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The House has elected or appointed employees to carry out a wide variety of tasks throughout its history. The officers’ duties are prescribed both by law and Rule II of the Rules of the House of Representatives.

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Postmasters of the House

Member Post Office Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
The 1857 expansion added an elegant new post office to the Capitol.
An elected officer for nearly 160 years (24th through the 102nd Congresses), the Postmaster managed mail operations in the House. Initially, workers in the Doorkeeper’s office were paid additional compensation to perform mail duties. A December 13, 1832, resolution made the Postmaster a distinct and permanent House employee. In 1834, William J. McCormick, a Doorkeeper’s employee, was named the first House Postmaster. Four years later, the House adopted a rule that charged the Postmaster with superintending the post office in the Capitol and overseeing the delivery of mail to Members and Officers. The House Reform Resolution of 1992 (H. Res. 423, April 9, 1992), abolished the Office of the Postmaster and reassigned mail handling procedures for the House of Representatives among other House Officers and private entities.

A total of 21 Postmasters served in the House. One Postmaster (William S. King) served as a U.S. Representative after his service as a House Officer.

Congress and Years Name State or TerritoryDate Elected
23rd (1833–1835) MCCORMICK, William J. 1 -
24th (1835–1837) MCCORMICK, William J. 2 -
25th (1837–1839) MCCORMICK, William J. 3 -
26th (1839–1841) MCCORMICK, William J. Dec 23, 1839
27th (1841–1843) MCCORMICK, William J. Jun 09, 1841
28th (1843–1845) JOHNSON, John M. VA Jan 04, 1844
29th (1845–1847) JOHNSON, John M. VA Dec 03, 1845
30th (1847–1849) JOHNSON, John M. VA Dec 08, 1847
31st (1849–1851) JOHNSON, John M. VA -
32nd (1851–1853) JOHNSON, John M. VA Dec 01, 1851
33rd (1853–1855) JOHNSON, John M. VA Dec 05, 1853
34th (1855–1857) MORRIS, Robert Feb 05, 1856
35th (1857–1859) CLUSKEY, Michael W. GA Dec 07, 1857
36th (1859–1861) LUCAS, Josiah M. IL Feb 06, 1860
37th (1861–1863) KING, William Smith MN Aug 05, 1861
38th (1863–1865) KING, William Smith MN Dec 08, 1863
39th (1865–1867) GIVEN, Josiah OH Dec 04, 1865
40th (1867–1869) KING, William Smith MN Mar 05, 1867
41st (1869–1871) KING, William Smith MN Mar 05, 1869
42nd (1871–1873) KING, William Smith MN Mar 04, 1871
43rd (1873–1875) SHERWOOD, Henry MI Dec 01, 1873
44th (1875–1877) STEUART, James M. 4 VA Dec 06, 1875
45th (1877–1879) STEUART, James M. VA Oct 15, 1877
46th (1879–1881) STEUART, James M. VA Mar 18, 1879
47th (1881–1883) SHERWOOD, Henry MI Dec 05, 1881
48th (1883–1885) DALTON, Lycurgus IN Dec 04, 1883
49th (1885–1887) DALTON, Lycurgus IN Dec 07, 1885
50th (1887–1889) DALTON, Lycurgus IN Dec 05, 1887
51st (1889–1891) WHEAT, James L. 5 WI Dec 02, 1889
51st (1889–1891) HATHAWAY, James W. MT Dec 15, 1890 6
52nd (1891–1893) HATHAWAY, James W. MT Dec 08, 1891
53rd (1893–1895) DALTON, Lycurgus MT Sep 07, 1893
54th (1895–1897) MCELROY, Joseph 7 OH Dec 02, 1895
55th (1897–1899) MCELROY, Joseph OH Mar 15, 1897
56th (1899–1901) MCELROY, Joseph OH Dec 04, 1899
57th (1901–1903) MCELROY, Joseph OH Dec 02, 1901
58th (1903–1905) MCELROY, Joseph OH Nov 09, 1903
59th (1905–1907) MCELROY, Joseph OH Dec 04, 1905
60th (1907–1909) LANGUM, Samuel MN Dec 02, 1907
61st (1909–1911) LANGUM, Samuel MN Mar 15, 1909
62nd (1911–1913) DUNBAR, William M. GA Apr 04, 1911
63rd (1913–1915) DUNBAR, William M. GA Apr 07, 1913
64th (1915–1917) DUNBAR, William M. GA Dec 06, 1915
65th (1917–1919) DUNBAR, William M. WI Apr 02, 1917
66th (1919–1921) COLLIER, Frank W. WI May 19, 1919
67th (1921–1923) COLLIER, Frank W. WI Apr 11, 1921
68th (1923–1925) COLLIER, Frank W. WI Dec 03, 1923
69th (1925–1927) COLLIER, Frank W. WI Dec 07, 1925
70th (1927–1929) COLLIER, Frank W. WI Dec 05, 1927
71st (1929–1931) COLLIER, Frank W. WI Apr 15, 1929
72nd (1931–1933) SCOTT, Finis E. TN Dec 07, 1931
73rd (1933–1935) SCOTT, Finis E. TN Mar 09, 1933
74th (1935–1937) SCOTT, Finis E. TN Jan 03, 1935
75th (1937–1939) SCOTT, Finis E. TN Jan 05, 1937
76th (1939–1941) SCOTT, Finis E. TN Jan 03, 1939
77th (1941–1943) SCOTT, Finis E. TN Jan 03, 1941
78th (1943–1945) SCOTT, Finis E. TN Jan 06, 1943
79th (1945–1947) SCOTT, Finis E. TN Jan 03, 1945
80th (1947–1949) COLLIER, Frank W. WI Jan 03, 1947
81st (1949–1951) SCOTT, Finis E. TN Jan 03, 1949
82nd (1951–1953) SCOTT, Finis E. TN Jan 03, 1951
83rd (1953–1955) HESS, Beecher OH Jan 03, 1953
84th (1955–1957) MORRIS, H.H. KY Jan 05, 1955
85th (1957–1959) MORRIS, H.H. KY Jan 03, 1957
86th (1959–1961) MORRIS, H.H. KY Jan 07, 1959
87th (1961–1963) MORRIS, H.H. KY Jan 03, 1961
88th (1963–1965) MORRIS, H.H. KY Jan 09, 1963
89th (1965–1967) MORRIS, H.H. KY Jan 04, 1965
90th (1967–1969) MORRIS, H.H. KY Jan 10, 1967
91st (1969–1971) MORRIS, H.H. KY Jan 03, 1969
92nd (1971–1973) MORRIS, H.H. 8 KY Jan 21, 1971
92nd (1971–1973) ROTA, Robert V. PA Jul 01, 1972 9
93rd (1973–1975) ROTA, Robert V. PA Jan 03, 1973
94th (1975–1977) ROTA, Robert V. PA Jan 14, 1975
95th (1977–1979) ROTA, Robert V. PA Jan 04, 1977
96th (1979–1981) ROTA, Robert V. PA Jan 15, 1979
97th (1981–1983) ROTA, Robert V. PA Jan 05, 1981
98th (1983–1985) ROTA, Robert V. PA Jan 03, 1983
99th (1985–1987) ROTA, Robert V. PA Jan 03, 1985
100th (1987–1989) ROTA, Robert V. PA Jan 06, 1987
101st (1989–1991) ROTA, Robert V. PA Jan 03, 1989
102nd (1991–1993) ROTA, Robert V. 10 PA Jan 03, 1991
102nd (1991–1993) SHINAY, Michael J. VA Mar 31, 1992 11

Footnotes

1See, contingency report H. Misc. Doc. 28 from the 24th Congress, 1st sess.

2See, contingency report H. Misc. Doc. 19 and H. Misc. Doc. 7 from the 24th Congress, 1st sess.

3It is assumed that McCormick was the Postmaster during the 25th Congress, but the documentation is sparse.

4James M. Steuart’s last name has been spelled “Stewart” and “Steuart” in both the House Journal and the Congressional Directory.

5Resigned October 1, 1890. See, Chicago Daily Tribune, (October 2, 1890): 7.

6Elected December 15, 1890. See, House Journal, 51st Cong., 2nd sess. (December 15, 1890): 15.

7Name is listed as both Joseph C. and Joseph B. McElroy in the House Journal.

8Resigned, June 30, 1972. See, House Journal, 92nd Cong., 2nd sess., (June 6, 1972): 621.

9Elected July 1, 1972. See, Congressional Record, 92nd Cong., 2nd sess., (July 1, 1972): 726.

10Resigned March 19, 1992. See, Congressional Record, 102nd Cong., 2nd sess., (March 19, 1992): 1356.

11Appointed March 31, 1992, “to act as and exercise temporarily” duties of the Postmaster; see, Congressional Record, 102nd Cong., 2nd sess., (March 31, 1992): 2070.