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2d Session.

P. O. Dept.






The information required by the resolution of the House of Representa

tives of the 16th July last, respecting the number, duties, and compensation of all persons employed in the Post Office Department, &c.

MARCH 31, 1842.
Referred to the Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads.

Post Office DEPARTMENT, March 31, 1842. SIR: The resolution of the House of Representatives adopted July 16, 1841, did not come under my notice until the 22d of November last, when orders were immediately given to procure and imbody the information which would enable me to respond to them at an early day of the present session of Congress, but the incessant accumulation and pressure of business upon the Department have delayed my answer longer than I desired.

The first of these resolutions requires the Postmaster General to report the number of persons employed, directly or indirectly, in the service of the Department, either in or out of Washington city. It also requires him to report the duties required by law, and performed by all such persons; what portion of their time is required in the performance of such duties; what is their compensation, severally; and what reform and retrenchment may be reasonable and practicable in diminishing the number of persons so employed.

This resolution throws the persons in the service of the Post Office Department into two divisions—those employed out of Washington city, and those employed within it.

Those employed out of the city comprehend the following classes : 1. Special agents. 2. Postmasters. 3. Mail contractors. 4. Mail agents on railway cars. To the preceding four classes, who are all directly connected with the Department, may be added others, whose connexion with it is indirect, viz: Assistant postmasters, clerks in post offices, letter carriers, mail stage drive.s, and mail carriers, printers of post office blanks, and manufacturers of mail bags. But as the Department has no means of ascertaining the


ted, and prepare statements and reports when required. Compensation, $1,200.

One miscellaneous clerk, who prepares, annually, the tabular statement exhibiting the number of miles the mails are carried on railroads and in steamboats, in coaches and stages, in sulkies and on horseback; prepares the report for Congress of all land and water mails established or ordered within the year, other than those put under contract at the regular lettings; keeps the file of miscellaneous letters belonging to the contract office; makes indexes to the mail routes; assists at the annual lettings of mail contracts, and attends to the miscellaneous business of the office. Compensation, $1,200.

One report clerk, who prepares reports, weekly, to the Auditor, of all affirmative orders or decisions of the Postmaster General reducing or increasing the mail service, all allowances for temporary service, and all changes of pay on the contracts, examining all the calculations arising out of changes in the rates of pay; he prepares reports, weekly, to the Third Assistant Postmaster General, of all the decisions, orders, and changes, above stated, embracing also the changes of schedules, and keeps a journal of all curtailments and allowances; he also keeps a book showing separately the curtailments and allowances made in each section. Compensation, $1,200.

Two contract clerks, who prepare the contracts and transmit them to be executed by the contractors; report them to the Auditor when executed ; make all entries on them affecting the route, schedule, or pay; make all transfers of contracts; keep registers and files of all contracts, and prepare the report to Congress of all contracts executed within the year. Compensation, $1,200.

Two letter-book clerks, who record and send out all communications from the contract office, and do such other copying as is from time to time required. Compensation, $1,000.

2. The appointment office is under the immediate charge of the Second Assistant Postmaster General. The duties of this officer involve a superintendence of all business relating to the establishment and discontinuance of post offices; changes of site and names; appointments and removals of postmasters, giving them instructions in their duties under the laws and regulations of the Postmaster General ; furnishing them with blanks and stamps; and, generally, of all such matters as are necessary to prepare them for the proper management, reception, and delivery of the mails of the United States. To aid him in these duties, the following persons are assigned to the office of the Second Assistant Postmaster General, viz:

A principal clerk, (at a compensation of $1,600,) who, under the general direction of the Second Assistant, supervises the business of the office; prepares correspondence on special cases; reports weekly to the Auditor, and to the contract and inspection offices, all post office changes, files and preserves the bonds and oaths of postmasters appointed by the President and Senate, keeps a record of them, and also of all letter carriers in the cities. He is also agent for purchasing stationery for the use of the Department.

Four corresponding clerks (three of whom receive a compensation of $1,400, and the fourth $1,200) prepare the correspondence with postmasters and all others, touching the proper administration of each post office; procure all information preparatory to the establishment or discon

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