From 1836 to 1971, Postmasters were appointed by the President, “by and with the consent of the Senate.”

  • Postmasters earning less than $1,000 per year were appointed by the Postmaster General, generally upon the advice of the local congressman or townspeople.
  • Regulations required that postmasters execute a valid bond and take an oath of office, thus minors and aliens were ineligible.
  • Prior to 1971, it was also required that postmasters live in the area of their Post Office™.

Since 1971, postmasters have been selected on the merit system.

For additional historical information on the appointment of Postmasters, go to


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