Star Route Scandal
"With all the frauds exposed in the conduct of the star routes it is still incontrovertible that the management of the post-office has been honest, cheap, expeditious, and a great public convenience."— Chicago Tribune, 1883
In the 1880s, scandal struck the Star Route Service. A group including assistant postmaster general Thomas Brady and former senator Stephen Dorsey over-funded Star Route contracts and skimmed off some of the money. A route in the Dakotas that was $2,350 in one year increased to $32,000 the next; another in the Southwest rose from $6,330 to $150,691. A Congressional investigation revealed the illegal contracts. Brady and many others went on trial but were never convicted.