The Mail

This April 24, 1813 letter, to Beaufort from the Postmaster General in Washington, DC, gave permission to contract mail service once a week. - National Archives -

Post Office Department records indicate that the Beaufort Post Office was established October 2, 1797, with David Hall as the first Postmaster. In 1800 Brian Hellen was the second Postmaster, followed by Thomas Cooke in July 1813 and Bridges Arendell in 1814.

The records indicate that from 1797 through 1833 service to the Beaufort office was by horseback. It began to be served by two-horse coaches in 1834 and by sulkies in 1847. The route was from New Bern, by Beaufort and Swansboro. The service continued from New Bern through 1855.

Service was once every two weeks in 1805, but increased to once a week about 1814. About 1855 the Beaufort office, at the corner of Ann and Turner Streets, received mail by stage coach three times a week.

On October 3, 1853 Jesse H. Davis performed the first water service, once a week, on route No. 3000 from Beaufort to Smyrna in an open sail boat.

Compensation to the postmaster was $47.08 for the fiscal year 1825. By 1830 it was $296.46 and by 1911 annual compensation increased to $1600.

Domestic money order business was established at Beaufort on July 6, 1874. Rural delivery service was established in 1903 with one carrier at $600 per annum. City delivery began in 1926.