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The Story Of Samuel Wilson (Also Known As Uncle Sam)


An article about Samuel Wilson, the man whose name and image was used to create the character “Uncle Sam”. This a name that would go on to serve as a personification for the United States government.

Samuel Wilson was born in Arlington, Massachusetts on September 13, 1766 yet moved to Troy, New York where he became a very successful and prosperous meat-packer. It was during the war of 1812 that he obtained a government contract to supply beef to the army which was stationed in the north. This beef naturally being shipped in barrels marked U.S. as they were property of the United States government yet it was teamsters and soldiers who joked amongst themselves that U.S. stood for uncle Sam since it was he who was supplying it.

This joke eventually like most faded with the passing of time however the name “uncle Sam” persisted and became linked with anything marked U.S. such as the post office or whatever might be connected to the United States government. This name even becoming a nick name of the United States government itself.

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