Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Honorable John D. Ashmore, Member of Congress from South Carolina, asks if he has the Right to the Franking Privilege, now that South Carolina has passed an Ordinance of Secession.

Anderson, S. C., Jan. 24, 1861.

My Dear Sir,—I have in my possession some one thousand to twelve hundred volumes of ” public documents,” being my proportion of the same as a member of the thirtysixth Congress. They were forwarded me in mail-sacks and are now lying in my library. Since the date of the ordinance of secession (December 20,1860) of South Carolina I have not used the franking privilege, nor will I attempt to do so without the special permission of the Department To pay the postage on these books, etc., would cost me a large sum, and one I am not prepared to expend. The books are of no use to me, but might be to my constituents, for whom they were intended, if distributed among them. Have I the right to frank and distribute them under existing relations? If so, please inform me. Having said that I have not used the franking privilege since the 20th December, I need hardly add that I shall not do so, even on a “public document,” unless you authorize it.

I am, with great respect,

Truly and sincerely yours,

J. D. Ashmore.

Hon. Horatio King,

Acting Postmaster-General.

(Answered on January 28th.)

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