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POSTAGE ON LETTER IN 1830S COST A HALF-DAY'S WAGE

In addition to his concerns for the growing Church and needs of the saints coming to settle in Kirtland, Joseph Smith had to be concerned about other matters, such as the cost of postage on a letter.

In Joseph Smith's Kirtland - Eyewitness Accounts, Karl Ricks Anderson wrote: "Postage was expensive in the 1830s; mailing a letter cost twenty-five cents, which was a half-day's wage. Joseph frequently received letters that had been sent C.O.D. collect on deliveryT. To make matters worse, some of the mail contained insults."The Prophet wrote: `It is a common occurence to receive C.O.D. lettersT, and I am subjected to a great deal of expense by those whom I know nothing about, only that they are destitute of good manners; for if people wish to be benefitted with information from me, common respect and good breeding would dictate them to pay the postage on their letters.'

"The problem continued until the Prophet finally put a notice in the Church newspaper, Messenger and Advocate: `I wish to inform my friends and all others, abroad, that whenever they wish to address me thro' the Post Office, they will be kind enough to pay the postage on the same. My friends will excuse me in this matter, as I am willing to pay postage on letters to hear from them; but am unwilling to pay for insults and menaces, - consequently, must refuse all, unpaid."