>> HISTORY OF DANZIG’S MAIL AND POSTAL CANCELLATIONS
in 1769, the office of Polish General Postmaster in Danzig came to an end. Warsaw employed in his stead four officials whose greed and arbitrariness surpassed everything that came before. For that reason, the Danzig merchants made very frequent use of the neighboring Prussian postal service. Thus the revenue of the Polish post office in Danzig decreased to such an extent that it no longer covered the salary expenses.
On October 1, 1772, the first Prussian mail coaches rolled toward the post offices that were newly established in all larger places. Establishing these post offices cost 70,000 Taler; in addition, 600 horses were axquired. The Prussian state took over those postal stations where there were no transport contractors. When necessary, the administration erected barns and office facilities. On October 3, 1772, the franking privilege was introduced for letters, for packages up to 40 pounds, for consignments of gold, silver, money and jewelry. Consignments for Danzig went to the new Prussian main post office in Stolzenberg which served to constrict the Polish post office in Danzig. Since Poland levied 12 Groschen for each letter mailed, more and more citizens of Danzig used this post office.
On April 9, 1793, the Prussian main post office was moved from Stolzenberg into the facilities of the desolved Polish post office in Danzig.
When the purchasing power of money declined due to the Seven-Years War, the fees were increased: for packages and money orders by 100%; the fare for people by one Groschen per mile (from 3 to 4), the tip for the postillion by 2 Gr. per stage station (from 6 Gr).
From 1741 to 1786, the Prussian mail yielded a surplus of 20 million. In 1772, the old rate was reintroduced and remained in force to 1801. In 1803, the system of having the postmaster share in the fees was abolished. Instead, a fixed salary was paid.
Because wheat prices went up, fees were raised temporarily by 50% from 1805 to 1811. On October 7, 1806, Napoleon issued an order of the day that placed all postmasters in all of Germany under his protection. Whereas in Prussia the post offices were plundered over and over again by the French, Danzig was successful in preserving the Prussian post office. However, it was isolated from Berlin in 1806 and later suffered much from the siege and from French postal espionage. Only while they were on the job were the postal clerks under Prussian authority; at all other times they were considered citizens of Danzig. After the French retreat from Russia, postal service was impossible so that in the night of May 24, 1813 at 3 A.M., personnel and movable postal equipment were brought to the investing army by means of Oder boats. Danzig was liberated January 2nd when Prussian troops entered the city. Danzig had yielded the mail privilege to Prussia in 1810 for a consideration of 3,000 Taler per annum.
(Continued next issue)
Danzig Report Nr. 12 – November - December - 1976, Page 10.
Copyright: 2023 Danzig.org