Published Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
Hickey, an expert on the War of 1812, elaborates on a museum's tracing of the origin of the term "Uncle Sam."
The New York Times published an article on Tuesday, April 19, featuring the origin of the reference "Uncle Sam," the personification of the U.S. government. The article cites Wayne State College history professor Dr. Don Hickey, an expert on the War of 1812.
Dr. Hickey elaborates on the U.S.S. Constitution Museum's tracing of the origin to Isaac Mayo, a midshipman on the U.S.S. Wasp, who reported for duty in 1810. This predates the traditional idea that the term "Uncle Sam" was derived from Samuel Wilson, a butcher who stamped the meat he delivered to the military with the initials "U.S." during the War of 1812.
Dr. Hickey received his doctorate, master's and bachelor's degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has taught at Wayne State College since 1978. He has been called "the dean of 1812 scholarship" by the New Yorker, has written 10 books and more than 100 articles on the War of 1812, has appeared in several documentary films, and has served on many editing boards for history-related publications.