Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Who was the first?

A smarty-pants reader sent in this quiz:

Who was the first Postmaster General of the United States?

Benjamin Franklin
Pierre L’Enfant
Richard Bache
Samuel Osgood
Return J. Meigs

According to this reader, George Washington appointed Samuel Osgood on September 26, 1789, making him the first. But "not so fast," says Jennifer Lynch who serves as a research analyst in the USPS Historian's office.

She quotes Publication 100, the history of the Postal Service.

"Benjamin Franklin served as Postmaster General until November 7, 1776. He was in office when the Declaration of Independence created the United States in July 1776, making Franklin the first Postmaster General of the United States. America’s present Postal Service descends from the system Franklin placed in operation."

She also said, "Samuel Osgood was the first appointed under the U.S. Constitution, which, according to the Library of Congress' website, established the U.S. government as it exists today, so some might argue that this makes him the first U.S. Postmaster General."

I think our reader is just trying to make me look bad. After all, I did all the hard work. It took us a few years to write the constitution after we declared our independence, but we were still a nation and I was the Postmaster General.

But no way am I giving up this blog to Sammy. Nor am I giving up my chain of dollar stores. Nor am I giving up my place on the $100 bill. Sammy can get his own stuff.

What are your thoughts?

Samuel Osgood

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