Letter-copy book for the Chicago post office
Copies of letters composed by John Locke Scripps, postmaster of Chicago, are preserved on the tissue-thin pages of this book. The covered manuscript contains 598 pages of handwritten letters sent by Postmaster Scripps between April 14, 1861, and June 20, 1864. Most letters fit on single pages that are individually numbered in the upper right corner. Yellowed shadows of the original letters’ stationery faintly appear behind the brown-colored script. Most letters are a single page in length.
The Civil War-era correspondence deals with management of the Chicago post office and details issues concerning postal operations, appointments, stamp orders, and mail routes during a significant period in American history and the development of the postal service. The years that Postmaster Scripps penned these letters saw the commencement of city free delivery, railway mail, and money order services.