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Samuel Osgood (1789–1791) - Postmaster General

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Samuel Osgood was born in Andover, Massachusetts, February 3, 1748. He graduated from Harvard University and first experienced politics on a small scale, serving from 1774 to 1776 on the Massachusetts Provincial Congress and as a delegate to the Essex County Convention (Massachusetts).He earned more notoriety after a successful stretch with the Revolutionary Army, ascending in rank from volunteer militia captain to army colonel in four years (1776-1800). Resuming his political career soon thereafter, Osgood served two terms with the Massachusetts State Senate (1780 and 1784), and spent several years as a member of the Continental Congress (1781-1784). Involved in national financial affairs as well, Osgood became director of the Bank of North America while a congressman and later became one of three board members to oversee the U.S. treasury under the Articles of Confederation (1785-1789).In recognition of Osgood's national service, President George Washington named him the nation's first postmaster general in 1789, a post which Osgood held until resigning in 1791. After giving up politics for a decade, Osgood reappeared to become a member of the New York State Assembly and Supervisor of Internal Revenue for the District of New York by appointment of President Thomas Jefferson (1800-1803). In 1803, Jefferson promoted Osgood to naval officer at the port of New York, a position Osgood held until his death on August 12, 1813.

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Consulting Editor

Stephen Knott

Professor Knott is an Associate Professor in the National Security Decision Making Department at the United States Naval War College. Prior to joining the War College faculty, he served as project director for the Ronald Reagan and Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Projects at the Miller Center of Public Affairs. His writings include:

The Reagan Years (Facts on File, 2005)

Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth (University Press of Kansas, 2002)