Last updated

A postmaster is the head of an individual post office, responsible for all postal activities in a specific post office. When a postmaster is responsible for an entire mail distribution organization (usually sponsored by a national government), the title of Postmaster General is commonly used. Responsibilities of a postmaster typically include management of a centralized mail distribution facility, establishment of letter carrier routes, supervision of letter carriers and clerks, and enforcement of the organization's rules and procedures. The postmaster is the representative of the Postmaster General in that post office. [ citation needed ]


In Canada, many early places are named after the first postmaster.[ citation needed ]


In the days of horse-drawn carriages, a postmaster was an individual from whom horses and/or riders (known as postilions or "post-boys") could be hired. The postmaster would reside in a "post house". [1]

The first Postmaster General of the United States was the notable founding father, Benjamin Franklin.

United States

An appointed position, postmasters were prized offices for political party members as they helped keep your political representatives in power. [2] The appointment and removal of most postmasters was handled by the First Assistant United States Postmaster General in Washington, D.C. while postmasters who earned more than $1,000 annually were nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. [3] The system was often a patronage system, whereby the postmasters would get jobs in an informal way by the party in power. [4]

Historically in the United States, women served as postmasters since the American Revolutionary War and even earlier, under British rule, more than a century before they won the right to vote. The wave of female postmasters appointed during the late 19th century had been a crucial element for women's broader entry into the federal government system.

Many postmasters are members of a management organization that consults with the United States Postal Service (USPS) for compensation and policy. On November 1, 2016, the two organizations, the National Association of Postmasters of the United States (NAPUS) and the National League of Postmasters, merged to form the United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA).

Level of pay is based on deliveries and revenue of the post office. Levels are from EAS (Executive and Administrative Service) 18 through 26. Smaller remotely managed post offices no longer have postmasters and report to a nearby larger office. Larger metropolitan post offices are PCES (Postal Career Executive Service).

Notable postmasters

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Postmaster General</span> Chief executive of the US Postal Service

The United States Postmaster General (PMG) is the chief executive officer of the United States Postal Service (USPS). The PMG is responsible for managing and directing the day-to-day operations of the agency.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Postal Service</span> Independent agency of the U.S. federal government

The United States Postal Service (USPS), also known as the Post Office, U.S. Mail, or Postal Service, is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for providing postal service in the U.S., including its insular areas and associated states. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the U.S. Constitution. The USPS, as of 2021, has 516,636 career employees and 136,531 non-career employees.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Post Office Department</span> Former US federal department (1872–1971)

The United States Post Office Department was the predecessor of the United States Postal Service, in the form of a Cabinet department, officially from 1872 to 1971. It was headed by the postmaster general.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Postage stamps and postal history of the United States</span>

Postal service in the United States began with the delivery of stampless letters whose cost was borne by the receiving person, later encompassed pre-paid letters carried by private mail carriers and provisional post offices, and culminated in a system of universal prepayment that required all letters to bear nationally issued adhesive postage stamps.

This is a partial timeline of significant events in postal history, including dates and events relating to postage stamps.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National Association of Letter Carriers</span> U.S. labor union

The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) is an American labor union, representing non-rural letter carriers employed by the United States Postal Service. It was founded in 1889. The NALC has 2,500 local branches representing letter carriers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John E. Potter</span>

John E. "Jack" Potter is the president and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority since July 18, 2011. He is the former United States Postmaster General and CEO of the United States Postal Service (USPS), having become the 72nd postmaster general on June 1, 2001. Potter is the second longest-serving postmaster general, following Gideon Granger.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">American Letter Mail Company</span> Defunct US company (1844–1851)

The American Letter Mail Company was started by Lysander Spooner in 1844, competing with the presumed legal monopoly of the United States Post Office.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Postal Service Act</span> 1792 U.S. Federal law establishing the Post Office

The Postal Service Act was a piece of United States federal legislation that established the United States Post Office Department. It was signed into law by President George Washington on February 20, 1792.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Academy of Our Lady of Guam</span> High School in Guam

Academy of Our Lady of Guam (AOLG) is an all-girls Catholic high school located at 233 Archbishop Felixberto C. Flores Street in Hagåtña, Guam, United States. AOLG, Guam's sole all-girls high school, has an average yearly enrollment of 400 students.

Benjamin Franklin Bailar was an American businessman who served as the United States Postmaster General from February 16, 1975, to March 15, 1978. He took office on February 16, 1975, succeeding Elmer T. Klassen. Previously, he had served as senior assistant postmaster general, chief financial officer, and deputy postmaster general.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National Rural Letter Carriers' Association</span>

The National Rural Letter Carriers' Association (NRLCA) is an American labor union that represents the rural letter carriers of the United States Postal Service. According to its statutes, the purpose of the Association is to "improve the methods used by rural letter carriers, to benefit their conditions of labor with the United States Postal Service (USPS), and to promote a fraternal spirit among its members."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States airmail service</span>

United States airmail was a service class of the United States Post Office Department (USPOD) and its successor United States Postal Service (USPS) delivering air mail by aircraft flown within the United States and its possessions and territories. Letters and parcels intended for air mail service were marked as "Via Air Mail", appropriately franked, and assigned to any then existing class or sub-class of the Air Mail service.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Goddard (publisher)</span> American patriot and printer (1740–1817)

William Goddard was an early American patriot, publisher, printer and postal inspector. Born in New London, Connecticut, Goddard lived through the American Revolutionary era, during which he opposed British rule of the colonies through his actions and publications. He was a major figure in the development of the colonial postal system, which became the U.S. Post Office after the American Revolution.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Patrick R. Donahoe</span> 73rd United States Postmaster General

Patrick R. Donahoe was the 73rd United States Postmaster General, having been appointed to the post on October 25, 2010. A 35-year veteran of the Postal Service, he reported to the Postal Service Board of Governors.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Megan Brennan</span> 74th United States Postmaster General

Megan Jane Brennan served as the seventy-fourth Postmaster General of the United States. Brennan became the first woman to hold the office when she assumed the position on February 1, 2015.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jeanette Dwyer</span>

Jeanette P. Dwyer is a former President And current national board member of the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association. When she was elected President in 2011, she became the first female President of a labor union in the history of the United States Postal Service. She served as NRLCA President until 2018, when she chose not to run for reelection. She was reappointed to the national board to fill the remainder of Executive Committeeman Johnny Miller's unexpired term on November 21, 2020. When the 2021 convention was canceled due to COVID-19, Dwyer was re-elected to the board at the 116th national convention in Orlando, Florida on September 9, 2022.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Louis DeJoy</span> American businessman, 75th United States Postmaster General

Louis DeJoy is an American businessman serving as the 75th U.S. postmaster general. He was appointed in May 2020 by the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service (USPS). Prior to the appointment, he was the founder and CEO of the logistics and freight company New Breed Logistics and was a major Republican Party donor and fundraiser. DeJoy is the first postmaster general in two decades without prior experience in the USPS. Controversially, his companies still hold active service contracts with the USPS.

The 2020-2021 United States Postal Service crisis was a series of events that caused backlogs and delays in the delivery of mail by the United States Postal Service (USPS). The crisis stems primarily from changes implemented by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy shortly after taking office in June 2020. The delays have had substantial legal, political, economic, and health repercussions.

Tammy Flores Garman Schoenen is the first female postmaster of Guam.


  1. Rogers, Fairman (1900). A Manual of Coaching. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company. pp.  279–283. OCLC   6478019.
  2. Wills, Matthew (2017-05-24). "Why Did U.S. Postmasters Once Have So Much Political Cachet?". JSTOR Daily. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  3. "The nineteenth-century postmaster and his duties" (PDF). National Archives By Claire Prechtel-Kluskens. 2022-09-05.
  4. Wills, Matthew (2017-05-24). "Why Did U.S. Postmasters Once Have So Much Political Cachet?". JSTOR Daily. Retrieved 2022-09-10.
  5. "Tammy Flores Garman Schoenen appointed first female postmaster". October 16, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2021.
  6. "Guam's First Female Postmaster to be Installed - Tammy Schoenen Taking Oath of Office on Oct. 21". October 19, 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2021.