Rural Free Delivery segregated saddlebag
- Palmyra, Virginia became a Rural Free Delivery post office on October 22, 1896, one of the first in the nation to deliver mail to farm families. This mailbag with separate compartments for "white" and "colored" mail was not required by federal policy but was procured by the carrier to satisfy either his own preferences or those of his customers.
- The saddlebag, thought to be in use from 1896 until 1921, segregated the mail collected from African Americans and white Americans in Fluvanna County, Virginia. This item was most likely used by Frank W. Shepherd, letter carrier on Rural Route No. 1, Palmyra, Virginia, and was subsequently connected with his relatives at Boyd Tavern in Albemarle County, Virginia. The bag originated from a large estate sale of the contents of Boyd Tavern.
- The drape of leather connecting the two bags is hourglass shaped, composed of two lengths of stitched leather with tooled design on top, center. The identical bags are three-tone leather (natural and black with red trim). Each has a handle sewn at the top and a three-part strap and buckle. The flap and interior of each bag is lined in cotton. "Colored" is handwritten on the interior of the flap of one bag and the other is marked "White."
- Data Source
- National Postal Museum
- c. 1896
- Object number
- Mail Processing Equipment
- leather; cotton; metal (silver)
- Height x Width x Depth: 41 x 14 x 4 in. (104.14 x 35.56 x 10.16 cm) Height equals full, spread length; depth equals single depth of one bag
- See more items in
- National Postal Museum Collection
- The Gilded Age (1877-1920)
- Mail Processing
- Record ID