Saturday, March 12, 2005

Say Uncle

I did not know until recently there was a real Uncle Sam. His name was Sam Wilson and he grew up in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In 1789, he and his brother Ebenezer walked to Troy, NY, which still bills itself as Uncle Sam's Hometown. If you go to Troy, you can visit the Uncle Sam Memorial statue or his grave.

Unfortunately, Sam Wilson didn't look quite like our image of Uncle Sam. He certainly didn't walk around in the shiny red, white and blue suit. Certainly would have made him stand out in a crowd if he had, eh?

According to an online biography the familiar image was created by

"Thomas Nast, a prominent 19th-century political cartoonist," who "produced many of the earliest cartoons of Uncle Sam. "

Lately, we don't get to see as much of Uncle Sam as I'd like. I suppose his image is offensive to the sophisticated hordes with its connotations of patriotism and American pride so many now detest.

Well, as for me I hope he doesn't stay away too long. I'd like to see that old geezer (he was born in 1766, after all) hobble his way around again.

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