“Uncle Sam” has symbolized the “United States” (both have the initials “U.S.”) since 1812. It wasn’t until 100 years later that anyone thought to give him a wife. “Aunt Samantha” is cited in print in 1913 and was mentioned as women got the right to vote in 1919.
“Aunt Samantha” had been sparsely cited in print until the 2000s, when bloggers revived Aunt Samantha with Uncle Sam.
“Aunt Sammy”—either the sister or the wife of Uncle Sam—was a radio character created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics in 1926 to educate homemakers.
Aunt Samantha Adult Costume
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14 August 1913, The Independent, pg. 388:
My Aunt Samantha
By Elizabeth Abbey Everett
My Uncle Sam is a very estimable man; I have a great deal of confidence in him. I’m very fond of Aunt Samantha, too. In official and public life Uncle Sam represents the family; so a good many people do not even know that he is married. But he is, and he’s rather lucky in the matter, I think.
11 July 1917, Duluth (MN) News-Tribune, “Woman, War and Work” by Patience Duinherbit, pg. 7:
THE department of agriculture has sent out for publication in the newspapers of the country a series of thrift recipes. They are called “Uncle Sam’s Thrift Thoughts,” and if the series which has just reached our desk is a fair sample Uncle Sam is sadly in need of an Aunt Samantha instead of a harem of domestic science experts.
10 March 1918, San Antonio (TX) Light, pg. 6, col. 6:
If the national suffrage amendment is adopted, Uncle Sam will have an Aunt Samantha.
14 February 1919, Jackson (MI) Citizen Patriot, pg. 12, col. 3:
BY EDMUND VANCE COOKE.
Our Uncle Sam’s been pretty good
To all his near relations.
He’s always done the best he could,
Despite his limitations.
he never, even without a wife,
Went in for deep debauching.
And yet he’d lead aa better life,
With Aunt Samantha watching.
Aunt Samantha! Uncle Sam!
Happy pair and human!
For God made man upon the plan
His better half is woman.
5 January 1921, Reno (NV) Evening Gazette, pg. 4, col. 2:
WILL AUNT SAMANTHA PLEASE RESPOND?
(From Capper’s Weekly)
Uncle Sam begins the new year more than two billion dollars in debt on his house rent and grocery bill, accoring to Secretary Houston. With all the taxes paid to him for 1919 deducted from his expense account he will be $2,100,000,000 in the hole for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1921, which is probably the worst example of riotous living ever set by any nation. it is quite apparent what sort of a new year resolve Uncle Sam should make. Aunt Samantha should work one of her famous “Waste Not, Want Not” cross-stitch mottoes for him.
WOMEN: Aunt Samantha
Monday, Jun. 22, 1925
With the thesis that “Uncle Sam Needs a Wife,” finding a thousand flaws in our man-made government, a woman wrote a book.* It was calculated to show how the feminine touch would set things right. One of the chapters was titled, “Wanted—A Female Moses.”
*UNCLE SAM NEED: A WIFE.—Ida Clyde Clarke—Winston ($2.00).
7 April 1927, Ludington (MI) Daily News, pg. 4, col. 1:
UNCLE SAM’S WIFE.
Uncle Sam has been a bachelor too long. There ought to be a national Aunt Samantha also. perhaps there is one. Suspicion that Uncle Sam may have been a party to a clandestine marriage is based upon evidence that his government has become maternal as well as paternal.
28 February 1956, Van Wert (OH) Times-Bulletin, “You’re Telling me!” by William Ritt, pg. 4, col. 6:
In the U. S. women own two-thirds of the nation’s wealth, spend 75 per cent of the money, says the president of Indiana Central college. Maybe we’d better change the nation’s symbol from Uncle Sam to Aunt Samantha.
9 June 1974, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Libbing Takes a Ribbing” by Burt Prelutsky, pg. O22:
When their draft notices arrived, for in- stance, they came from Uncle Sam, not Aunt Samantha.
Uncle Sam And Aunt Samantha
It’s Simple Fairness: Women As Well As Men Should Be Required To Register For The Draft
By Anna Quindlen | NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Nov 5, 2001
Andrea Tantaros - FOXNews.com - June 25, 2009
Uncle Sam Out, Aunt Samantha In?
Is more estrogen the answer to an ethically ailing, morally decaying body politic? Would more high heels in politics eliminate the real heels?
Other Expressions • Origin of “Uncle Sam”/“Brother Jonathan” • Sunday, September 13, 2009 • Permalink