(IntegrityPress.com) – If you ask any American where the popular icon Uncle Sam originated from, you are likely to get a lot of random answers or a simple shrug of the shoulders. To be quite honest, most people have no idea. Or, if they do attempt an answer, it will likely be related to some Army poster. Truth is, Uncle Sam actually dates back to the War of 1812 and a gentleman named Sam Wilson.
Sam Wilson was born in 1766, in Massachusetts. At age 15 he joined the American Revolution and took on ranch work for the Continental Army until the surrender of General Cornwallis in 1871. He would later settle in Troy, NY with his brother, Ebenezer, and open a slaughterhouse, E & S Wilson Company. Samuel became known to locals as fair, honest and reliable, and they eventually referred to him as Uncle Sam.
Amidst the War of 1812, the federal government was searching to fill a contract for a viable supply of meat to feed the troops. Sam and his brother put in a bid for the contract and won. At this time in history, contractors had to stamp where their products came from on all packages. Wilson’s came stamped with US initials.
Numerous soldiers fighting the war were from the same region as Sam and knew him well. When they discovered that he was supplying the meat, they noticed the US stamp on their packages. When workers were asked what the stamp meant, they would joke that it stood for “Uncle Sam.” Shortly afterward a newspaper reporter would get wind of the story and, well, the rest is history.
Because all government supplies that arrived for the war had the initials “US” stamped on them, it wasn’t long before Uncle Sam became an American symbol — one we still use over 200 years later.
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