When the Supervisory Officials of the Railway Mail Service of the
First Division, comprising the New England states, were first able to get
together after the New England flood of 1927, it was agreed that their
first-hand information and that which could be easily obtained from postmasters
and other post office employees would make one of the most interesting
stories of the greatest disaster to the New England corner of the world.
Incidentally, the tale should show the courage, devotion, resourcefulness
and dependability of the great army of postal workers when the people whom
they serve are suddenly confronted with a great catastrophe.
To that end a committee of Railway Mail Supervisors was selected
to solicit stories and photographs from all the postmasters and mail workers
in the flood area. The response was more than gratifying; it was so voluminous
as to be alarming, particularly to a group of men whose lives have been
almost wholly devoted to the one narrow scope of distribution and transportation
of the mails. However, the problem, as is usually the case with men who
are constantly confronting problems, proved not so formidable as first
appeared, for the editor has had only to arrange the order and sequence
in which the many story tellers have their say.
Many postmasters and other postal employees in the flood area did
not offer contributions, probably for reasons of modesty and a mistaken
belief that what happened in their particular locality would be of no general
interest. On the other hand, some contributors have submitted vivid and
interesting stories of the flood in general but nothing in particular about
To the first group we commend the reading of the troubles of others
similar to their own. To the latter group, we express regret that space
did not permit the printing of excellent material, but not applicable to
the particular scope of our story.
Credit for this unique story belongs first to its many contributors;
yet properly it belongs to every postal worker in or in contact with the
flood area and to many others outside the service who assisted in moving
the mails and made the story possible.
Adverse criticism, justly due every book, should, on the contrary,
be aimed at one head. Therefore, as editor of the story, I must accept
the responsibility incident to such an undertaking.
Samuel J. Pease,
Railway Mail Service.
Mail Story Of The Flood, November 1927, Samuel J. Pease, Editor, Chief
Clerk, Railway Mail Service, Boston Mass, October 1, 1928, Printed by The
Concord Press, Concord NH; prepared by Tom Dunn, January 2002
by Tom Dunn]