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A biography of an early postmaster general is now available

Ebenezer Hazard began his role in 1782

Portrait of Ebenezer Hazard, the third postmaster general, who served until 1789.
Ebenezer Hazard, the third postmaster general, served until 1789.

An article examining the life of Ebenezer Hazard, who served as postmaster general during the earliest days of the republic, was recently added to the postal history section on

It was written by Junemarie Brandt, an acting postal history senior research analyst.

Hazard was named postmaster general in 1782, toward the end of the Revolutionary War. He was the third postmaster general after Benjamin Franklin (1775-1776) and Richard Bache (1776-1782).

Hazard worked a number of postal jobs before his appointment as postmaster general, including surveyor of post roads and inspector of dead letters.

As deputy postmaster of New York in 1776, he was forced to follow Gen. George Washington’s constantly moving army — on foot.

“I submitted to this indignity and the fatigue consequent upon it, although it was not my business, as a Postmaster, to follow the Army like a sutler,” Hazard wrote.

In 1779, he informed Congress that finances were so tight, he was paying post riders out of his own pocket for fear they would resign en masse and cause the department to collapse.

“As postmaster general, Hazard prioritized setting the Post Office’s financial house in order, streamlining congressional ordinances related to the organization, and improving postal routes,” Brandt said.

His tenure came to an end in 1789, likely due to a dispute with President Washington over the delivery of newspapers. He then moved his family back to Philadelphia and went into the insurance field.