such information as can be obtained, to enable Congress to establish some other road instead of it in the same main direction.
Penalties for obstructing or retarding the mail.Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That if any person shall knowingly and wilfully obstruct or retard the passage of the mail, or of any driver or carrier, or of any horse or carriage carrying the same, he shall, upon conviction, for every such offence, pay a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars: and if any ferryman shall by wilful negligence or refusal to transport the mail across any ferry, delay the same, he shall forfeit and pay for each ten minutes that the same shall be so delayed, a sum not exceeding ten dollars.
Proposals for contracts to be published by the Postmaster-General.Sec. 8. 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 or territory, 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 on 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.Duplicates of contracts and proposals to be lodged in the comptroller’s office. 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.
Postmasters to have regular attendance in their offices.
Prescribed by the Postmaster-General.Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That every postmaster shall keep an office in which one or more persons shall attend on every day on which a mail, or bag, or other packet or parcel of letters shall arrive by land or water, as well as on other days, at such hours as the Postmaster-General shall direct, for the purpose of performing the duties thereof; and it shall be the duty of the postmaster at all reasonable hours, on every day of the week, to deliver, on demand, any letter, paper or packet, to the person entitled to or authorized to receive the same;Regulations concerning letters. 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; 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 shall in no case exceed one hour.
No fees or perquisites allowable in the general post-office.Sec. 10. 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.Rates of postage.Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That the following rates of postage shall be charged on all letters and packets (excepting such as are herein after exempted) conveyed by the posts of the United States, viz. for every letter composed of a single sheet of paper,Act of Dec. 23, 1814, ch. 16, sec. 2. 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 a 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; and for every triple letter, or one composed of three pieces of paper, triple those rates; and for every packet composed of four or more pieces of paper, or other thing, and weighing one ounce avoirdupois, quadruple those rates, and in that proportion for all greater weight: Provided, that no 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: and