Ebenezer Hazard

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Ebenezer Hazard (1744–1817) was an American businessman and politician, appointed as deputy Postmaster of New York City; in 1782 he became US Postmaster General, serving from 1782 to 1789.


Hazard was born in Philadelphia and educated at Princeton University. He established a publishing business in New York in (1770), but quit that business after five years. He was appointed first postmaster of the city under the Continental Congress.

In 1776, he was appointed as surveyor general of the Continental Post Office. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1781.[1] In 1782 he succeeded Richard Bache as the United States Postmaster General, serving until 1789. During his tenure as Postmaster General, under the new Federal Constitution, he reorganized the Post Office. They began to transport mail by stagecoaches on main routes, displacing the old horse and rider system.[2] Hazard was not in George Washington's favor however, because during the Constitutional Convention he had put a stop to the customary practice by which newspaper publishers were allowed to exchange copies by mail. Washington wrote an indignant letter to John Jay about this action which was doing mischief by "inducing a belief that the suppression of intelligence at that critical juncture was a wicked trick of policy contrived by an aristocratic junto." As soon as Washington could move on the matter, Hazard was replaced by Samuel Osgood, who as a member of the old Congress had served on a committee to examine the post-office accounts.[3]

Afterward, Hazard helped to establish the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia. He worked at this until his death.


  1. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter H". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Ebenezer Hazard to Dudley Woodbridge, 1781". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2011-05-10. Ebenezer Hazard (1744-1817) was a businessman and amateur historian whose public life was tied in with the post office. In 1775 he was appointed deputy postmaster of New York City. Hazard advanced in his job and was named to the position of Surveyor General of the Constitutional Post Office in 1776, a role he still held when this letter was written. Shortly thereafter, in 1782, Hazard rose again, this time to the position of Postmaster General. ... 
  3. ^ Henry Jones Ford, Washington and His Colleagues - A Chronicle of the Rise and Fall of Federalism, 1918. The Chronicles of America Series
Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Bache
United States Postmaster General
1782 – 1789
Succeeded by
Samuel Osgood
(Federal Government)

External Resources[edit]