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Annual Report of the Postmaster General, 1789

Early editions of the Annual Report (title varies slightly) offer only brief summaries of a few pages each on mail service nationwide, but by the 1840s the report begins to include statistical tables on everything from missent mail (by state) to international money orders issued (by state). Although the subjects of the statistical tables vary year by year, the following remain fairly constant (year of first appearance given in parentheses):

More detailed financial statistics are often available on the largest U.S. Post Offices — for example, receipts, expenses, and money allowed for clerk hire and rent, light, and fuel. The 1970 Annual Report has a statistical overview of the history of the Post Office Department from 1789 to 1970, such as number of Post Offices and revenue. In 1971, the report reverts to a limited format, with statistics available for the most part on only a national basis.

PDF copies of many 19th-century editions of the Annual Report are available for free online via Google Books at PDF copies of the Annual Report since 2001 are available on the Postal Service’s Web site at Selected editions of the Annual Report may also be available from your local library through inter-library loan.

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