This Date in Wells Fargo History This Date in Wells Fargo History. en Copyright 2018, Wells Fargo. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID 399801 Mon, 10 Dec 2018 history 360 Mon, 10 Dec 2018

December 10, 1878. Two days short of his 73rd birthday, Henry Wells died in Glasgow, Scotland, far from his Aurora, New York, home, and even further from the Western United States where his name became legendary. One of his triumphs was letter delivery and Wells rejoiced in the title, "the People's Postmaster General." Before 1845, U.S. postal rates ranged from 6 cents for a letter going under 30 miles, to 25 cents for one traveling over 400, with the result that the mails consisted of commercial correspondence and free newspapers. People did not write letters. Then, in the early 1840s, along came Wells and several other express pioneers, who inaugurated, as Wells said, an "important and peaceful revolution." Wells carried all letters for 5 cents and still made money! Congress responded by setting postage rates at 5 cents for letters going under 300 miles, and 10 cents over. Popular correspondence immediately increased and to the express, Wells declared, "are the people indebted for the decreased cost and increased accommodation of postal arrangements."

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