A landmark stamp to be issued Monday by Canada Post to commemorate the 250th anniversary of formalized mail delivery in this country will feature a portrait of — huh? — American history icon Benjamin Franklin, the famed inventor, diplomat, philosopher and Founding Father of the United States.
But the Canadian postal tribute to Franklin — plotter of the would-be conquest of Quebec during the Revolutionary War — is not some colossal printing error. The new stamp recognizes the fact that Franklin, as deputy postmaster of Britain’s North American colonies in the 1750s and 1760s — prior to the U.S. fight for independence — personally inaugurated a post office in Halifax in 1753 and later initiated the first official mail service between Quebec, Trois-Rivières and Montreal on June 10, 1763, exactly 250 years ago on Monday.
“He’s noted for his contributions in the U.S.,” Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton told Postmedia News. “But in Canada, to say that postal service really started with a guy named Benjamin Franklin — yes, that Benjamin Franklin — it catches a lot of people off guard. It’s a reminder of how big a role he had to play in laying the foundation what we enjoy today.”
Franklin, a newspaper publisher by trade, had begun serving as Philadelphia’s postmaster in 1737 and eventually organized postal service throughout the British colonies in North America.
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