The U.S Post Office is Killing American Free Press

The U.S Post Office is Killing American Free Press

Even the Butterfield Stage Had Guaranteed Delivery

Recently, AFP has received an increasing number of complaints that delivery of our newspaper has gone from taking 4 or 5 days to arrive to sometimes as long as a month until the postman shows up with your AFP. It’s difficult for you to stay on top of the news when the paper is in the mail a month, but we hope that the overwhelmed U.S. Postal Service (USPS) gets back on track as quickly as they are projecting.

The delays, postal representatives insist, are to be blamed on Covid staffing shortages, a reorgan- ization of the processing systems at the USPS to handle packages as opposed to publications and letter mail and, of course, the huge number of mail-in ballots that flooded many post offices in November. Add to this the summer of rioting, USPS spokesmen say, and we have had a perfect storm for delayed delivery. We prefer solutions to excuses, so we will stay on top of the postmaster to make sure delivery of AFP gets back to normal, ASAP. This does bring up a possible solution.

In 1858, the Butterfield Overland Mail Company was formed. The stage traveled from Memphis and St. Louis, mean- dering through the southwest and ending up in San Francisco. The entire route was 2,800 miles and you were guaranteed to have your mail delivered within 25 days or your money back. Back then they didn’t have global pandemics and mail-in voting. They had tornadoes, flash floods, blistering heat, rattlesnakes, bandits, and hostile Apache Indians waiting to waylay the Butterfield stagecoach.

Note that the 25-day delivery time is better service than some of you are receiving from today’s automated USPS! The only problem was, it cost $50 to have your letter delivered from St. Louis to San Francisco. Today that would be $1,587. A bit too pricey for most people, but nice to have if you really needed a parcel delivered on time. Today, the Butterfield Overland Mail Co. is out of business and the U.S. Post Office (and the postal employees’ union) is king.

Of course we know our readers are as upset about this as we are, but we are at the mercy of the USPS. And, it is just not the newspaper that is being delayed. Your book orders have also been delayed. We were told by the Capitol Heights Post Office that they still have some of our orders—yet to be shipped from Dec. 9.

SO, not only is this killing those of you who are waiting patiently for your AFP and your book orders to arrive, the delay has hurt us financially. As we watch our bank account dwindle, we know, somewhere out there, are the hundreds of payments and donations we must have to survive.

Please consider making a donation here to help support AFP if you can.

PAUL ANGEL, Managing Editor