Any postmaster who issues a money-order without having previously received the money therefor, is deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and may be fined not less than $50 nor more than $500.

Prices Of Postal Money-Orders

Money-orders not exceeding


ten cents.

" "


fifteen cents.

" "


twenty cents.

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twenty-five cents.

None are sold exceeding $50, nor can one individual or firm send more than three orders amounting to $50 to one and the same party on the same day.

Money-orders are payable only to the persons in whose names they are drawn, but the right to collect the amount may be transferred in writing on the money-order to one other (and no other) individual by the person in whose favor the order is originally drawn.

Blank applications for money-orders are kept at money-order offices, which each applicant can fill up with his name, the name and address of the party to whom the order is to be paid, the amount and date of the application, and all such applications are preserved in the money-order office for a stated time after the money-order is issued.

The postmaster who issues a money-order sends a notice thereof by mail, without delay, to the postmaster on whom it is drawn.

After a money-order has been issued, if the purchaser desires to have it modified or changed, the postmaster who issued it can take it back and give a new one instead, for which a new fee has to be paid.

The postmaster who issues a money-order shall repay the amount of it upon the application of the person who obtained it and the return of the order, but the fee paid for it is not returned.

The Postmaster-General transfers money-order funds from one postmaster to another, and from the postal revenue to the money-order fund; and also to the postmaster at any money-order office, by a warrant on the United States Treasury, and payable out of the postal revenues, such sums as may be required over and above the current revenues at his office to pay the money-orders drawn upon him. He also requires each post-master at a money-order office to render to the Post-Office Department weekly, semi-weekly, or daily accounts of all money-orders issued and paid, of all fees received for issuing them, of all transfers and payments made from money-order funds, and of all money received to be used for the payment of money-orders or on account of money-order business.

Commissions To Postmasters

Postmasters at money-order offices are allowed, as compensation for issuing and paying money-orders, not exceeding one-third of the whole amount of fees collected on orders issued, and one-fourth of one per cent. on the gross amount of orders paid at their respective offices, provided that such compensation, together with the post-master's salary, does not exceed $4,000 a year, except in the case of the postmaster at New York city.

There is at Washington an officer of the Government known as the superintendent of the money-order system, whose salary is $3,000 a year.

Officers In The Money-Order Department

The officers in charge of the postal money-order division of the Chicago Post-Offlce, aside from the postmaster and assistant postmaster, are a superintendent, an examiner and a cashier. The superintendent supervises and controls the direct operations of his office under the instructions of the Postmaster-General and the postmaster. The examiner examines the correctness of each money-order presented from another post-office before passing it to the cashier for payment, reserving a minute of it, which must compare with the order in name, place of issue, number and amount. The cashier, upon receiving the order from the examiner, pays it to the proper person waiting to receive the money.

The cost of the stationery and incidental expenses of the money-order division of each post-office are, if possible, paid out of the fees received from the sale of money-orders.

The Dead-Letter Office

The dead-letter office is a branch of the Post-Office Department at Washington, for the purposes herein named.

The Postmaster-General regulates the period during which undelivered letters may remain in any post-office, and when they shall be returned to the dead-letter office, and he makes regulations for their return from the dead-letter office to the writers when they cannot be delivered to the persons to whom they are addressed.

When Letters Are Advertised

As often as the Postmaster-General may prescribe, but not oftener than once a week, post-masters are required to advertise the list of letters remaining uncalled-for and unclaimed in their respective offices. This is done by inserting the list in a newspaper of the vicinity having the largest circulation within that post-office delivery, or by a written list posted in some public place. After the list has been published, the postmaster is required to post up in a conspicuous place in his office a copy of such list.

Sent To The Dead-Letter Office

At the end of the time prescribed by the Postmaster-General for keeping undelivered letters in his office after advertising them, the postmaster sends them to the dead-letter office, together with the following other letters: Letters deposited in that office to be mailed to other offices, on which the name of the post-office was accidentally omitted, or on which the address was too imperfect to be properly understood; letters on which prepayment of postage was neglected, and letters addressed to a known fraudulent institution or firm.

What Is Done With Dead Letters

At the dead-letter office, all letters sent to it are opened and examined. If they contain valuable inclosures they are registered, and when they cannot be delivered to the party addressed nor to the writer, the contents are disposed of, and a careful account is kept of the amount realized in each case, and may be reclaimed within four years by the sender or the party addressed. All other letters of value or importance to the party addressed or the writer, and which cannot be returned to either, are disposed of as the Post-master-General directs.