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Memorial from Ebenezer Hazard concerning post office operations in North Carolina
Hazard, Ebenezer, 1744-1817
April 06, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 395-396

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To the Honorable the Representatives of the State of North
Carolina in General Assembly convened.
The Memorial of Ebenezer Hazard Esq. Surveyor General of the Post Office and Post Roads;
Praying for certain Laws to be passed for removing the Evils therein complained of.

Dated Newbern, April 6th, 1778.

To the Honorable the Representatives of the State of North Carolina in General Assembly convened.

The Memorial of Ebenezer Hazard Esquire, appointed by Congress Surveyor General of the Post Offices and Post Roads throughout the United States,

Most Respectfully Sheweth,

That your Memorialist apprehends that were a Law passed, obliging Masters of Vessels, arriving in any Port within this State, to Lodge all the Letters they may bring with them (except such as are directed to the Owners or Consignees of the vessel) in the Post Office of the Port at which they may arrive, [it] would conduce to public Utility, and tend to increase the Revenue of the Post Office, which at present is too small to defray the necessary expenses. As Cases may occur in which it may be of Advantage to the Owner or Consignee of the vessel to detain particular Letters which may be on board for other Persons, perhaps it may appear necessary that the Master of the vessel should deliver all his Letters except as above to the Post Master, upon Oath; and to enforce a compliance wth the Law, a Certificate from the Post Master of his having received the Letters might be made a necessary Pre-requisite to an Entry at the Custom House. That Ferriage is demanded of the Post Riders for crossing several Ferries in this State, which your Memorialist Conceives to be an Imposition, as they were always, previous to the present Revolution, allowed to pass Ferriage free, and he apprehends that the Ferries were established upon this Condition, either expressed or implied.

That as the Post being delayed at Ferries may be attended with Consequences highly prejudicial to the United States, your Memorialist wishes for a Clause to be added to the Law proposed,

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obliging Ferry-keepers to carry the Post Riders across their respective Ferries immediately upon application being made to them for that Purpose, and in Preference to every other Person, on Penalty of—pounds for each Hour's delay. That in Consequence of Memorials similar to the foregoing, the General Assemblies of the States of Georgia and South Carolina have given Leave for Bills to be brought in agreeable to the Prayers thereof, and your Memorialist has no doubt they have been passed into Laws. That the Post Road through this State has become so bad, through the neglect of the Overseers of it, as greatly to delay the Post Riders and Travellers in general. Trees have fallen across it, and are not removed; the Roots are not cut up; a number of the Causeways are Swampy and full of Holes, and many of the Bridges are almost impassable. Your Memorialist has been creditably informed that a Post of the Road between Wilmington and Lockwood's Folly has had no work done upon it for Four Years past.

That Travelling through this State in general is attended with great Danger, arising from the Trees near the Road being Boxed for the Purpose of producing turpentine, and the present injudicious mode of firing the woods, whereby many of the trees are burned in such a manner that but very little Wind will be sufficient to blow them down.

Your Memorialist begs Leave to submit the Premises to the Consideration of your Honorable House, and prays that such Laws may be passed, relating thereto, as to your Honors may appear sufficient to remove the difficulties and remedy the Evils complained of.

And your Memorialist shall ever pray, &c.,

Newbern, April 6th, 1778.