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John W. Wilson collection

 Collection — Folder: S1413
Identifier: S1413

Scope and Contents

This collection includes eight typed pages about John W. Wilson, son of the original Uncle Sam. The material was compiled by Caroline Dunn, in April 1960, in connection with an article by Mrs. Floyd Shively and a query from Mrs. J. Q. Adams to H. H. Hawkins. Ms. Dunn typed information from various sources about Samuel Wilson (born September 13, 1766; died July 31, 1854; buried in Troy, New York), from whom we get the use of Uncle Sam in reference to the United States. Sam Wilson was a meat packer in Troy, New York, during the War of 1812, and his beef was called: Uncle Sam's. Thus, the story began for personifying the government with a man's name.


  • 1766-1960


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

John W. Wilson was 93 years old in 1930 and living in Albion, Indiana, with his granddaughter, Clara Zumbaugh. He was the son of Samuel Wilson (September 13, 1766-July 31, 1854) known as the original Uncle Sam, symbol of the federal government.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged as the manuscript pages are numbered.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a records donation from, perhaps, Caroline Dunn, about April 1960.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed 2015/04/09 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield.
John W. Wilson collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.