by Judy Ann Davis
Recently, after a delivery, I thought about how we take for granted our mail carriers and our many delivery service providers who have been busy distributing our bills, letters, and packages.
When the English colonists came to America, there was no regular postal service. People gave their letters to any traveler who happened to be going in the right direction. Often, they gave them to a peddler or a traveling shoemaker. When the traveler reached the town where the letter was going, he might stop at an inn where he’d leave it. But until the person, who the letter was addressed to, happen to stop at the inn, it remained at that destination.
In the South, with few inns, the owners of plantations would take a letter and pass it on to a neighbor, and the neighbor would then do the same. And on and on...it went until it reached the recipient.
Later, when mail carriers on horseback were hired, they rode from one big town to another. For example, between New York and Boston, there was one “post rider” a month who traveled by day and spent two weeks making the trip, often hindered by inclement weather.
When Benjamin Franklin was made postmaster for the colonies, his first act was to make a long journey to find out the best routes for transporting the mail. He set up a line of post stations between the northern and southern colonies. His post riders traveled both day and night. This better service resulted in uniting the colonies and later helped us win independence as they shared information and ideals.
So now, when we hit that send button on our computers and purchase a product, let’s pause to give thanks to all those people in our transportation, mail, and delivery services who are playing a part to keep us safe during these extraordinary times.