted), from one city, town, or other place, to any other city, town, or place in the United States, between which the United States mail is regularly transported, is prohibited. Contractors may take newspapers out of the mails for sale or distribution among subscribers.
Letters addressed to different persons cannot be enclosed in the same envelope or package under a penalty of ten dollars, unless addressed to foreign countries.
9. Privilege of Franking.
1. The President, ex-Presidents, and Mrs. Madison, and Mrs. Harrison, retain the franking privilege, as regulated by former laws.
2. Members of Congress and delegates from Territories, from thirty days before the commencement of each Congress, until the meeting of the next Congress, the Vice-President, and the Secretary of the Senate, and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, during their official terms, may send and receive free, letters or packages, not exceeding two ounces in weight, and public documents not exceeding three pounds in weight.
3. The governors of States may send free the laws, records, and documents of the legislature, to the governors of other States.
4. The Secretaries of State, Treasury, War, and Navy; Attorney-General; Postmaster-General and Assistants Postmaster-General; Comptrollers, Auditors, Register, and Solicitor of the Treasury; Treasurer; Commissioners of the different Offices and Bureaus; Chiefs of Bureaus in the War and Navy Departments, General in Chief and Adjutant-General, may send and receive free all letters and packages upon official business, but not their private letters or papers.
5. The chief clerk in the State Department may send free public and official documents.
6. Deputy postmasters may send free all such letters and packages as may relate exclusively to the business of their respective offices; and those whose compensation did not exceed $200 for the year ending the 30th of June, 1846, may also send free, through the mails, letters written by themselves, and receive free all written communications on their own private business, not weighing over one-half ounce, but not transient newspapers, handbills, or circulars.
7. Exchange newspapers between editors pass free.
Public documents are those printed by the order of either House of Congress, and publications or books procured or purchased by Congress, or either House, for the use of the members.
10. Postage by the New York, Southampton, and Bremen line of Steamers.
The following are the rates of postage prescribed by the act of the 3d of March, 1845, for mailable matter sent by this line to Europe:
For all letters and packages not exceeding half an ounce in weight,
For all letters and packages over half an ounce and under one ounce,
For every additional half ounce,
For every letter, newspaper, pamphlet, and price current,
The United States postage will be charged in addition to the above upon all mailable matter sent through the mails of the United States to New York, whence the ship sails for Bremen. All mailable matter addressed to England, Ireland, or Scotland, will be left at the British post-office in Cowes or Southampton; and all for France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Portugal, and Africa, will be sent to Havre, in France; a separate bag will be made up for Hamburg and delivered at BremenHaven. Prepayment of the postage will be required at the office from which sent, upon all mailable matter dirccted to those countries. Upon mailable matter sent to other countries on the eastern continent, prepayment will not be required. It will be mailed for Bremen, where all unpaid postages will be collected for the United States by the Bremen office.
IX. PUBLIC LANDS.
[From the Land Commissioner's Report for 1846.]
The sales of public lands during the year 1845 amounted to 1,843,527.05 acres, producing $2,470,298; and in the first, second, and third quarters of 1846, 1,728 408.71 acres were sold, amounting to $2,222,920. A comparison of these exhibits with those of several of the preceding years shows that the sales have been regularly increasing; not stimulated, it is believed, in any degree by speculation, but keeping pace only with the increase of population, and made mainly for the purposes of actual settlement and cultivation; most of the entries being in small subdivisions, and many under the preemption privilege.
During the present year, the aggregate quantity of public lands in all the States and Territories proclaimed for sale, amounts to 12,535,878 acres.
In Ohio, all the public lands have been brought into market, except a few small islands in the Miami river; and in Illinois, the public lands have all been surveyed and opened to sale, except about 28,000 acres, and some unfinished surveys on the principal rivers.
In the northern peninsula and Lake Superior copper region, 1,719,678 acres are ready for sale.
1. Exhibit of the quantities of Public Land (exclusive of the sixteenth, or school sections) in each State and Territory advertised for sale in the year 1846; the quantities, the plats of survey of which have been returned to the General Land Office; the quantities prepared for market not yet advertised; and the probable quantities which will be prepared in the year 1847.
2. Quantity of Public Land sold, and the Amount paid for it in each year, from 1833 to the third quarter of 1846.
3,856,227.56 4,972,284.84|| 1841 1834 4,658,218.71 6,099,981.04 1842 1835 12,564,478.85 15,999,804.11 1836 20,074,870.92 25,167,833.06 1837 5,601,103.12 7,007,523.04
1838 3,414,907.42 4,305,564.64 1846* 1,728,408.71 2,222,920.77 4,976,382.87 6,464,556.79 Total,† 66,609,055.83 84,605,466.45 2,236,889.74 2,789,637.53
* Embracing only three quarters of the year. Total for 13 years and three quarters. 3. Statement of Public Lands sold, and of Payments into the Treasury, on account thereof, in the
Lands sold, after de-
States and Territories.
of inci- paid into the trea
Notes. and mili
sury during the Year.
4. Statement of Public Lands sold, and of Payments into the Treasury, on account thereof in the first and second quarters of the year 1846.