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Your Obedient Servant, edited by Alan H. Patera

Your Obedient Servant, edited by Alan H. Patera
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Your Obedient Servant, edited by Alan H. Patera

The discovery of an old letter book led to the publication of this most interesting glimpse into the state of communications in the Western United States in the period just following the Civil War.  Quincy Adams Brooks was a Special Postal Agent, a dedicated public servant with the enormous task of improving mail services in the western states in the face of poor roads and competition from Wells Fargo during an era when new mining strikes brought instant cities to areas that had no prior need for mail service.  Eventually Brooks’ territory included the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Arizona. His letters detail the establishment of post offices, the hiring and firing of postmasters, and the designation of post roads and mail routes. Brooks retained his own handwritten book of his correspondence on important official matters with local postmasters and with officials of the Post Office Department in Washington D.C.  Your Obedient Servant is a compilation of these letters.  These letters provide a clear view of the enormity of his job and his frustration about doing his job without adequate resources (including not even having a clerk to help him with correspondence!)

In addition to the underlying tale of his frustrations and successes, the factual matters relating to roads, settlement and transportation make this a valuable reference book, particularly for California, Nevada, and the Pacific Northwest.

Paperback, 6 x 9 inches, 227 pages, with index.

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