John Henninger Reagan (American National Bibliography)

Ben Procter, "Reagan, John Henninger," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
In Austin on 30 January 1861 Reagan attended the Texas Secession Convention. He met specifically with Governor Houston and persuaded him to "submit to the will of the people" and recognize the convention. As a result, Texas withdrew from the Union on 1 February, and two days later delegates elected Reagan as one of the state's seven representatives to the Provisional Confederate Congress in Montgomery, Alabama. Within a month Reagan was appointed postmaster general of the Confederacy, whereupon he raided the U.S. Post Office of its documents and southern personnel. Upon the transfer of the Confederate capital to Richmond, Virginia, late in the spring of 1861, he sought ways to make his department self-sufficient by 1 March 1863, as prescribed by the Confederate constitution. He abolished the franking privilege and raised postal rates. He also cut expenses to the bare minimum by eliminating costly routes, including competition for mail runs, and employing a smaller but efficient staff. He was even able to persuade railroad executives to cut transportation charges in half and accept Confederate bonds in whole or partial payment. Although such stringent measures were necessary, the public became dissatisfied, harshly and abusively criticizing Reagan, despite the fact that Union armies had disrupted routes, had demolished postal facilities, and had interrupted mail with increasing frequency.
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