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the several agencies established for supplying postmasters with blanks. To this bureau is likewise assigned the supervision of the ocean mail steamship lines, and of the foreign and international postal arrangement.

Contract Office.-Second Assistant Postmaster-General, and twenty-six clerks. To this office is assigned the business of arranging the mail service of the United States, and placing the same under contract, embracing all correspondence and proceedings respecting the frequency of trips, mode of conveyance, and times of departures and arrivals on all the routes; the course of the mails between the different sections of the country, the points of mail distribution, and the regulations of the government of the domestic mail service of the United States. It prepares the advertisements for mail proposals, receives the bids, and takes charge of the aținual and occasional mail-letting, and the adjustment and execution of the contracts. All applications for the establishment or alteration of mail-messengers, should be sent to this office. All claims for transportation service not under contract should be submitted to it, as the recognition of said service is first to be obtained through the Contract Office as a necessary authority for the proper credits at the Auditor's Office. From this office all postmasters at the ends of routes receive the statement of the mail arrangements prescribed for their respective routes. It reports weekly to the Auditor all contracts executed, and all orders affecting accounts for mail transportation; prepares the statistical exhibits of the mail service, and the reports of the mail-lettings, giving statement of each bid; also, the contracts made, the new service originated, the curtailments ordered, and the additional allowances granted within the year.

Finance Office.—Third Assistant Postmaster-General, and twenty-one clerks. This office has the supervision and management of the financial business of the department, not devolved by law upon the Auditor, embracing accounts with the draft-offices and other depositories of the department, the issuing of warrants and drafts in payment of balances reported by the Auditor to be due to mail contractors and other persons, the supervision of the accounts of offices under orders to deposit their quarterly balances at designated points, and the superintendence of the rendition by postmasters of their quarterly returns of postages. It has charge of the deadletter office, of the issuing of postage-stamps and stamped envelopes for the prepayment of postage, and of the accounts connected therewith.

To the Third Assistant Postmaster-General all postmasters should direct their quarterly returns of postage; those at draft-offices, their letters reporting quarterly the net proceeds of their offices; and those at depositing offices their certificates of deposit; to him should also be directed the weekly and monthly returns of the depositories of the department, as well as all applications and receipts for postage-stamps and stamped envelopes, and for dead letters.

Inspection Office.—Chief clerk, and seventeen clerks. To this office is assigned the duty of receiving and examining the registers of the arrival and departures of the mails, certificates of the service of route agents, and reports of mail failures; noting the delinquencies of contractors, and preparing cases thereon for the action of the Postmaster-General ; furnishing blanks for mail registers and reports of mail failures; providing and sending out mail bags and mail locks and keys, and doing all other things which may be necessary to secure a faithful and exact performance of all mail contracts.

All cases of mail depredation, of violations of law by private expresses, or by the forging and illegal use of postage stamps, are under the supervision of this office, and should be reported to it.

All communications respecting lost money-letters, mail depredations, or other violations of law, or mail locks and keys, should be directed “Chief Clerk, Post Office Department.”

All registers of the arrivals and departures of the mails, certificates of the service of route agents, reports of mail failures, applications for blank registers, and all complaints against contractors for irregular or imperfect service, should be directed “ Inspection Office, Post Office Department.”

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This magnificent edifice is situated upon the brow of the eastern plateau of the city, ninety feet above the lowtide level of the Potomac. Its commanding position was determined by Washington, as an imposing site, overlooking the city like the Acropolis at Athens.

The building fronts the east, having been set by an astronomical observation by Andrew Ellicott; and is surrounded by a beautiful park of thirty-five acres, adorned with a great variety of shade-trees, both indigenous and foreign. The Capitol stands in latitude 38° 55' 48" north, and longitude 77° 1' 48" west from Greenwich. The calculation was made in 1821, by William Lambert, from observations by William Elliot, by authority of Congress.

The design of the central portion, including the old wings, was presented by Dr. William Thornton, and accepted by President Washington, according to act of Congress. The architecture is of the Corinthian order, though not limited to any particular example, while some of the capitals of columns are original in design. The general features of the exterior of the entire building are in conformity, although the types of the order are quite varied in the interior, and the Doric order is employed in some instances in the basement.

The corner-stone was laid, at the southeast corner of the north wing, by Washington, at twelve o'clock meridian, on Wednesday, September 18, 1793, with all the Masonic rites appropriate to the occasion. A grand Masonic, military, and civic procession was formed on the square in front of the President's mansion, from whence it proceeded to the Capitol ground, with martial music and flying colors, attended by an immense concourse of rejoicing spectators. Arrived at the foundation of the Capitol, the Grand Sword Bearer, followed by the President, marshaled the representatives of the Masonic fraternity between the double lines of the procession, to the corner-stone. After a solemn pause, and the discharge of

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