Dead Letters, * Those which remain in the post-office, uncalled for. By the Act of March 8, 1825, 3 Story. L. U. S. 1993, it is enacted, by §26, "That the postmasters shall, respectively, publish, at the expiration of every three months, or oftener, when the postmaster general shall so direct, in one of the newspapers published at, or nearest, the place of his residence, for three successive weeks, a list of all the letters remaining in their respective offices; or instead thereof, shall make out a number of such lists, and cause them to be posted at such public places, in their vicinity, as shall appear to them best adapted for the information of the parties concerned; and, at the expiration of the next three months, shall send such of the said letters as then remain on hand, as dead letters, to the general post office where the same shall be opened and inspected; and if any valuable papers, or matters of consequence, shall be found therein, it shall be the duty of the postmaster general to return such letter to the writer thereof, or cause a descriptive list thereof to be inserted in one of the newspapers published at the place most convenient to the supposed residence of the owner, if within the United States; and such letter, and the contents, shall be preserved, to be delivered to the person to whom the same shall be addressed, upon payment of the postage, and the expense of publication. And if such letter contain money, the postmaster general may appropriate it to the use of the department, keeping an account thereof, and the amount shall be paid by the department to the claimant as soon as he shall be found."

3. And by the Act of July 2, 1836, 4 Sharsaw. Cont. of Story, L. U. S. 2474, it is enacted by §35 that advertisements of letters remaining in the post-offices, may, under the direction of the postmaster general, be made in more than one newspaper: provided, that the whole cost of advertising shall not exceed four cents for each letter.

* From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 Edition. Please see Bouvier's Legal Abbreviations & Abbreviated References for help with obscure nomenclature & references.

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