Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7
John Jay to George Washington21 Sept. 1788John Jay Papers, Columbia University
Your Ideas relative to the Diffusion of Intelligence and useful Information by means of news Papers and the Press, appear to me exceedingly just; nor do I percieve any good Objection to preferring the Stages to Post Riders for the Transportation of the mail, on the contrary I think the Ballance of advantages is clearly in favor of the former.
How far it was the Duty of the Post office to recieve and forward news papers is a Question respecting which I confess I have Doubts. If I am rightly informed the Post Riders were formerly permitted to carry news Papers on such Terms as might be settled between them and the Printers. The Number of Printers and of news Papers are now so great, that if the latter were admitted into the Mail the Expense to the public would be considerably enhanced; and it seems but reasonable that as the Printers (as well as the public) would derive much advantage from such a Regulation, they should contribute somewhat to it.
The Direction of the Post Office, instead of being as hitherto, consigned chiefly to a committee, and managed without much System, should I think be regulated by Law, and put under the Superintendence, and in some Degree under the controul of the Executive. The Public are not well satisfied on this Head, as Matters now stand, and there is but little Reason to expect any important change during the Existence of the present Government. The succeeding one will have an opportunity of doing a very acceptable Service to their Constituents by regulating the Post office in a proper Manner; and the more of such things they may have to do, the better.
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