Knowledgebase : General Post Office
General Post Office - Origins and History
Posted by Stuart Ronaldson on 19 March 2017 09:35 am


The definition of the word post originally meant "any of a number of riders or runners posted at intervals to carry mail or messages in relays along a route; postrider or courier" (Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, 1988, page 1054). People, thousands of years ago, didn't write letters to one another like we do nowadays. They didn't even have paper, everything was done on clay tablets and papyrus (but that was a very expensive thing to engage in). And therefore, the posts were really set up for governmental purposes, between different rulers in their own country as well as neighboring countries. The government set it up originally.

But there was another entity, known as the general post-office, which was not for commercial purposes and it was strictly for fellowship between the brothers, and they did it amongst themselves. Paul's letters were not delivered by Caesar's men, but by brothers in Christ, and that is the general post-office. And throughout history, there's always been the general post-office and the governmental post office; and they're different. One's done strictly for fellowship, the other's done for commercial purposes.

The current postal system, which is known as the United States Postal Service, is commercial, but it still retains the non-commercial aspect. It's based on the original general post-office, It does not exist without tracing its root to the original general post-office. And as with everything, the created cannot do away with the creator. Therefore, that original creation by the brothers fellowshipping amongst each other is still in existence, they've never done away with it. In all their statutes, every time they come up with a new statutory entity, they never do away with the general post-office, therefore it is still there.

The general-post-office is not mentioned in the Domestic Mail Manual because the Domestic Mail Manual denotes commerce. If you've got a problem, that's what the postal service employees and managers will refer to, but that's because everyone's presumed to be in commerce. But it's only a presumption, and that's where you have to come in and rebut that presumption. You rebut it by not engaging in commercial activity and not receiving your mail at an address, etc. Most people don't realize that when you receive mail at an address, or even at a P.O. Box, you're receiving a free benefit from Caesar. The postage you put on the envelope only covers the cost to deliver it from post office to post office, it does not cover any delivery beyond the post office (and the price for a P.O. Box covers the cost to rent the box itself, not for the cost of delivery). That's called free delivery, which was instituted during the Civil War, on July 1st, 1863. It was basically an act of war by Abraham Lincoln. Even though they did have free mail delivery service prior to that, it was strictly for commercial businesses. But then, in 1863, they spread it to everyone. Up to that time, nobody had an address on their house. The numbers were brought in on the houses strictly so the postman would know where to deliver the mail. Before 1863, people would collect their mail by going to the local post office and asking for it.

The U.S.Postal Service was established in 1971. This was preceded by the Post Office Department, which was established in 1872. And before the Post Office Department, the general post-office preceded that. In the early 1800's, they started referring to the general post office as the Post Office Department. However, it did not officially become the Post Office Department until 1872. Previous to that it was known as the general post-office.

There was actually two different general post-offices. The Post Master General today wears about seven hats; there are about seven different entities to the postal system. He wears the original hat as a caretaker of the original general post-office. He's also the caretaker of the general post-office that was created on February 20, 1792, which was for governmental business. And then in 1872 they created the Post Office Department.

In 1639, the original foundation for the post office was given in Massachusetts to Richard Fairbanks, the owner of Fairbanks Tavern in Boston. He was the first Postal officer in the history of the United States.

The General Court of Massachusetts
November 5, 1639:

"For preventing the miscarriage of letters, it is ordered, that notice be given that Richard Fairbanks's house in Boston is the place appointed for all letters which are brought from beyond the seas, or are to be sent thither,'to be brought unto; and he is to take care that they be delivered or sent according to their directions; and he is allowed for every such letter one penny, and must answer all miscarriages through his own neglect in this kind; provided that no man shall be compelled to bring his letters thither, except he please."

Following the adoption of the Constitution in May 1789, the Act of September 22, 1789 (1 Stat. 70), temporarily established a post office:

An ACT for the temporary establishment of the POST OFFICE.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be appointed a Post-Master General; his powers and salary and the compensation to the assistant or clerk and deputies which he may appoint, and the regulations of the Post-Office shall be the same as they last were under the resolutions and ordinances of the late Congress. The Post-Master General to be subject to the direction of the President of the United States in performing the duties of his office, and in forming contracts for the transportation of the mail. Be it further enacted, That this act shall continue in force until the end of the next session of Congress, and no longer.
Approved, September 22nd, 1789.

The post office was temporarily continued by the Act of August 4, 1790 (1 Stat. 178), and the Act of March 3, 1791 (1 Stat. 218). The Act of February 20, 1792 made detailed provisions for the post office, and also established a separate general post office for governmental purposes:

Chapter VIII - An Act to establish the Post Office and Post Roads within the United States.
Section 3. And it be further enacted, That there shall be established, at the seat of the government of the United States, a general post-office.

Note that this one page statutory creation by Congress established that general post-office for governmental business at the seat of the government of the United States in Washington D.C. The general post-office, which already existed, was never designated as being repealed in this Act. Therefore, it still remains in existence, separate from the governmental business' set up by this Act. There's nothing in that whole act which repeals the original general post-office. There's nothing in the act of 1872, when they created the Post Office Department, which did away with the original general post-office. So it's still there. There's nothing in the act of July 1, 1971, which created the Postal Service. The creation cannot do away with the creator, they cannot abolish the creator. Otherwise it has no foundation. And that's why the current Postmaster General wears about seven hats, because he has all of those different things that were created all the way through there.

In the early 1800's, the general post-office began to be referred to as "the Post-office department," but was not officially created until June 8, 1872:

Chapter CCCXXXV. - An Act to revise, consolidate, and amend the Statutes relating to the Post-office Department.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be established, at the seat of government of the United States of America, a department to be known as the Post-office Department.

And again, the general post-office was not repealed in this statute. It is for this cause that the re-organized service and its employees have no authority over the general post-office - it precedes their creation and has its Source and Origin in God through His Lawful assembly. The Post Office Department of the Confederate States of America was established on February 21, 1861, by an Act of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States. The resumption of the federal mail service in the southern states took place gradually as the war came to an end.

Then the Post Office Department was replaced by the United States Postal Service on July 1, 1971. Title 39, the Postal Reorganization Act, details this change as well.

Scripture Passages
The general post office has its beginnings in scripture.

Jeremiah 51:31, "One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to shew the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end..." A "post" is another name for a courier:

2 Chronicles 30:6, "So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah,"

Esther 3:13, "And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces..."

Scripture records messages being sent "by the hands of messengers" (1 Samuel 11:7) from as far back as the book of Job, which is the oldest book in the bible:

Job 1:14, "And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, the oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:"

These messages were delivered using the current means of movement at the time:

Esther 8:10,14, "And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries: So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out..."

And sending messages refreshes the soul:

Proverbs 25:13, KJV, "As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters."

Proverbs 25:13, Septuagint, "As a fall of snow in the time of harvest is good against heat, so a faithful messenger refreshes those that sent him: for he helps the souls of his masters."

In times passed, people sent messages to others by posting their letters on a "post" in the middle of town, with the name of the one who it's intended for. People would go to this "post" and look for letters with their name on it, and if they saw their name on a letter they would take it down from the post and read it. However, due to theft of messages, an office was built around the post to prevent people from stealing messages. This office became known as the general post-office. People would then go to the general post-office to pick up their messages.

Today, the stamp on an envelope pays for delivery of that envelope from the sender's post-office to the receiver's post-office. It does not pay for the costs when that envelope leaves the area behind the clerk's desk and gets delivered to the receiver's address, mailbox, post office box, mail slot, etc. This is a "free" service. The alternative to free mail delivery is to receive all Postal Matter either in general delivery, or through the general post office.