The first organized mail system in America began before our country was born.
In 1639, the city of Boston declared that people who wanted to send mail to or receive mail from England should deposit and pick up their letters at Richard Fairbanks’ tavern. Before that, a person who wanted to send mail to England had to personally arrange delivery with the captain of a ship that was about to sail across the Atlantic.
Mail delivery between cities in America began in 1673, when a postal route was set up between Boston and New York. This route later became a highway, U.S. Route 1, which today stretches from Maine all the way to Florida.
But most people in the United States didn’t have mail delivered to their homes until the 1890s. Before that, they had to go to the post office to pick up their mail.
In 1789, there were only 75 post offices in the United States. Today, there are about 40,000!
The United States Postal Service alone handles about half of the mail in the entire world!