Uncle Sam (1808? 1812?)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue Feb 21 03:09:43 UTC 2006

At 2/20/2006 07:40 PM, Bapopik wrote:
>Uncle Sam" is a favorite topic of mine since my days in his alleged home
>town of Troy, New York. There's an 1812 citation from Vermont on
>Early American
>Newspapers, and I would think it knocks out the Troy theory completely. Evans
>  Digital has "Uncle Sam" in almanacs from as early as 1808! Any opinions?

Is the question about his alleged home town of Troy, or about the War
of 1812 theory?  For his town or birth:

"Uncle Sam: Uncle Sam was born in Menotomy. Samuel Wilson was almost
nine years old when the Battle of Menotomy took place. He started a
meat-packing business in Troy, N.Y., where he became known as Uncle
Sam. People say that the U.S. stamped on boxes of meat for the U.S.
Army during the War of 1812 stood for Uncle Sam."

[The town of Menotomy, also known in early times as West Cambridge
(being then the second, or west, precinct), was named Arlington in
the 19th century.  The Battle of Menotomy is the more-significant
action of April 19, 1775; more patriots lost their lives in Menotomy
than in Concord plus Lexington.]

Quoted text from

 From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncle_Sam
A monument marks his birthplace in Arlington, Massachusetts. However,
counter-arguments to this theory have been raised by some (for
example, see Cecil Adams' article at The Straight Dope) so the
precise origin of the term may never be proven.

For a photo of his monument, http://www.city-data.com/picfilesc/picc4032.php


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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