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Samuel Wilson

6th Great Uncle
Betsy Mann (1773-1863) Wife
6th Great Aunt
Samuel Wilson (1766-1854)
“Uncle Sam” of the United States
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Samuel Wilson was born in Arlington, Massachusetts, which was called ‘Menotomy' in his time. Sam is a descendant of one of the oldest families of Boston.  Sam’s grandfather, Robert Wilson was from Scotland. His parents, Edward and Lucy Wilson moved the family to Mason, New Hampshire when he was just a young boy. Samuel grew up on a farm in Mason, New Hampshire, not far from Troy, New York.
When Sam turned fifteen he joined the Revolutionary Army where he learned the ‘butcher trade’, taking care of the cattle, including processing the meat.  When he was in his early twenties, Samuel and his old brother, Ebenezer, walked a 120 miles to Troy, once called Rensselaerwyck² where they both settled.
‘Sam’ and ‘Eb’ became successful entrepreneurs and established several businesses in Troy. Sam started a brickyard and many of the buildings in Troy today were built using Sam’s bricks.¹
Troy, New York, lies along the eastern bank of the Hudson River, not far from Schenectedy, New York.  Because of the city’s location along the bank of the river, Troy became a major shipping point for agriculture products from Vermont to New York City.  The production of steel also put Troy on the map.  Old steel structures can still be seen decorating the many storefronts around the city even today.
During the War of 1812, Troy was the center of the meat packing industry.  Quartermaster supplies were shipped out of Troy to the troops who were fighting the war.  Samuel and Ebenezer were quick to establish a meat-packing business and they supplied the army with beef and pork.
Samuel and Eb were well-liked in the community, and were known as honorable and friendly. The folks around town, including many of his family who worked for him, referred to them as 'Uncle Sam' and 'Uncle Eb'.  When shipments made their way out of town on wagons loaded with barrels of beef, they were marked with the ‘U.S.’ stamp.  Both the townspeople and the troops referred to the U.S. stamp on the barrels as meaning ‘Uncle Sam’.
In 1961, the United States congress recognized Samuel Wilson as the “progenitor of America’s national symbol of Uncle Sam”³.  In 1988, a congressional joint resolution designated September 13th as the official ‘Uncle Sam Day’.⁴
Statues of Samuel Wilson can be seen in both Troy and Sam’s hometown of Arlington, Massachusetts. The photo of Sam’s statue in Troy is located in the downtown square.  Troy celebrates Sam Wilson’s birday every year on his birthday with a local parade.
The official proclamation by the United States Congress, identifying Samuel Wilson of Troy, New York, Resolution 14; 1961 can be read in its entirety in the right column.
Samuel Wilson and Donald Scott Lee Connection
6th Great Grandfather
Captain Benjamin Mann (1739-1831)
Benjamine Mann married Martha Deane (1743-1808) in Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts in 1762.  Their daughter was Betsy Mann.
6th Great Aunt
Betsy Mann (1773-1863)
Betsy Mann married Samuel Wilson (1766-1854).  Betsy’s brother was Joseph Mann.
5G Grandfather
Joseph Mann (1765-1837)
Joseph Mann married Amy Woodworth (1770-1847) in New York in 1788.  Their son was Daniel Mann.
4th Great Grandfather
Daniel Mann (1792-1872)
Daniel Mann married Elizabeth Woodworth (1793-1872) in Webster’s Landing, Onondaga, New York in 1810.  Their son was Daniel Mann II.
3G Grandfather
Daniel Mann II (1816-1892)
Daniel II married Charity Sutton (1822-1902) in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada in 1842.  Their daughter was Emma Elizabeth Mann.
2nd Great Grandmother
Emma Elizabeth Mann (1848-Unknown)
Emma Elizabeth married George Sylvester Roe Lewis (1851-1900) in Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada. Their son was Melvin A. Lewis.
Great Grandfather
Melvin A. Lewis (1869-1928)
Melvin married Jennie Mary Hibbard (1869-1949) in Carbondale, Osage, Kansas in 1890. Their daughter was Alberta Lewis.
Alberta Lewis (1898-1963)
Alberta Lewis married Orie Finiae Lee (1896-1984) in Colton, California in about 1916. Their son was Wendell Orie Lee.
Wendell Orie Lee (1922-1999)
Wendell Orie Lee married Marilyn Maxine Miller (1924-1996) in Bellflower, California in 1942. Their son was Donald Scott Lee.
Donald Scott Lee was born in 1945.
Uncle Sam - U.S. Symbol
"UNCLE SAM” (September 15, 1961, S. Con. Res. [4]; Congressional Resolution 14, 9/15/1961

Whereas in a world largely hostile to the idea of freedom we must keep alive the cherished values of our way of life; and, Whereas at the moment in our history when we need all our sense of purpose and capability to match the challenge of disciplined communism some say that our national symbol of “Uncle Sam” is archaic and should be disowned; and, Whereas the symbol of “Uncle Sam” was evoked out of the needs of a young Nation, and is linked to a grassroots character, Samuel Wilson, of Troy, New York, who still represents the strength and idealism that made up the greatest Nation in the world; and, Whereas the years 1766 to 1854, the years in which Samuel Wilson lived, witnessed the birth and glorious progress of the United States, spanning as they did the period before the Declaration of Independence to the emergence of the United States as a world power; and Whereas no congressional action has ever been taken to make the symbol of that American traditon, the symbol of “Uncle Sam,” official and permanent:  Therefore be it, Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That the Congress salutes “Uncle Sam” Wilson, of Troy, New York, as the progenitor of America’s national symbol of “Uncle Sam”.  Agreed to September 15, 1961.
Uncle Sam Day September 13
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Statues of Samuel Wilson can be seen in both Troy and Sam’s hometown of Arlington, Massachusetts.  The photo of Sam’s statue in Troy is located in the downtown square. Troy, New York celebrates Sam Wilson’s birthday every year with a local parade.
Poesten Kill Falls, Troy
High Falls in Troy, New York, a 92-foot waterfall along the Poesten Kill, a creek that travels through Rensselaer County, New York, United States and is a tributary of the Hudson River.
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Image courtesy of MattWade at Wikimedia Commons.
Uncle Sam Day - U.S. Congress Proclamation
STAT. 3340 PUBLIC LAW 100-645—NOV. 9, 1988
Public Law 100-645
100th Congress
Joint Resolution
Nov. 9, 1988
Designating September 13, 1989, as "Uncle Sam Day".
[H.J. Res. 626]
Whereas Samuel Wilson of the City of Troy, New York, is accepted
as the progenitor of our national symbol. Uncle Sam;
Whereas Uncle Sam, the embodiment of Samuel Wilson, represents
the enterprising, idealistic, and strong spirit that is the backbone
of our Nation;
Whereas the symbol of Uncle Sam remains important to the identity
of our Nation among freedom-loving people of the world;
Whereas the people of the City of Troy have dedicated themselves to
the remembrance of Samuel Wilson and his role in American
Whereas the City of Troy marks its 200th anniversary in 1989; and
Whereas September 13 is the birth date of Samuel Wilson: Now,
therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled. That September
13, 1989, is designated as "Uncle Sam Day" in honor of Samuel
Wilson of the City of Troy, New York on the occasion of the 200th
anniversary of the City. The President is authorized and requested
to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States
to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
Approved November 9, 1988.

Oct. 21, considered and passed House and Senate.
Troy, New York after the 1862 fire.
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The city of Troy, New York as it stood after the fire of 1862. Samuel Wilson’s brick company most likely made the bricks we see in what remained. There are many brick buildings that remain today that are from Sam Wilson’s time. The image is courtesy of danski14 at Wikimedia Commons.
Page Background Image Credits: Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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