Ed Siskin, our June speaker, gave us a very thorough and fascinating presentation on the topic of “Free Franks.” Starting with the early British origins of free franking of mail, Ed then discussed early Colonial mails in the U.S., leading up to the Revolution, and the franking rules set out by the Continental Congress. His presentation included many examples of free franking in the early 1700’s.
Ed went on to discuss the signers of the Declaration of Independence and he showed a number of examples from his collection. This was followed by a detailed description of the Congressional franking rules, with many different examples (e.g., Sam Houston) and also illustrations of franking abuse. Ed concluded his talk with a discussion of Presidential free franks, including examples of franks from Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.