Creating a System

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Goddard's petition to the Continental Congress

On October 5, 1774 William Goddard (1740-1817) presented this plan for a distinctly American postal system to Congress. The plan was a reaction and direct challenge to the British Crown post, in which rebellious subjects' letters were subject to opening and inspection.

The new system would be founded upon the constitutional principles of open communication, freedom from governmental interference, and the free exchange of ideas. Goddard's plan was adopted as the "Constitutional Post" and implemented on July 16, 1775.

The new, revolutionary postal system ensured open lines of communication between patriots and kept the general populace informed of events during the American Revolution. The Constitutional Post forced the Crown post out of business in 1775 and became the foundation of the United States' postal system.