Portrait of Uncle Sam is perhaps the most famous poster in the world. It was created by James Montgomery Flagg and originally published as the cover for the July 6, 1916, issue of Leslie’s Weekly with the title “What Are You Doing for Preparedness?” Over four million copies were printed between 1917 and 1918, when the United States entered World War I.
There is a theory that Uncle Sam was named after Samuel Wilson who was born on September 13, 1766 in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA. In 1797 Samuel married Betsey Mann, daughter of Captain Benjamin Mann. Samuel and Betsey had four children: Polly, Samuel, Benjamin, and Albert.
During the War of 1812, Wilson was in the business of slaughtering and packing meat. He provided large shipments of meat to the US Army, in barrels that were stamped with the initials ‘US’. There was an idea that initials stood for ‘Uncle Sam’ Wilson.
Samuel Wilson died on July 31, 1854 at the age of 87. His grave is in the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York.