This is a historical overview and detailed analysis of American correspondence chess from the 1840's to about 1999. Particular attention is paid to the Correspondence Chess League of America (CCLA), the oldest correspondence chess organization in America and the second oldest in the world. Also included are comparisons of American postal chess play to that of other nations; discussions of the United States Postal Chess Federation, which runs the national Championship and encompasses most major American clubs; and biographies of America's two World Correspondence Chess champions. Over 200 illustrative games are included with diagrams. Appendices cover the CCLA rating system, adjudication, the Russian system, and winners of selected tournaments. A bibliography provides opportunities for further research and indexes cover players, game openings, and general topics.