"For thousands of years, governments have devised ways of sending communications. But for most of history, these systems were used only by a small elite. The postal system of colonial America was much the same. The Crown’s post was established by the English monarchy and used primarily for communications between the colonies and England.
For a while, the colonies themselves weren’t that interested in communicating with each other. They were, like fractious siblings, only seeking the attention of Mother England. And if you were a commoner in the colonies you also didn’t use the Crown’s post, you handed your message to a traveler and asked them to take it as far as they could and then pass it on.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the early postmasters for the Crown, traveled to every colony to make improvements in the system. As he did so, he began to see the colonies differently. In 1754, at a meeting of colonial representatives in Albany, New York, Franklin proposed a plan for uniting the colonies and electing their own representatives rather than having them appointed by the Crown. Franklin’s idea didn’t go anywhere at the time.
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|1847 United States postage stamp of Benjamin Franklin denominated 5 cents|