This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
THIS EXECUTIVE department of the Government is superintended by the Postmaster-General. His term continues through that of the President, by whom he is appointed, and one month more, unless he sooner dies or resigns, or is removed for cause. In this department are also three Assistant Postmasters-General, appointed by the President. There is also in this department an Assistant Attorney-General, appointed by the Postmaster-General.
Before entering upon his or her duties, or drawing any salary, every person employed in the postal service, from the Postmaster-General down, has to go before some civil or military officer and take the following oath of office:
I, A. B., do solemnly swear, (or affirm) that 1 will faithfully perform all the duties required of me, and abstain from everything forbidden by the laws in relation to the establishment of post-offices and post-roads within the United States; and that I will honestly and truly account for, and pay over, any money belonging to the said United States which may come into my possession or control: So help me God.
The duties of the Postmaster-General are as follows: To establish and discontinue post-offices; to instruct all persons in the postal service with reference to their duties; to decide on the forms of all official papers; prescribe the manner of keeping and stating postal accounts; to inforce the prompt rendering of postal returns relative to said accounts; to control, subject to the settlement of the Sixth Auditor of the Treasury Department, all expenses incident to the service of his department; to superintend disposal of the moneys of his department; to direct the manner in which balances shall be paid over; issue warrants to deposit money into the treasury, and to pay it out; to superintend generally the business of the department, and execute all laws relative to the postal service; to keep an account of all property in charge of the department, and report the same to Congress annually; to negotiate and conclude postal arrangements with foreign countries, and may reduce or increase the rates of postage between this and foreign countries; to publish the results of postal conventions with foreign countries; to deliver to the Sixth Auditor of the Treasury a copy of mail-carrying contracts; to issue warrants (on the quarterly statements of the Sixth Auditor) of payments of postmasters on account of the postal service, for carrying such amounts to the credit of the postal revenues on the books of the Auditor; to discharge from custody any person confined in jail on a judgment in a civil case in favor of the department if the defendant can show that he has no property of any kind; to prepare estimates and transmit them to Congress annually through the Secretary of the Treasury, for the necessary appropriations of money for his department, specifying in detail the purposes for which it is needed, such as printing, binding, salaries of employes, and other items.
The Postmaster-General shall report to Congress annually: All contracts for carrying the mails made within the preceding year, with all particulars concerning them, and no person employed in the Post-Office Department shall become interested in any such contract, or act as agent, with or without compensation, for any mail-contractor, under pain of instant dismissal from office and other penalties; a statement of all land and water mail routes established or ordered within the preceding year, besides those contracted for at the annual mail-lettings, with the particulars attending them, and of all allowances made to mail contractors within the preceding year above the original contract prices, and the reasons therefor, etc.; a statement in detail of all expenses curtailed within the preceding year; a detailed statement of the finances of the department for the preceding year, showing its resources, engagements, and liabilities; a report of the fines assessed against mail contractors and deductions from their pay, with the particulars; a copy of each contract for carrying mails between the United States and foreign countries, and a statement showing its benefits to the department; a report of all contracts, except for carrying mails, with the details thereof. a report on the postal business and agencies in foreign countries; a statement of the money expended in the department for the preceding fiscal year, with details. All of these reports and statements are to be printed at the public printing office, together or separately.