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Ledger page from Franklin's GPO account book

Description:

The folio shown here is from Benjamin Franklin's General Post Office account book. It is written entirely by his hand, including eight signatures of his name, and it spanned 1770-1772. The ledger records, among other things, the annual salaries of three hundred pounds to Benjamin Franklin (residing in London during this time) and John Foxcroft, joint postmasters general of the colonies. The ledger also documents the successful lobbying of Secretary of Comptroller John Parker for an increase in his annual allowance.

When the methodically-minded Benjamin Franklin became joint deputy postmaster general in North America, he promptly instituted a new system of accounts, including one that enabled the General Post Office to standardize local postmasters' accounting methods. The new manner of bookkeeping did not abolish the opportunity for the dishonest to profit but it did prove beneficial since the comptroller could now check a new postmaster's accounts against the old for losses.

Date:
April 5, 1770-April 5, 1772
Medium:
paper; ink / handwritten
Dimensions:
Height x Width: 8 x 13 in. (20.32 x 33.02 cm)
Museum ID:
1982.0786.1
Place:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

  • Benjamin Franklin's General Post Office Account Page
  • Ledger page from Franklin's GPO account book
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