Sunday, October 7, 2012



August 25, 1793

Mrs. Sarah DeCrow


In the absence of the Postmaster General, I have received your letter in which you expressed a wish to resign your office in consequence of the small compensation that you received for your services. You are mistaken in supposing that you were entitled to no more than 20% compensation. You are entitled to 40% which is the highest rate of compensation the Postmaster General is authorized to allow to any of his deputies. I am sensible that the pecuniary advantages arising from your office cannot be much inducement to you to hold it, yet I flatter myself you will continue to do the business for the benefit of the town and neighborhood. If, however, you should decline holding the office any longer, be pleased to recommend some suitable character to succeed you. Mr. Blount's contract for carrying the mail does not expire until 1 June 1794, when proposals will again be received for the conveyance of the mail, and you will then have an opportunity of making yours which will be duly attended to.

(Signed) C. B.

From: Postmaster General Letter Book of June 13, 1792—October 27, 1793.

"In 1792 Sarah Decrow was recorded as the first woman postmaster appointed under the Constitution. She was in charge of the Hertford, [Perquimans County] North Carolina, Post office. Disappointed with the small compensation she was receiving, Decrow sent letters [including the one above] to the Postmaster General on several accounts, expressing her intent to resign from her post. On behalf of Postmaster General Timothy Pickering, the Assistant Postmaster General responded by asking her to reconsider her decision. In his letter to her, he claimed that Decrow was receiving the 'highest rate of commission the Postmaster General is authorized to allow to any of his deputies.'
"The Assistant Postmaster General's statement proves the ambiguous treatment of women in the postal system. In that one sentence, he defends equal pay between men and women."[1]

[1] “Women in the U. S. Postal System,”

[The letter was taken from Town of Hertford bi-centennial, 1758-1958 : and historic data of Perquimans County, North Carolina]

No comments:

Post a Comment