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  • The United States Postmaster General is the chief executive officer of the United States Postal Service. The office, in one form or another, is older than both the United States Constitution and the United States Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin was appointed by the Continental Congress as the first Postmaster General in 1775, serving slightly longer than 15 months. Until 1971, the postmaster general was the head of the Post Office Department. From 1829 to 1971, he was a member of the President's Cabinet. The Cabinet post of Postmaster General was often given to a new President's campaign manager or other key political supporter, and was considered something of a sinecure. The Postmaster General was in charge of the governing party's patronage, and was a powerful position which held much influence within the party. In 1971, the Post Office Department was re-organized into the United States Postal Service, an independent agency of the executive branch. Thus, the Postmaster General is no longer a member of the Cabinet and is no longer in Presidential succession. During the American Civil War, the Confederate States of America Post-office Department provided mail service for the Confederate States, headed by a Postmaster General, John Henninger Reagan. Wikipedia

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