The Grand River Times, August, 1851
The New Mail Route.
We have been informed that the Post Master General has at last let a contract for carrying the mail from Grand Haven to Milwaukie, and that Capt. E. WARD, is the contractor.—Service to commence from and after to-day—to be carried three times per week ; if this service is performed with a first class boat like the Arctic, we are confident that the contractor will reap a harvest. There can be no more hauling off boats from this route, to run to the Railroad on the West shore, and thereby disappoint crowds of passengers—obliging them to take sail vessels, as they have heretofore.
MAIL ROUTE FROM GRAND RIVER TO MILWAUKIE.—Our readers will be glad to learn that this route has been established by the Post Master General, and the contract taken by the Messrs. WARDS. For this, we are greatly indebted to our indefatigable fellow-citizen, H. R. WILLIAMS ESQ., who has just returned from a trip to Washington, whither he went for the purpose of affecting this arrangement. Mr. W. almost-daily places the inhabitants of this valley under the renewed obligation to him for his service in behalf of their interests. What next, want to make a prediction. Tell us what you intend to do, and we can easily tell what will be done.
[Grand River Eagle.
We endorse the above, knowing it to be true, and that HARRY is one that never looks back, after putting his hand to the plow—especially, when taking care of the interests of his favorite Grand River. If he was a lo-co-fo-co we should have no doubt remaining on our minds, as to the result of the next election for President.
Mr. EDITOR:—At your request, I give you some account of the practical workings of the present Postal Arrangements, for the Post Offices on Grand River, between Grand Rapids and Grand Haven. On this route there are seven Post Offices, viz : One at Grandville, Tallmadge, Steel’s Landing, Polkton, Crockery Creek, Nortonville and Mill Point, and to accommodate the people, there should be at least two more established—one in Georgetown and another in Allendale. From these offices most of the 6,500 inhabitants of Ottawa, and some of those of Kent County, receive their mail—a sufficient number surely, to deserve pretty good accommodations from the Post Office Department, and to pay well for such accommodations. but how stands this matter of accommodation? You, at Grand Haven, are better off than your "side" neighbors, in this respect ; having your mail three times per week during the season of navigation—but only having one per week during the long winter season, you can somewhat sympathize with us, who have only one mail per week, and that in summer but one way, from Grand Rapids down to us and back again ; but none at all from us to Grand Haven, except by the circulation route via Grand Rapids ; thus a letter mailed at Nortonville, must travel seventy-four miles, and occupy two days time (after leaving,) to get to Grand Haven, a distance of three miles, and the same distance to return an answer, both occupying from eight to fourteen days in doing what could and should be done in thirty minutes each way, down in evening and back by boat next morning. Also, a letter deposited in this office yesterday, (Tuesday,) for Steel’s Landing, four miles distant, or any other place above named, would leave here for Grand Rapids next Monday, and the following Saturday (twelve days after,) if it were direct, would reach the place of its destination! I need not add taking time enough to send to New York or Boston and get returns. Now sir, is it all that wonderful that under such circumstances business men among us should almost entirely abandon the mail for the more expeditious mode of communication by private conveyance ; (though this is not done from choice, but from necessity,) that the master of our river mail steamer refuses to take the normal oath of mail carrier, and leaves the official charge of the U. S. Mail, to the pilot, or some on else ; that without exaggeration, there are more letters carried by these officers daily, out of the mail, than is brought to them weekly, in the mail bags; that Post Masters are poorly compensated—yen, that Post Masters themselves, must sometimes carry "mailable matter" over what is once a week a mail route, or say plainly to their friends that their official obligations prevent their discharging this duty of common courtesy in life, and despite their utmost vigilance, that but little revenue is brought to Department ? I do not write these things to indulge in a spirit of complaint. Both you and the Department, know me to be a Whig, and an officer under the present Administration ; but if these facts were fairly brought before our enlightened and enterprising Post Master General, would he not speedily apply a remedy to this state of things?
I suggest the following : 1st, let us have the mail three times per week, regular on the whole route, both winter and summer. 2nd, let the Department furnish each officer with an additional bag, in which to discharge, as well as receive the mail ; both of which can be done in the same moment, without detention of the boat, and with little or no additional expense to the contractor. Have we not the assurance that this will soon be done, in the recent establishment of a special route across Lake Michigan, which would only seem to mock and torture us under the present arrangement ?
Yours & c., WM. C. COMFORT, P. M.
Polkton, August 13, 1851.
THE NEW MAIL ROUTE.—Weeks have elapsed since we learned that the contract for carrying the mail from this point to Milwaukie was taken by Capt. WARD, the present Steam Boat Admiral of the Lakes, and that he was to commence service immediately. Since then it has been reported that the Admiral’s construction of the contract, is that he may commence the service and convey the mail on this route, when it shall suit his convenience, and that the boat intended for the service is now used as a regular steam tug in carrying cattle from Milwaukie to Green Bay.
We clip the following from the Hollander, and we may quiet your fears, for we know that your favorite Boat & Captain will be sustained by Kalamazoo and St. Joseph and a fair share of the business from this place, passengers from this region have become tired of paying wharfage and carriage on luggage and freight at the Jewish town of Milwaukie.
Let the "Harrison" be punctual in making her trips and they will do well, they are running a route that pays. We wish the Hollander would rend Captain P. a lecture for losing one trip last week and thereby disappointing a crowd of passengers, if this lecture is well read we promise to dine Old Mose on the next sixty-two pound trout that we are presented with, we would like the privilege of putting some flesh on those bones of yours Moses. We have laughed ourselves poor over your correspondence with you know who.
"We see by the Grand River Times that Capt. WARD has the contract for carrying the mail from Grand Haven to Milwaukie.
We hope that Capt. Pheatt of the Gen. Harrison will not be bluffed off by this operation, but that he will stick to this route, and that the traveling community will not be so blind to their own interests as to patronize the Ward when they can by any possibility take the Harrison.
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