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Congress approves the Post Office Department of the Republic of Texas

December
20
1836

On this day in 1836, the Congress of the Republic of Texas formally approved the Post Office Department. President Houston named Robert Barr of Nacogdoches postmaster general. When Barr died in 1839, Houston chose John Rice Jones as his successor. During his service as postmaster general under the provisional government Jones had patterned the Texas postal system after that of the United States. All persons transporting mail for the Post Office Department during 1837 could take payment in land at fifty cents an acre and pay expenses. Postal rates were 6.25 cents for the first twenty miles, and rose to 12.5 cents for up to fifty miles. The rates applied to one-page letters folded over and addressed on the front. Envelopes came into use around 1845.

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