Did Uncle Sam really exist?

Did Uncle Sam really exist?
Did Uncle Sam really exist?

Initially, as a symbol, people used some kind of sign with a secret meaning, understandable only to a certain group of people. Symbolic forms are formed from two elements: from the image and meaning. Sometimes playful, and sometimes quite serious images, figurines, sculptures, objects that carry a certain or implicit meaning, have separate groups united by some interest or secret, peoples and countries.

Who was the prototype of the American Uncle Sam

uncle sam

Since the middle of the last century, this is how the United States government, the country itself and state structures related to intelligence, state security, army, and justice have been called. It happened by itself. For many years, private entrepreneurship and business have been identified with this phrase.

Uncle Sam is commonly thought to be a playful shorthand for USA. Where did this delusion, which became a symbol, come from?

The expression was first used in one of the American newspapers in September 1813 in an angry article denouncing the government. And a character with that name (Samuel, or Sam Wilson) actually existed. During the war with England, the successful owner of slaughterhouses and part-time merchant was engaged in the supply of large quantities of provisions forUS army. Barrels of s alted meats were stencilled with large letters US, indicating that the shipment belonged to the state government. Several dozen barrels marked with these signs were brought daily to a large military base in Troy, located near the front line.

Mistake out

uncle sam

One day, one of the watchmen of Irish origin began to prove to the soldiers next to him that these letters are directly related to the supplier, Uncle (Mr.) Sam. The soldiers enjoyed joking about this with the Irishman. Every day, when another batch of meat arrived, the jokes started again and again. It was then that this phrase was introduced into use, which was later picked up by journalists.

In the future, the common name was transferred to all goods from the USA. There is even a holiday called Uncle Sam's Day, which Americans celebrate in March, on the 13th, according to the real date of birth of a popular person who became the prototype of the famous symbol.

When he was first drawn

Sam Wilson

The first drawing, a newspaper cartoon depicting Uncle Sam, was published in 1852. He depicted a thin, gray-haired old man with sideburns and a goatee, with a high top hat on his head. His clothes, painted in the colors of the American flag - a blue tailcoat, striped trousers - were added later. Thanks to the imagination and invention of artists, who in different years changed the image of a handsome, but demanding grandfather in their own way, the whole world imagines that this is exactly howlooked like Uncle Sam. A photo depicting a real person may differ from the image invented by the graphic artists.

The real Sam Wilson, judging by the surviving descriptions of his appearance, had a short stature and a rather rounded obese figure.

Who drew it

The very first "Uncle Sam" was drawn by artist F. G. Bellew. There was absolutely no resemblance to the original, the real Mr. Wilson. The portrait, created several decades later by D. M. Flagg on the famous propaganda poster, has the face of the artist himself. It was in this image that Uncle Sam first "put on" a high top hat and a blue tailcoat.

uncle sam photo

Today the famous image is presented in the form of souvenirs, images, large and small figurines. It is present in serious and not very plots, in caricatures with kind and mocking meanings. The whole world will recognize the gray-haired old man with sideburns, and it does not matter at all whether the image of the symbol looks like the original or not.

Lady Liberty

Another famous American symbol is the Statue of Liberty, erected on Bedloe Island (now Liberty Island) in 1886 on the approach from the sea to New York. A huge disassembled structure was delivered by steamer from France by sea.

The female figure, created by Frederic Bartholdi, has a height of 46 m. ​​Together with the pedestal and pedestal, inside which the museum is located, the height of the sculpture is 93 m. The inner frame, on which the copper sheets of the statue are attached, was designed by Gustave Eiffel. Remarkably,that the figure is made of Russian copper, and the pedestal is made of German cement.

Under the terms of the agreement signed by President Ulysses Grant in 1877, the United States agreed to accept the sculpture of the Statue of Liberty as a gift for the 100th anniversary of Independence. The pedestal was built on donations from American citizens. For the sculpture itself, funds were collected in France. The gift was 10 years late for the planned anniversary. Despite this unfortunate fact, a grand celebration was held with a parade in honor of the installation of the long-awaited sculpture on a hexagonal plinth.

Since then, for almost 130 years, Uncle Sam in the form of the Goddess of Liberty has been welcoming guests of the country with a torch raised high in his hands.

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