Uncle Sam (initials U.S.) is a common national personification of the U.S. federal government or the country in general that, according to legend, came into use during the War of 1812 and was supposedly named for Samuel Wilson. The actual origin is by a legend.Since the early 19th century, Uncle Sam has been a popular symbol of the US government in American culture and a manifestation of patriotic emotion. While the figure of Uncle Sam represents specifically the government, Columbia represents the United States as a nation.
A national personification is an anthropomorphic personification of a nation or its people. It may appear in political cartoons and propaganda. As a personification it cannot be a real person, of the Father of the Nation type, or one from ancient history who is believed to have been real.
The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States and the United Kingdom, with their respective allies, from June 1812 to February 1815. Historians in Britain often see it as a minor theatre of the Napoleonic Wars; historians in the United States and Canada see it as a war in its own right.
Samuel Wilson was a meat packer from Troy, New York, whose name is purportedly the source of the personification of the United States known as "Uncle Sam".
The first reference to Uncle Sam in formal literature (as distinct from newspapers) was in the 1816 allegorical book The Adventures of Uncle Sam, in Search After His Lost Honor by Frederick Augustus Fidfaddy, Esq.Other possible references date to the American Revolutionary War: an Uncle Sam is mentioned as early as 1775, in the original lyrics of "Yankee Doodle", though it is not clear whether this reference is to Uncle Sam as a metaphor for the United States, or to an actual person named Sam. The lyrics as a whole celebrate the military efforts of the young nation in besieging the British at Boston. The 13th stanza is:
The Adventures of Uncle Sam, in Search After his Lost Honor is an allegorical book published in 1816 written by Frederick Augustus Fidfaddy. The book was written in English and contains 162 pages. It was republished in 1971 by Liberty House, a division of Gregg Press, in Saddle River NJ. The book is a satire on the policies leading up to the War of 1812 and the events of that war, modeled after John Arbuthnot's 1712 The Law is a Bottomless Pit, and his immediately following History of John Bull. Matthews asserted that this book was the first use in literature of the term Uncle Sam to personalise the United States.
The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was a war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies in North America which declared independence in July 1776 as the United States of America.
"Yankee Doodle" is a well-known American song, the early versions of which date to before the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution. It is often sung patriotically in the United States today and is the state anthem of Connecticut. Its Roud Folk Song Index number is 4501. The melody is thought to be much older than both the lyrics and the subject, going back to folk songs of Medieval Europe.
The earliest known personification of the United States was as a woman named Columbia, who first appeared in 1738 (pre-USA) and sometimes was associated with another female personification, Lady Liberty. With the American Revolutionary War came Brother Jonathan, a male personification, and Uncle Sam finally appeared after the War of 1812.Columbia appeared with either Brother Jonathan or Uncle Sam, but her use declined as a national personification in favor of Liberty, and she was effectively abandoned once she became the mascot of Columbia Pictures in the 1920s.
Columbia is the personification of the United States. It was also a historical name used to describe the Americas and the New World. It has given rise to the names of many persons, places, objects, institutions and companies; for example: Columbia University, the District of Columbia, and the ship Columbia Rediviva, which would give its name to the Columbia River. Images of the Statue of Liberty largely displaced personified Columbia as the female symbol of the United States by around 1920, although Lady Liberty was seen as an aspect of Columbia. The District of Columbia is named after the personification, as is the traditional patriotic hymn "Hail Columbia", which is the official vice presidential anthem of the United States Vice President.
Brother Jonathan is the personification of New England. He was also used as an emblem of the U.S. in general, and can be an allegory of capitalism. The epithet "Brother Jonathan" was originally one for the U.S. and not just New England.
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film studio and production & distribution company that is a member of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, a division of Sony Entertainment's Sony Pictures subsidiary of the Japanese multinational conglomerate Sony Corporation.
According to an article in the 1893 The Lutheran Witness , Uncle Sam was simply another name for Brother Jonathan:
When we meet him in politics we call him Uncle Sam; when we meet him in society we call him Brother Jonathan. Here of late Uncle Sam alias Brother Jonathan has been doing a powerful lot of complaining, hardly doing anything else. [sic]
A March 24, 1810 journal entry by Isaac Mayo (a midshipman in the United States Navy) states:
weighed anchor stood down the harbour, passed Sandy Hook, where there are two light-houses, and put to sea, first and second day out most deadly seasick, oh could I have got on shore in the hight [sic] of it, I swear that uncle Sam, as they call him, would certainly forever have lost the services of at least one sailor.
The precise origin of the Uncle Sam character is unclear, but a popular legend is that the name "Uncle Sam" was derived from Samuel Wilson, a meatpacker from Troy, New York who supplied rations for American soldiers during the War of 1812. There was a requirement at the time for contractors to stamp their name and where the rations came from onto the food they were sending. Wilson's packages were labeled "E.A – US." When someone asked what that stood for, a co-worker jokingly said, "Elbert Anderson [the contractor] and Uncle Sam," referring to Wilson, though the "US" actually stood for United States.Doubts have been raised as to the authenticity of this story, as the claim did not appear in print until 1842. Additionally, the earliest known mention definitely referring to the metaphorical Uncle Sam is from 1810, predating Wilson's contract with the government. As early as 1835, Brother Jonathan made a reference to Uncle Sam, implying that they symbolized different things: Brother Jonathan was the country itself, while Uncle Sam was the government and its power.
By the 1850s, the names Brother Jonathan and Uncle Sam were being used nearly interchangeably, to the point that images of what had previously been called "Brother Jonathan" were being called "Uncle Sam". Similarly, the appearance of both personifications varied wildly. For example, one depiction of Uncle Sam in 1860 showed him looking like Benjamin Franklin,while a contemporaneous depiction of Brother Jonathan looks more like the modern version of Uncle Sam, though without a goatee.
Uncle Sam did not get a standard appearance, even with the effective abandonment of Brother Jonathan near the end of the American Civil War, until the well-known "recruitment" image of Uncle Sam was first created by James Montgomery Flagg during World War I. The image was inspired by a British recruitment poster showing Lord Kitchener in a similar pose. It is this image more than any other that has influenced the modern appearance of Uncle Sam: an elderly white man with white hair and a goatee, wearing a white top hat with white stars on a blue band, a blue tail coat, and red-and-white-striped trousers.
Flagg's depiction of Uncle Sam was shown publicly for the first time, according to some, on the cover of the magazine Leslie's Weekly on July 6, 1916, with the caption "What Are You Doing for Preparedness?"More than four million copies of this image were printed between 1917 and 1918. Flagg's image was also used extensively during World War II, during which the U.S. was codenamed "Samland" by the German intelligence agency Abwehr. The term was central in the song "The Yankee Doodle Boy", which was featured in 1942 in the musical Yankee Doodle Dandy .
There are two memorials to Uncle Sam, both of which commemorate the life of Samuel Wilson: the Uncle Sam Memorial Statue in Arlington, Massachusetts, his birthplace; and a memorial near his long-term residence in Riverfront Park, Troy, New York. Wilson's boyhood home can still be visited in Mason, New Hampshire. Samuel Wilson died on July 31, 1854, aged 87, and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Troy, New York.
In 1989, "Uncle Sam Day" became official. A Congressional joint resolutiondesignated September 13, 1989 as "Uncle Sam Day", the birthday of Samuel Wilson. In 2015, the family history company MyHeritage researched Uncle Sam's family tree and claims to have tracked down his living relatives.
Yankee Doodle Dandy is a 1942 American biographical musical film about George M. Cohan, known as "The Man Who Owned Broadway". It stars James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, and Richard Whorf, and features Irene Manning, George Tobias, Rosemary DeCamp, Jeanne Cagney, and Vera Lewis. Joan Leslie's singing voice was partially dubbed by Sally Sweetland.
James Montgomery Flagg was an American artist, comics artist and illustrator. He worked in media ranging from fine art painting to cartooning, but is best remembered for his political posters.
John Bull is a national personification of the United Kingdom in general and England in particular, especially in political cartoons and similar graphic works. He is usually depicted as a stout, middle-aged, country-dwelling, jolly and matter-of-fact man.
Falcon is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was introduced by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Gene Colan in Captain America #117, and was the first African-American superhero in mainstream comic books.
Patrick Joseph Wilson is an American actor and singer. He spent his early career starring in Broadway musicals, beginning in 1995. He is a two-time Tony Award nominee for his roles in The Full Monty (2000–2001) and Oklahoma! (2002). In 2003, he co-starred in the acclaimed HBO miniseries Angels in America for which he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
Billy Yank or Billy Yankee is the personification of the Northern states of the United States, or less generally, the Union during the American Civil War. The latter part of his name is derived from yankee, a slang term for New Englanders. Political cartoonists used Billy Yank and his Confederate counterpart Johnny Reb to symbolize the combatants in the American Civil War of the 1860s.
"The Yankee Doodle Boy", also well known as "(I'm a) Yankee Doodle Dandy" is a patriotic song from the Broadway musical Little Johnny Jones written by George M. Cohan. The play opened at the Liberty Theater on November 7, 1904. The play concerns the trials and tribulations of a fictional American jockey, Johnny Jones, who rides a horse named Yankee Doodle in the English Derby. Cohan incorporates snippets of several popular traditional American songs into his lyrics of this song, as he often did with his songs. The song was performed by James Cagney in the 1942 film Yankee Doodle Dandy, in which he played Cohan.
Uncle Sam is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Based on the national personification of the United States, Uncle Sam, the character first appeared in National Comics #1 and was created by Will Eisner.
Todd Harris Goldman is a controversial American entrepreneur and the founder of David and Goliath, a merchandise company that produces clothing, posters and other merchandise featuring a variety of slogans based on older designs and the work of other artists.
William Gold was an American graphic designer best known for thousands of film poster designs.
The Society of Illustrators is a professional society based in New York City. It was founded in 1901 to promote the art of illustration and, since 1959, has held an annual exhibition.
Lord Kitchener Wants You is a 1914 advertisement by Alfred Leete which was developed into a recruitment poster. It depicted Lord Kitchener, the British Secretary of State for War, below the words "WANTS YOU". Kitchener, wearing the cap of a British Field Marshal, stares and points at the viewer calling them to enlist in the British Army against the Central Powers. The image is considered one of the most iconic and enduring images of World War I. A hugely influential image and slogan, it has also inspired imitations in other countries, from the United States to the Soviet Union.
The Uncle Sam Memorial Statue is a statue commemorating Samuel Wilson, perhaps the original Uncle Sam, near his birthplace in the center of Arlington, Massachusetts, United States. It was sculpted by Theodore Cotillo Barbarossa. It is located on Mystic Street, adjacent to the Minuteman Bikeway.
John Emmet Sheridan was an illustrator well known in his lifetime for his cover art for The Saturday Evening Post, his illustrations for Collier's Weekly and Ladies' Home Journal, and his commercial advertisements. He is "credited with the idea of using posters to advertise college sports." Sheridan was a member of the Dutch Treat Club, and a frequent contributor to the program of their annual banquet and show, and was an instructor at New York's School of Visual Arts at the time of its founding.
Hi Uncle Sam! is a poem by Irish poet Rev. William Forbes Marshall. It asks of Americans that they remember the input and support of immigrants from Ulster on the United States throughout the American Revolution.
The Rensselaer County Historical Society (RCHS) is a non-profit, historical society and museum, to promote the study of the history of the Rensselaer County, NY. RCHS was founded in 1927, and originally operated out of a single room in the Troy Public Library, collecting manuscripts and published materials related to the county's history. It is located in the Central Troy Historic District, in Troy, NY. The Rensselaer County Historical Society operates a museum, and offers public programs from its location at 57 Second Street, Troy, NY.
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