Fayette County History & Genealogy

History of Fayette County

From R. S. Dills' History of Fayette County


Postal facilities in early days were not so varied as at present. Letters at that time, on account of the difficulty of transmitting them, and their consequent scarcity, were of vastly more significance than at present, and to become the favored recipient of one mail a day was truly enviable.

The stamped envelope had not been invented, and such a thing as delicately tinted, highly perfumed note paper was altogether unknown to the most fastidious youth of the land.

The letter was simply folded in such a manner as not to come open, and the address written upon the blank page. The necessity of mucilage was not known, as a wafer or red sealing-wax answered every purpose. In order to transmit this primitive missive over the country, it was necessary to pay the United States a revenue of twenty-five cents. Once every two weeks the blowing of a tin horn announced the arrival of a dilapidated horse and rider, with a dyspeptic mail bag, containing the semi-monthly news.

The sack was take from the saddle, where it had served as a cushion, by the mail-carrier, who looked over the anxious gaping crowd with that stolid indifference born of long habit. While the contents of the sack were being distributed, after which, with a few additional letters, he moved on his beat. Such then were the postal facilities,

Now, a three cent postage stamp will send a letter from ocean to ocean, or the telegraph transmit a message, with lightning speed, far across the ocean, to all the nations of the globe.

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