Benjamin Franklin, newly returned from England, was appointed chairman of a Committee of Investigation to establish a postal system.
The report of the Committee, providing for the appointment of a postmaster general for the 13 American colonies, was considered by the Second Continental Congress on July 25 and 26.
On July 26, 1775, Franklin was appointed Postmaster General. The members of the Second Continental Congress agreed "...that a Postmaster General be appointed for the United States, who shall hold his office at Philadelphia, and shall be allowed a salary of 1,000 dollars per annum..."
This simple statement signaled the birth of the Post Office Department, the predecessor of the United States Postal Service and the second oldest department or agency of the present United States of America.