Talk:Uncle Sam

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Thomas Nast[edit]

A number of political cartoons of Uncle Sam predate the work of Thomas Nast. He should be given a token each year that commemarates this work. His first Published Uncle Sam image was November 20, 1869. Harper's carried a number of Uncle Sam political cartoons as early as 1861, not by Nast. While Nast's role in creating the popular image of Uncle Sam should not be minimized, it is not accurate to report him as the "first" to draw Uncle Sam Cartoons. I have adjusted article to reflect this.

Walter Botts[edit]

The Information on Walter Botts comes from "They Did What!?" by Bob Fenster, 2003 Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN: 0-7407-3793-7. I did not know how to properly format a citation.


Aha, so you say in retrospect, atleast, assuming we shall believe that..reason, for outletting a source. Very well, asuming that book is true and exists...why is not linked to at a book-sellin' place,, and, secondly, how can we be sure Bob Fenster's information is accurate? People get far too much away with falsity by writing a 'book' instead of just sayin' it, these days. Just referring to a book doesn't solve all problems...source or not.--OleMurder 23:21, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

--- Added reference at bottom of page to that book. 19:07, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

An "artistic trick"[edit]

From the page:

The poster uses an artistic trick known since antiquity: if the pupils are drawn exactly centered in the eyes of a portrait, this gives an impression that the portrait "looks back" at the viewer wherever the viewer stands.

Strange little myth, that is. Anything "pointing" at you in a two dimensional image will preserve its apparent orientation when you change your viewing angle. If you look at a top down image of a pyramid, it'll point at you from any angle. There is nothing unique about how the eyes in this, or any other portrait that would cause that effect. Indeed, a close look at this image will reveal that the pupils are not exactly centred in the eyes - neither vertically, nor horizontally.

Perhaps the dramatic nature of an image such as this one might help "sell" the appearance of a direct glare at wider angles, but beyond that, there's no reason to claim some optical illusion in this or any other such portrait. (talk) 05:11, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

They have to not be looking at the extreme ends though because in that case the illusion can't sell. -- (talk) 18:40, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

'Parodies' of Uncle Sam Poster[edit]

I am fairly confident that the Kitchener poster is older than the Uncle Sam one, thus isn't really a parody. Kitchener died the year before the Uncle Sam poster was made.

Yes, you are right. I added an explanation to the british poster. Randroide 13:35, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

I want to know if I can add the Homestar Runner parody, "Do You Has?". It seems relavent to me, and if you don't know what I'm talking about, the "poster" is veiwable here --The4sword

Speaking of parodies, would it be possible to post the "I Want Out" parody from the 1970's or Alex Ross's "I Need You" parody from his comic? 01:19, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Picture Weaknesses[edit]

  • I DON'T like the picture Unclesamwantyou.jpg

--Abyab 15:55, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

2008 modern version of <uncle sam[edit]

new symbols can be seen at USA TEAM design office - a 12 year team effort of concerned citizens to update symbol. 3 life size portraits with additions, Sam´s wife, Sarah, life size original portraits currently on exhibit in santa barbara, california exchange war theme for good citizenship education-Human Bill Of Rights - . Early colleagues of real Uncle Sam Wilson were Johnny Appleseed and Benjamin Franklin, Stephen Foster -all gentlemen believed the greatness of a new nation could only be formed through honest welbeing and happiness of its citizens - original Sam Wilson did not represent taxes or war. he supplied food and medical to wounded and starving - this information obtained from University of Minnesota ARchves, History of Uncle Sam. --Sydney kislevitz 16:39, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Merge Proposal[edit]

First, I want to say, I can't find any support for the 'Another theory' about the Irish immigrants, and it is currently uncited. I believe it should likely be removed, in light of the 1961 declaration of Samuel Wilson as 'Uncle Sam'.

Second, while I don't think that I've ever suggested it before, because I tend to be a 'more articles better' type, as I read the Samuel Wilson page, it seems to me that his only real reason for note (as others supplied meat, too) is the 'Uncle Sam' moniker. I believe that both the Uncle Sam and the Samuel Wilson articles will be richer and better off by merging Wilson into Uncle Sam.

The Wilson article is not currently very encyclopedic (links aren't working, it's written like a chatty 'And now you know...the rest of the story' 5 minute break on PBS), but does have some good, solid info in it, most of which is citeable (I came to it because Wilson was mentioned in the Boston Globe, and I can cite most all of it), but about half of it duplicates information that is in Uncle Sam. I was looking at it and thinking of organizing it and fixing links when it occured to me that merging it will make for a much stronger article, and the sort of depth that will bring it up to possible GA status, with some work, as well as getting more recognition for Wilson's role in American history. --Thespian 10:18, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the idea of merging the document. The Samuel Wilson article is more like a section to the Uncle Sam page than its own separate article. It would fit right in if you can find sources for all of the information. Oman9978 00:28, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't see the vaule or utility of the merger of the articles, in spite of its legal truthfulness. The US Congress can change on a whim who meets this catagory -- the ultimate pennical in political favouritism. The Uncle Sam is a cultural database issue, the Wilson is a biography database issue. As catagory articles they should not be merged. Eyreland 22:22, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

One article focuses primarily on the use of the cultural icon and the other on the person who is generally regarded as the person who was the source of the name of the icon. If Samuel Wilson has no other claim to fame other than through his connection to Uncle Sam, I'd argue that there's no better place for his story to be presented than in the Uncle Sam article. I'm not sure how the 1961 US Congressional resolution declaring Samuel Wilson the "progenitor of America's national symbol, Uncle Sam" can be used as evidence that this attribution "can change on a whim", particularly considering the length of time Wilson has been commonly considered to be the source of the name. If anything, I'd say that since the Congress has never previously acknowledged anyone, and have now acknowledged this connection after a century has passed, and with an additional 40 passing between the Congressional resolution and now, it's... well, it's a done deal. There'd have to be dramatic revelation of some other citizen who had a superior claim to this distinction for Congress to go through the trouble of voting on a new resolution. Finally, I'd like to add that I did a little searching around myself on the "Irish Immigrant Theory" theory of Uncle Sam's naming and only found the retelling of the story - no source material. I also think it should be removed. Pakaal 09:23, 3 December 2007 (UTC) aja tanta basura y no dicen nada bueno —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:12, 27 February 2008 (UTC)


In online forums he is sometimes known as "Uncle Meat" or "UM", normally critisizing the USA. I just thought that might make a footnote or something --JekShadowtalk 05:00, 25 March 2009 (UTC)IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE...THAT UNCLE SAM COME OUT OF THE WAR OF 1812...YET NOTHING IS MENTIONED THAT HE BEARS A VERY STRONG RESEMBLANCE TO ANDREW JACKSON WHO CALLED UP ANDY'S BOYS FROM THE HILLS...IS IT POSSIBLE A GREAT AMERICAN HAS ONCE MORE BEEN OVERLOOKED??? Uncle Sam based of Samuel Wilson who was a soldier who was famous for packaging meat that's where he got the nickname Uncle Meat

and UM in 1812  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:44, 29 April 2014 (UTC) 

why???-13 year old writes her appionyon[edit]

uncle sam was one of our nations fonders for the army and yes i know we kneed soldiers for war but we wouldnt if there was no war amagin if in was you brother,husband,son,father,mother,sister,daughter,neace,nefue,aunt,uncle,ect. How would you fill to lost them to war so why cant we get over it and stop with thewar —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:54, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

"Uncle Sam" trademark in the U.S.[edit]

I was in a grocery store yesterday and saw a box of "Uncle Sam" brand cereal, since 1908, owned by U.S. General Mills corp. It says on the box the founder named the cereal after the Uncle Sam character because he resembled him. A search on Google shows they have a variety of other products under the brand, which carries a trademark symbol. 5Q5 (talk) 18:15, 29 September 2009 (UTC)


Note: There is more information on Samuel Wilson in the Pittstown, NY article. It seems to be unsourced? Additionally, I found this page which discusses Samuel Wilson/Uncle Sam. [1] Reliefappearance (talk) 17:58, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

And what was EA - US supposed to stand for?[edit]

A conjecture: "Estados Americanos / United States" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:24, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Possible picture source[edit]

I found son of the south which states "We have recently completed posting the complete run of Harper's Weekly newspapers from the Civil War." which shows part of the evolution of Uncle Sam (This JANUARY 16, 1864 pg 48 version look nothing like the one we are familiar with while JANUARY 11, 1862 pg 32 version of Brother Jonathan with his sharp nose, striped pants, and star covered shirt looks more like Uncle Sam).--BruceGrubb (talk) 03:19, 28 June 2011 (UTC)


The part about Samland being the name Germany used for America 'at the time' seems fake to me. It was added 14:14, 2 July 2011‎ by The 'user' only made to edits, to Uncle Sam and to another article also referring to Uncle Sam. I can find nothing on the internet to support the claim about samland. I say it should be removed? Dt.francois (talk) 11:57, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Origin date[edit]

I have no idea what year Uncle Sam originated in, but I know it wasn't 2010. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

This Wikipedia article on "Uncle Sam" is not good at all and is an embarrassment to the United States. We're celebrating the 200th anniversary of Uncle Sam; people are going to use this page to cite all the wrong information. I found the first citation of "Uncle Sam" (in 1812). That cite should be mentioned here. The Samuel Wilson origin story is most probably not true, for many reasons. The "Uncle Sam" in the Yankee Doodle lyrics is from 1824, not 1775! Our Uncle Sam came to be drawn from Abraham Lincoln in the 1860s. There was also an Aunt Samantha...Barry (talk) 08:46, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
If you have reliable sources for these assertions, by all means bring them in so the information can be added to the article. Hertz1888 (talk) 09:46, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
My name is Barry Popik. There's a Wikipedia page about me, and my work is on many Wikipedia pages. About five years ago, I decided to write Wikipedia pages for free. I was told that I can't cite my own work under any circumstances, but other people can. I did some nice work debunking old myths, only to see it all disappear the next day with an old myth presented again. I gave up contributing to Wikipedia, but this entry is so bad it hurts.
1. There is no evidence that "Uncle Sam" was a Yankee Doodle verse in 1775. Oscar George Theodore Sonneck's report on "Yankee Doodle" cites Farmer & Moore's Collections, 1824. This error leads the article!
2. I found the first known "Uncle Sam" citation many years ago. It's in a Bennington (VT) newspaper, December 23, 1812 on GenealogyBank. My work is at
3. The Samuel Wilson "Uncle Sam" story first appears in the New York Gazette on May 12, 1830. The Troy Post in 1813 mentioned that "Uncle Sam" is from the "U.S." on government wagons--never mentioning its own resident. For this and other reasons, the Samuel Wilson story is not believed to be the origin, even though Congress declared it is.
4. AUNT SAMANTHA (wife of Uncle Sam)--
AUNT SAMMY (sister of Uncle Sam)--
5. I've got tons of Uncle Sam drawings. "However, even with the effective abandonment of Brother Jonathan (ie Johnny Reb) near the end of the Civil War, Uncle Sam didn't get a standard appearance until the well-known 'recruitment' image of Uncle Sam was created by James Montgomery Flagg." Please. This is wrong. Flagg invented it all in 1916?
Show this broadside, also in Alton Ketchum's "Uncle Sam: The man and the legend" (1959) book (probably from early 1813 and not our first "Uncle Sam" cite, but good enough for Smithsonian work):
200 years later, Smithsonian explores War of 1812
Thursday - 6/14/2012, 8:13am ET
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery is opening a major exhibit on the War of 1812 with objects from Canada, Great Britain and the United States. (...)
A broadside with the first reference to "Uncle Sam" is included, along with Dolley Madison's red velvet dress that might have been made from curtains saved from the White House.

Barry (talk) 18:17, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

"An Uncle Sam is mentioned as early as 1775, in the original 'Yankee Doodle' lyrics of the Revolutionary War." FYI, see the popular 1770s-1780s broadside "The Yankey's return from Camp." ( "Uncle Sam" IS NOT THERE in the Yankee Doodle lyrics, or in any lyrics from any document of this period. Again, this must be removed immediately. Barry (talk) 07:58, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Any consideration given here (or anyone done any original research) around the fact that the Irish abbreviation for America is SAM - Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá? Kind of persuasive Muinchille1 (talk) 23:27, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

New articles on Uncle Sam[edit] The information presented there should also be here. I don't write for Wikipedia (I have my own website), but surely someone can add this information. Barry (talk) 07:58, 21 December 2012 (UTC) Here's another article: Barry (talk) 10:40, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Happy July 4th. There's still more new information on Uncle Sam, but this entry never changes. The U.S.S. Constitution Museum has just blogged that the Samuel Wilson story is more or less bunk, and that Wikipedia is still promoting a myth. See: Barry (talk) 01:02, 5 July 2013 (UTC)