Letter Postages. 1. The law requires the postage on all letters to be prepaid by stamps, or stamped envelopes, except those to foreign countries, and those on official business to government officers having the franking privilege. But prepayment on drop letters (not to be mailed) is optional.
2. Single letters passing in the mails distances not over 3,000 miles, between offices in the United States, are to be charged three cents ; and for distances over 3,000 miles, ten cents. Double letters are charged double these rates ; treble ones treble, and so on.
3. Letters passing from one office to another within the United States or Territories, also those going between places in the United States and the British North American Provinces, are rated as single, if not exceeding half an ounce in weight; double if exceeding half an ounce but not exceeding an ounce ; treble if exceeding an ounce but not exceeding an ounce and a half, and so on.
4. Drop letters are charged one cent each.
5. Single letters to or from any of the British North American Provinces, are charged ten cents for distances not exceeding 3,000 miles, and for greater distances 15 cents. Double letters pay double, and treble ones treble these rates.
6. It is unlawful to place in a post-office, to be transmitted by mail within the United States, an envelope or packet containing letters addressed to different persons.
7. Handbills, circulars, or other printed matter, containing any manuscript writing, are subject to letter postage ; so are all packets so closely enveloped or sealed that their contents cannot be known.
8. Advertised letters are charged one cent additional to the ordinary postage.
9. Letters brought by ships and packets to ports In the United States, or passing from one port therein to another, are to be rated six cents each when delivered from the office at which they were first received ; when forwarded thence by mail to other offices (instead of said six cents) simply, two cents in addition to the ordinary rates of postage.
10. The charge to the persons addressed upon letters and packets, received at post -offices from the masters, clerks, or other employees of steamboats, on waters deemed post routes, is the same as if they had been conveyed on land routes.
11. The act of March 3,1855, making no provision for unpaid letters to places within the United States, on the same or day following any such unpaid letter or letters being put into a post-office, the postmaster thereof is instructed to give notice, upon blanks furnished by the Post-Office Department, to all persons within the United States for whom such letters shall have been deposited within their offices ; and if not attended to within one month, they return such letters to the Dead Letter Office.
12. Letters mailed in the cars can be prepaid only by using postage stamps, or stamped envelopes; and when not thus prepaid it is the duty of postmasters to treat all such letters as unpaid, although marked " paid,"' - no route agent being permitted to receive prepayment in money.
13. Letters part paid are dispatched, charged with the additional postage due at the prepaid rate, according to distance, established by said act, except where the omission to pay the correct amount is known to have been intentional, when they are treated the same as letters wholly unpaid.