Postmaster

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POSTMASTER, or DEPUTY POSTMASTER. An officer of the United States appointed by the postmaster general to hold his office. during the, pleasure of the former. Before entering on the duties of his office, he is required to give bond with surety to be approved by the postmaster general. Act of 3d March, 1825, s. 3. 12. Every postmaster is required to keep an office in the place for which he may be appointed; and it is his duty to receive and forward by mail, without delay, all letters, papers, and packets as directed; to receive the mails and deliver, at all reasonable hours, all letters, papers and packets to the persons entitled thereto.
     3. In lieu of commissions allowed deputy postmasters by the 14th section of the act of 3d March, 1845,.the postmaster general is authorized by the act of March 1, 1847, s. 1, to allow, on the proceeds of their respective offices, a commission not exceeding the following rates on the amount received in any one year, or a due proportion thereof for less than a year: On a sum not exceeding one hundred dollars, forty per cent; on a sum over the first hundred and not exceeding four hundred dollars, thirty-three and one-third per cent; on a sum over and above the first four hundred dollars and not exceeding twenty-four hundred dollars, thirty per cent.; on a sum over twenty-four hundred dollars, twelve and one-half per cent.; on all sums arising from the postage on newspapers, magazines, and pamphlets, fifty per cent.; on the amount of postages on letters or packets received for distribution, seven per cent.: Provided, That all allowances, commissions, or other emoluments, shall be subject to the provisions of the forty-first section of the act which this is intended to amend; and that the annual compensation therein limited shall be computed for the fiscal year commencing on the first of July and ending the thirtieth of June each year, and that for any period less than a year the restrictions contained in said section shall be held to apply in a due proportion for such fractional period: And, provided further, That the compensation to any,, deputy postmaster under the foregoing provisions to be computed upon the receipt at his office of a larger sum shall in no case fall short of the amount to which he would be entitled under a smaller sum received at his office.
     4. By act of congress approved March 3, 1851, Sec. 6, it is enacted, That to any postmaster whose commissions may be reduced below the amount allowed at his office for the year ending the thirtieth day of June, eighteen hundred and fifty-one, and whose labors may be increased, the postmaster general shall be authorized, in his discretion, to allow such additional commissions as be may deem just and proper Provided, That the whole amount of commissions allowed such postmaster during any fiscal year, shall not exceed by more than twenty per centum the amount of commissions at such office for the year ending the thirtieth day of June, eighteen hundred and fifty-one.
     5. Although not subject to all the, responsibilities of a common carrier, yet a postmaster is liable for all losses and injuries occasioned by his own default in office. 3 Wils. Rep. 443; Cowp. 754; 5 Burr. 2709; 1 Bell's Com. 468; 2 Kent. Com. 474; Story on Bailm. Sec. 463.
     6. Whether a postmaster is liable for the acts of his clerks or servants seems not to be settled. 1 Bell's Com. 468, 9. In Pennsylvania it has been decided that he is not responsible for their secret delinquencies, though perhaps he is answerable for want of attention to the official conduct of his subordinates. 8 Watts. R. 453. Vide Frank; Post Office.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
"If they close offices which aren't viable and the postmaster wants to go then fine, but if they are closing ones in demand by the public and the postmaster doesn't want to go then we've got a problem."
Postmaster Peter Montgomery delivered the Daily Post petition to Downing Street on March 8
"The government is taking business away from itself and it's a no-win situation for postmasters."
One site at Upper Dicker, East Sussex, was shut even though a postmaster two miles away was retiring.
Mold Crown Court heard how the 23-year-old slashed postmaster Robert Marlor across the throat with a knife and held his elderly father hostage in the cellar.
The Irish Postmasters Organisation's John Kane said: "The network has gone down from 1,750 offices in 2001 to less than 1,300 today - and falling.
SAFETY fears are causing postmasters in rural areas to consider quitting, it was revealed yesterday.
POSTMASTERS have warned that we could be witnessing the end of the mail service as we know it.
Thorough research was carried out - the gang seemed to know details about the postmasters and their families.
Ray Young, secretary of the Coventry and Warwickshire branch of the National Federation of Postmasters, said: "There appears to be a lot of confusion and a general fear from our customers that they will not be able to draw their money at a post office.
CHRISTMAS mail chaos was narrowly averted yesterday after members of the Irish Postmasters Union accepted an offer.