The Most Famous and Successful American Osgood:
Samuel Osgood (Feb. 15, 1748 - August 12, 1813)
All Osgoods can be justifiably proud to say that they are related to Samuel Osgood. His lineage was Peter, Timothy, Timothy, John, John. He is shown in the First Book as #320 on Page 85. His line was not extended beyond Grandson, Samuel.
The lifetime accomplishments of Samuel Osgood were many and varied. He graduated from Harvard College in 1770. Several years later, he fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill as an aide to General Artemus Ward. During the War he was reelected to the Provincial congress, and he also served on the Board of War. In 1779 he was a member of the state convention to frame the Constitution. He was repeatedly chosen a member of Congress and was one of the commissioners selected to manage the Treasury of the United States. The Massachusetts Legislature came forward in a body and became his bondsman, an honor never accorded to another private individual.
Once the Constitution was adopted, Samuel Osgood was appointed by President Washington to be the first Post Master General of the United States. The seat of the Federal Government was in New York City, and the official residence of the President (the first White House) was located at One Cherry Street. This had been the home of Samuel Osgood and his Family. It was said to be the finest home in New York City. Samuel Osgood vacated the mansion so that President Washington and his wife might occupy it.
When the seat of Government moved from New York to Philadelphia, Samuel Osgood resigned and was elected to the New York State Legislature, where he became Speaker of the House.
He later became one of the original stockholders and a member of the first Board of Directors of the Bank of North America (Hamilton Bank). This was the first bank to receive a charter in the United States. In 1812 the City Bank of New York was incorporated with paid-in-capital of $800,000. This Bank was an offshoot of the Hamilton Bank. Stockholders in the Bank of The United States were allowed to exchange their shares for the shares of City Bank. The First President of City Bank was Samuel Osgood. He was described at the time as one of the most distinguished citizens of New York State and a man of conspicuous service in the Revolutionary War and in the establishment of the Federal Government.
Despite the very active public life of Samuel Osgood, he managed to find time to author several books. Throughout his life, he maintained a strong interest in theology, and many of his publications were on this subject. One publication in its original format is in the possession of Columbia University. It is titled “Three Letters on Different Subjects” and was published in New York in 1811.
Samuel Osgood was also a tireless letter writer. He included among his correspondents; President Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin. Many other prominent men of the day were also on his letter writing list.
One significant cultural legacy that he left future generations is the National Academy Of Arts. He helped to found this venerable Institution.
Although Samuel Osgood was the first Postmaster General in this Country, a commemorative stamp has never been issued in his honor. In the early 1950's Massachusetts Senator Saltonstall requested Postmaster General Summersfield to issue just such a stamp. One would think this to be a reasonable request in view of the frivolous stamps that are being issued all the time. The request was never granted. In the early 1990’s this author made a similar request through the offices of Senators Bob Smith and Ted Kennedy. Smith sent the request to Post master General Runyon. No reply was ever received from Kennedy’s office. Runyon's response is shown here. It would seem that if ever Osgoods were to rally around a cause, that this would be it. Maybe as a Family we can join as a single force and cause a historical oversight to be corrected.
The U.S. Postal Service and the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC) are the governing agencies in the decision process regarding commemoration stamps. You are invited to send the CSAC a letter that will help in the effort to have a commemoration stamp issued in recognition of Samuel Osgood.
Return to top of page