Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 1.djvu/856

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734 Contracts for carrying the mail.

FIFTH CONGRESS.

Sess.

III. Ch. 43.

1799.

Duty of Postmasters.

No fees to be received by perSODS employed in the general post.office.

Rates of poat. age.

Packets con· ta.ining more than. three lba. may Dot be carried.

Penalty on fraudulently reo ceiving illegal postage, &e.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Postmaster General to give public notice, in one or more of the newspapers published at the seat of government of the United States, and in one or more of the newspapers published in the state or states where the contract is to be performed, for at least six weeks before entering into any contract for carrying the mail, that such contract is intended to be made, and the day Qn which it is to be concluded, describing the places from and to which such mail is to be conveyed, the time at which it is to be made up, and the day and hour at which it is to be delivered: He shall, moreover, within ninety days after the making of any contract, lodge a duplicate thereof, together with the proposals which he shall have received respecting it, in the office of the Comptroller of the Treasury of the United States. Provided, that no contract shall be entered into for a longer term than four years. Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That every postmaster shall keep an office, in which one or more persons shall attend at such hours as the Postmaster General shall direct, for the purpose of performing the duties thereof, and all letters brought to any post-office half an hour before the time of making up the mail at such office, shall be forwarded therein j except at such post-offices, where, in the opinion of the Postmaster General, it requires more time for making up the mail, and which he shall accordingly prescribe, but this shaH ill no case exceed one hour. Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That no fees or perquisites shall be received by any person employed in the general post-office on account of the duties to be performed by virtue of his appointment. Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the following rates of postage shall be charged on all letters and packets (excepting such as herein after exempted) conveyed by the posts of the United States, viz. For every letter composed of a single sheet of paper, conveyed not exceeding forty miles, eight cents. Over forty and not exceeding ninety miles, ten cents. Over ninety, and not exceeding one hundred and fifty miles, twelve and an half cents. Over one hundred and fifty, and not exceeding three hundred miles, seventeen cents. Over three hundred, and not exceeding five hundred miles, twenty cents. Over five hundred miles, twenty-five cents. And for every double letter, or one composed of two pieces of paper, double those rates j and for every triple letter, or one composed of three pieces of paper, triple those rates j and for every packet composed of four or more pieces of paper, or other thing, and weighing qne ounce avoirdupois, quadruple those rates, and in that proportion for all greater weight: Provided, that 110 packet of letters conveyed by the water mails shall be charged with more than quadruple postage, unless the same shall actually contain more than four distinct letters. No postmaster shall be obliged to receive, to be conveyed by the mail, any packet which shall weigh more than three pounds. . Sec. 8. A1!d be it further enacted, That every letter or packet brought mto t~e UDlt~d States, or carned from one port therein to another, in any pnvate slrip or vessel, shaH be charged with six cents, if delivered at the post-office where the same shall arrive, and if destined to be conveyed by post to any other place, with two cents added to the ordinary rates of postage. Sec. 9. A~d be it further enacted, That if any postmaster, or other person authonzed by the Postmaster General to receive the postages of letters, shall fraudulently demand or receive any rate of postage or gratuity, or reward, other tha~ i~ provided. by this act, for the po~tage of ktters or packets) on convIction thereol, he shall forfeit for every such