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Massachusetts and the other colonies soon passed postal laws, and a very imperfect post office system was established.Neale's patent expired in 1710, when Parliament extended the English postal system to the colonies.In the early years of the North American colonies, many attempts were made to initiate a postal service.These early attempts were of small scale and usually involved a colony, Massachusetts Bay Colony for example, setting up a location in Boston where one could post a letter back home to England.The chief office was established in New York City, where letters were conveyed by regular packets across the Atlantic.
On February 17, 1691, a grant of letters patent from the joint sovereigns, William III and Mary II, empowered him: "to erect, settle, and establish within the chief parts of their majesties' colonies and plantations in America, an office or offices for receiving and dispatching letters and pacquets, and to receive, send, and deliver the same under such rates and sums of money as the planters shall agree to give, and to hold and enjoy the same for the term of twenty-one years." The patent included the exclusive right to establish and collect a formal postal tax on official documents of all kinds. Neale appointed Andrew Hamilton, Governor of New Jersey, as his deputy postmaster.
News, new laws, political intelligence, and military orders circulated with a new urgency, and a postal system was necessary.
Journalists took the lead, securing post office legislation that allowed them to reach their subscribers at very low cost, and to exchange news from newspapers between the thirteen states.
Most people probably don’t know what a universal service obligation is, much less that the Postal Service is bound by one.
But a USO, as it’s commonly called, is essential to ensuring that everyone receives the mail service they need.