An official Path Through History Site! Sam Wilson joined the American Revolution as a teenager just as the war was ending, and after settled in Troy, New York to make a living as a meat packer. During the War of 1812, the genial Wilson was contracted with supplying meat to troops from New York and New Jersey, including locals who already knew him by his kindly reputation. Barrels of meat would be stamped “US” before being shipped to soldiers. Thanks in part to the soldiers from Troy who knew him, many soldiers equated their meat rations with “US” — “Uncle” Sam Wilson. The legend of Uncle Sam grew over time, eventually evolving into the image of a white-bearded man wearing the stars and stripes. The image became particularly iconic during World War I and World War II. Though others have been claimed as the original Uncle Sam, the United States Congress made Samuel Wilson the official one in 1961. That year, the Senate and the House of Representatives passed a resolution to salute “Uncle Sam Wilson of Troy, New York, as the progenitor of America’s National symbol of Uncle Sam. The cemetery also contains grave sites of civil war generals, industrialists and pioneer female educators.