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Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt : Political Cartoons : Post Office Scandal

Following allegations of widespread corruption in the U.S. Postal Service, an internal investigation in 1902 revealed many cases of bribery, blackmail, overcharging, extortion, and other nefarious activities. The press publicized the findings in 1903, forcing the President to appoint two special prosecutors who subsequently indicted 30 Post Office officials and private contractors that September. The U.S. Postal Service was the largest source of federal patronage, which was an important tool in the age of spoils-system electoral politics. Many cartoons depict the hamstrung Postmaster General, Henry C. Payne, who despite the negative publicity remained in office until his death in october 1904.