Unformatted text preview: odd it would be should this silly joke,
originating in the midst of beef, pork, pickle, mud, salt and hoop-poles, eventually
become a national cognomen.' (cited in Ketchum 22).
Official document exists which proves the connection between Samuel Wilson and the
character of Uncle Sam symbolizing United States and the government of the United States.
This document is a newspaper article which cited Wilson’s relatives reported in the New York the side of Mount Ida above the town. They used the empty space in the market and profited 25 26 Sam Wilson had a large family, many nephews and nieces who all lived in the town of Troy. These are the first known representations and uses of Uncle Sam as national symbol. As Because of his business and his kind and happy nature, he was very popular locally. Therefore described by Ketchum. “The earliest known use of the term 'Uncle Sam' in print was in a it seemed that almost everyone in the town called him ‘Uncle Sam’ (Ketchum). broadside which gives evidence of having been printed in the spring of 1813. Under the crude He died on July 31sth, 1854. Ketchum cites the local newspaper The AlbanyEvening Journal woodcuts are two mentions of Uncle Sam. One is in doggerel under the cartoon of 'Bonapart' - which wrote following article : 'If Uncle Sam needs, I'll be glad to assist him” (Ketchum 25). 'UNCLE SAM' - The death of Samuel Wilson, an aged, worthy and formerly The other known representation is from March 1813, its original is “In The Library of enterprising citizen of Troy, will remind those who were familiar with the incidents of Congress, whose curators believe it was printed in northern New York State, possibly Troy or the War of 1812, of the origin of the popular sobriquet for the 'United States'. Mr Albany” (Ketchum 24). Wilson was an extensive packer, had the contract for supplying the northern army with The next reference, which for many years was taken to be the first, appeared in the Troy Post beef and pork. He was everywhere known as 'Uncle Sam', and the 'U.S.' branded on for September 7th, 1813. 'Loss upon loss, and no ill luck stirring but what lights upon UNCLE the heads of barrels for the army were at first taken to be the initials of 'Uncle Sam' SAM's* shoulders, exclaim the Government editors in every part of the country.' (The asterisk Wilson, but finally lost their local significance and became throughout the army the refers to a note at the end of the piece: 'This cant name for our government has got almost as familiar term for 'United States'...(cited in Kethum 23). current as 'John Bull". The letters U.S. on the government wagons, etc., are supposed to have “Uncle Sam had been around for 148 years before the U.S. Congress decided to do anything given rise toit. ') about him. When definitive evidence of Samuel Wilson's identity as the original of Uncle Sam
became widely known, the citizens of Troy sought permanent recognition for their famed
3.3 Two symbolic contexts of representations of Uncle Sam
fellow townsman” (Ketchum 23). In the 1961 government passed the official resolution which
officially recognized Samuel Wilson of Troy. As cited in Ketchum.
As a result, Congress passed a Joint Resolution on September 15th 1961, recalling
Uncle Sam’s origin, and stating that Uncle Sam was evoked ‘out of the needs of a
young nation’ and that since ‘no Congress action has ever been taken to make…the
symbol of “Uncle Sam” official and permanent: Therefore be it Resolved by the
Senate (the House of Representatives concurring) That the Congress salutes “Uncle
Sam” Wilson of Troy, New York, as the progenitor of America’s national symbol The American Symbol of Uncle Sam has been portrayed, discussed in the two main
contexts. This is in accordance of the concept of symbol as a boundary marker and identity
maker. As the authors of the Capitol Project, project state “He has been an symbol with
which Americans could identify. On another level, Uncle Sam has helped to define the
relationship between the American people and their government” (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~CAP/SAM/home.htm). Globally is Uncle Sam associated with the
nation as a whole. “While Uncle Sam is globally associated with the nation as a whole, for
many Americans Sam is a symbol specifically of the federal government. He is comparable to “Uncle Sam”(Ketchum 25). a kinder, gentler, Big Brother” (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~CAP/SAM/home.htm). 27 28 Uncle Sam helped defining the relationship of Americans with their country and America was represented by Uncle Sam outwards as well. H...
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