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York a reduction was made of 10 hours and 38 minutes, the previous time having been 36 hours and the new time being 25 hours and 22 min. utes. The present time is 15 hours and 50 minutes from New York to Montreal, and in the opposite direction it is 20 hours and 15 minutes. Between New York and Montreal the present time is therefore 9 hours less than the original time under the uew system, and 42 hours and 35 minutes less than the time prior thereto. The present time between Montreal and New York is 5 hours and 7 minutes less than the time originally required by the new system, and 15 hours and 45 minutes less than the time prior thereto.

In view of the success of the system of international through-pouch exchanges across our northern border, I would respect fully recommend that the necessary steps be taken looking to its extension to exchanges, under similar conditions, with Mexico and Cuba.


Great strides have been made within the past few years in the registry system, which has now become one of the great arms of the postal service. It is founded upon the idea of individual responsibility upon the part of postmasters and postal employés, a chain of receipts accompanyivg registered matter from the moment of its original dispatch until the time of its final delivery. The sender is given a receipt by the mail. ing office, and is furnished with one from the addressee. The best reasons exist for carefully fostering the system. Not only does it afford a great convenience to the public for the transmission of valuable matter through the mails, but it is an important contributor to the postal rev. enue, the fees charged more than compensating for the expense of registration. Besides the registry fees, just how much is gained in the way of postages on matter that would otherwise be sent by private express must of course be left to speculation. For instance, a single registered parcel mailed in Philadelphia in September, 1879, contained, besides the registry fee, $127.90 iu stainps to prepay the postage at letter rates.

Unceasing efforts have been made to improve and simplify the methods, and to add to the security of the system. In its present state it scarcely retains à vestige of the plan upon which it was originally founded. Among the comparatively recent changes, in addition to those already noted, are the development of the through-pouch system (introduced in a limited way in 1875); the establishment of the brasslock system on star routes; the abolition of distributing offices by sub. stituting direct dispatches; the combination into one of the registered letter bill and the return registered letter bill, and of two separate records for the receipt and delivery of matter; the adoption of a combined tag and envelope to be attached to parcels in transit, and containing a pocket for ivclosing the bill and receipt; and the adoption of a card form of the registered bill and the return registry receipt for letters, also a card forin of registered package receipt, which led to the use of similar forms for various purposes in all the Departments of the Government.

The registry system was first introduced in 1855, the receipts for the first year amounting to $31,465.50, and its abandonment was some years subsequently strongly urged because of its insecurity and the decline in its patronage. For the year ended June 30, 1877, the receipts amounted to $.367,438.80, while for the last fiscal year they amountedto $928,898.40, an increase of $561,459.60, or 152.8 per cent., and an average annual increase of 12.5 per cent. The average annual increase from 1877 to 1883 w48 15.9 per ceut. The increase for 1883 over 1882 was 18.04 p r cent.; for 1884 over 1883 it was only 3.3 per cent.; and there was a lecrease of 2.9 per cent. for 1885 as compared to 1884. The figures will be given hereafter in detail of the several classes of registered matter.

A most noticeable innovation was the extension of the system on the 1st October, 1878, to third and fourth class matter, it having previously been confined exclusively to matter chargeable at letter rates of postage. Besides providing the public with a valuable facility, it had the indirect benefit of stimulating competition by private enterprises, being immediately followed by a reduction of charges by some of the principal express companies.

The popularity of the new feature was attested by its rapid growth. The fees on this class of matter, domestic and foreign, amounted, for the nine nionths ended June 30, 1879 (at 10 cents for each piece), to $20,659.40; for the year ended June 30, 1850, to $15,690.30; for the year ended June 30, 1881, to $65,697.20; for the year ended June 30, 1882, to $82,175.40; for the year ended June 30, 1883, to $97,088.10; for the year ended June 30, 1884, to $103,535.30; and for the year ended June 30, 1885, to $101,911.10. The average annual increase in the numher of parcels of this class of matter from July 1, 1879, to June 30, 1885, was at the rate of 35.5 per cent. The decrease for 1885 from 1884 was 1.5 per cent., there having been a decrease of domestic parcels, as previously shown. The doinestic parcels mounted from 448,656 pieces the first full year in 1880 to 983,303 pieces in 1885, the foreign parcels from 8,247 to 35,808 for the same time, and the total of the two kinds mouuting from 456,903 to 1,019,111 pieces. The average annual increase of domestic parcels from July 1, 1879, to June 30, 1883, was 51.69 per cent.; for the year ended June 30, 1883, over 1882, the increase was 18.5 per cent.; for 1884 over 1883 it was 6 per cent.; and for 1885 there was a decrease of 2.2 per cent. from 1884.

For foreign parcels the average annual increase from July 1, 1879, to June 30, 1883, was 75.16 per cent.; for 1883 over 1882 it was 2.3 per cent.; for 1881 over 1883 it was 29.3 per cent.; aud for 1885 over 1884 it was 21.4 per cent. For first-class (sealed) domestic matter alone the average annual increase from July 1, 1879, to June 30, 1883, was 16.8 per cent.; for 1883 over 1882 it was 9 per cent.; for 1881 over 1883 it was 2.7 per cent.; and for 1885 there was a decrease of 3.3 per cent, as compared to 1884. In foreign letters, or sealed matter, the average anmual increase from July 1, 1879, to June 30, 1883, was 29.1 per cent.; for 1883 over 1882 it was 13.1 per cent.; for 1884 over 1883 it was 4.9 per cent.; and for 1885 over 1881 it was 1.8 per cent.


Some idea of the extent to which the registry system is intrusted for transporting the official matter of the Government may be gained from figures in table No. 10 attached to this report. The number of pack. ages of postage stamps, stamped envelopes, and postal cards transmit. ted by registered mail from the several places of manufacture during the last fiscal year was 460,888, valued at $10,460,316.04, and the amount of money order remittances by cash or draft from postmasters is approximated at $100,300,000; making a total of $140,760,316.04 for the postal service. This does not include the postal funds which postmasters are permitted to send by registered mail at their own risk to the designated depositories.

The number of packages containing national-bank notes, coin, internal-revenue stamps, &c., transmitted or received by the Treasury De. partment and its several bureaus during the year, was 83,727, valued at $442,937.490.51, of whiclı, as far as known, not a single penny was lost. The total number of packages (excluding those for money-order remittances not ascertained) shown by the table is 927,075, representing a total value of $711,612,035.46. All this matter (except the small portion received by the Treasury Department) was transported free of expense for postage and registration. The registry fees on the matter in the table would alone reach fully $100,0:0, and this amount would perhaps be very much more than doubled if registry fees were collected on all the official matter transported for the Government. All duly authorized public officers at the seat of Government are entitled to register official matter free, but the privilege outside of Washington is confined to post masters and other postal officers. It thus appears that the registry systein, besides being a great convenience to the public, is a necessity to the Goverument for the safe transportation of its own matter.


The whole number of pieces of undelivered mail inatter received in the dead-letter office (including 97,906 pieces on hand from the previous year) was 4,808,146. They were classified as follows: Domestic mailed letters, including 33,582,8334 ordinary unclaimed letters;

101,716 letters returned from hotels; 24,997 letters bearing fictitious addresses; 170,848 letters returned from foreign countries, and 4,041 registered letters..

3,881,436 Domestic upmailable letters, comprising 117,559 helil-for-postage letters;

1,765 letters containing unmailable articles; 284,353 misdirected letters, and 14,668 letters without address....

418, 349 Domestic parcels of third and fourth class matter.

59, 196 Letters mailed in foreign countries

412, 612 Printed matter, samples, &c., mailed in foreign countries and returnable.. 33, 553 Total, as before......

4,808, 146 The following was the disposition primarily of letters bandled during

the year:

Domestic mailed letters:
Card and request letters (lelivered unopened.

57, 143 Letters opened ..

3,819, 793 Letters left on hand..


3,884,436 Domestic umailalle lettere: Held-for-postage letters forwarded to address unopened on receipt of postage

4,636 Held-for-postage letters openeil...

112,712 Heldl-for-postage letters on band a waiting return of notices.

210 Letters containing ummailable articles opened

1,705 Misdirected letters forwarded unopened after correction of address

67, 2:50 Misilirected letters opened.

217, 108 Letters without aildress opened....

14, 668

418, 349 Domestic third and fourth class matter: Parcels opened and recorded

59, 196 Foreign matter: Letters returned to country of origin or delivered to addressces. Letters still on hand

406, 205

5, 806 Parcels of printed matter, samples, &c., returned opened or delivered to addressces,

33, 553

446, 165 Total


The following was the disposition of mail matter opened in the dead. letter office:

Delivered :
Letters containing money

12, 539
Letters containing drafts, notes, money orders, and other evi-
dences of monetary value

17,588 Letters containing receipts, paid notes, &c..

21, 660 Letters containing postage-stamps

105, 334 Letters containing nothing of value

1, 404, 874
Parcels of merchandise, books, &c

25, 947
33, 451

1,621, 393 Returned and awaiting evidence of delivery: Letters containing money

785 Letters containing drafts, checks, &c....

1, 826 Parcels of merchandise, books, &c.


2, 647 Under treatment looking to delivery: Letters containing money

Filed upon failure to deliver: Letters containing money

4,474 Letters containing drafts, checks, &c...

795 Letters containing receipts, paid notes, &c Letters containing postage-stamps.


2, 526 Photographs .....

6,784 Parcels of merchandise, books, &c.

34, 407

53,583 Destroyed : Letters containing nothing of value which could not be returned

to writers, including 166,600 letters forwarded to writers and returned upon failure to deliver

2,536, 224 Parcels containing magazines, pamphlets, fruit, cake, seeds, &c. 13,772

2,549, 996 FOREIGN DEAD MAIL MATTER. Returned to country of origin: Registered letters

12, 235 Ordinary letters..

381, 543 Parcels of printed matter, &c

30, 304

1, 175


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VALUE OF INCLOSURES IN MATTER RESTORED TO OWNERS. The following is the amount of value of inclosures in letters restored to senders, or in course of restoration: Number of letters containing money restored to owners.

12, 539 Amount of noney inclosed therein.

$22, 453 43 Number of letters containing money outstanding in the hands of postmasters for restoration to owners

725 Amount of money inclosed therein

$2,641 62 Number of letters containing drafts, checks, notes, money orders, &c., restored to senders .

17,588 Amount of value contained therein

$1,795, 764 51 Number of letters containing drafts, checks, notes, money orders, &c., outstanding in the hands of postmasters for restoration to senders...

1,826 Amount of value inclosed therein

$315, 409 07 MATTER RETURNED FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES. The following number of pieces of matter originating in the United States was returned to the dead-letter office from foreign countries during the year as undeliverable: Registered letters

1, 308 Ordinary letters

170, 848 Parcels of printed matter, &c...

34, 665


206, 821 DEAD REGISTERED MATTER. Of the 16,487 unclaimed registered letters and parcels received there wereDelivered to addressees or restored to senders ....

15, 511 Returned to postmasters and awaiting receipts... Filed upon failure to discover ownership and subject to future reclamation.. 902

16, 487 REVENUE FROM DEAD MATTER. The amount received in postage-stamps on insufficiently prepaid letters forwarded to destination, and upon articles of third and fourth class matter returned to senders, was $1,064.93.

The money separated from dead letters that could not be restored to the senders, and turned over to the finance division for deposit in the United States Treasury, in compliance with law, amounted to $8,141.74, to which was added $1,250.87 realized from auction sale in January last of articles of merchandise for which no owners could be found, making a total revenue of $9,392.61 from these sources. This does not include the sum of $2,705.32, credited by the Treasury to the receipts from dead letters, the same having been received from post office inspectors and other sources outside of the regular course. The total deposit amounted to $12,097.93.

DEAD MATTER GIVEN TO CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS. During the year 17,305 magazines, pamphlets, illustrated papers, picture-cards, &c., which could not be restored to the senders, were distributed amongst inmates of the various hospitals, asylums, and other charitable and reformatory institutions in the District of Columbia, as heretofore, by order of the Postmaster General. The following are the numbers of the several articles: Magazines ...

1, 152 Pamphlets, &c.

2,754 Illustrated papers....

3,114 Picture-cards, &c


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