"Working With the President." Political cartoon of President Benjamin Harrison and John Wanamaker, circa 1889.
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Cartoon showing Benjamin Harrison planting a chestnut tree and Postmaster General John Wanamaker watching him. Wanamaker asks: "Your excellency, how do you like Pennsylvania?" Benjamin Harrison replies: "A little cooler weather would suit tree planting better"

Credit: Library of Congress

In 1889 John Wanamaker was appointed United States Postmaster General by President Benjamin Harrison. Wanamaker improved the efficiency of the Postal Service and laid the groundwork for free rural postal service in the United States, which was implemented in 1897. Wanamaker's four-year tenure as Postmaster General, however, was also marred by controversy, including the political firing of some 30,000 postal workers, which led him into conflict with civil-service crusader and fellow Republican Theodore Roosevelt.

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