In all families there are relatives, some are old, some are young, some are funny and some are stern. Each of us has a story to share, and many times at least one relative takes part in that very tale. However, in the United States we all have one Uncle who has been part of the history of our American family since the War of 1812: Uncle Sam.
Linking the name Uncle Sam with the federal government dates back to a businessman Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812. Wilson (1766-1854) stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States, but soldiers began referring to the “grub” as “Uncle Sam’s.” When the local newspaper wrote about his supplies, Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the U.S. federal government.
After that newspapers across America have used the image of Uncle Sam; a most familiar face that has seen us through good and bad times.
Today’s blog brings to you the political cartoon Bringing the Truth Home to Us by Jay N. Darling and first published in the 1918 in Des Moines Register. It is a depiction of Uncle Sam carrying a dead soldier, representing the first reported U.S. casualties from World War I.
And so, we can agree that the saying, “a picture speaks a thousand words” is all too true.
The stark reality of war is part of our history and regretfully exists in our present. Hopefully, the future can find a way to have it be a sad memory and not one to repeat.
First image: 1917 lithograph