Uncle Sam: The legend
Troy, New York has been associated with Uncle Sam since the War of 1812.
As the story goes … during the war, Sam Wilson was a meat packer living and working in Troy, New York. He obtained a contract to supply beef to the Army, which he shipped in barrels. As government property, the barrels were branded with the initials “U.S.,” but soldiers joked that the initials referred to “Uncle Sam”. The story grew to mythological proportions, resulting in a somewhat fictional image of Sam Wilson emerging as the white bearded, red – white – and – blue clad symbol of America.
The best known Uncle Sam image originated over fifty years ago as part of a war-time recruitment poster, encouraging qualified citizens to join the armed forces. In addition to the bald eagle and the stars and stripes, this made Sam Wilson one of the United State’s most recognized national symbols. Mr. Wilson’s remains are now located in Oakwood Cemetery in North Troy, NY.