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Tadeusz Kościuszko/ Thaddeus Kosciuszko: National Hero in Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and the United States

Learn about the great military engineer and a military leader, friend of Thomas Jefferson.

E European/Slavic Studies Program Assistant

Nora Kucharska's picture
Nora Kucharska
Contact:
321 Thompson Library
1858 Neil Ave Mall
Columbus, OH 43210
688-4934

Tadeusz Kościuszko

Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko (Andrew Thaddeus Bonaventure Kosciuszko ) ; born February 4 or 12, 1746 – October 15, 1817) was a Polish–Lithuanian military engineer and a military leader who became a national hero in Poland, LithuaniaBelarus, and the United States.

Tadeusz Kosciuszko Portrait:

Thaddeus Kosciuszko

General Thaddeus Kosciuszko

Connection to American Revolutionary War

Kościuszko, a man of revolutionary aspirations, sympathetic to the American cause and an advocate of human rights, sailed for America in June 1776 . In 1776, after submitting an application to the Second Continental Congress, he was assigned to the Continental Army the next day.

Accomplishments:

  1. Built fortifications at Fort Billingsport in PhiladelphiaPA
  2. He fortified Saratoga, NY and  and it brought a decisive victory to the Americans over the British in the American Revolutionary War
  3. Fortified West Point (1778) 
  4. helped fortify the American bases in North Carolina
  5. Kościuszko was placed in command of building bateaux and many of his contributions were instrumental in preventing the destruction of the Southern Army (Wikipedia)
  6. Race to the Dan : Kosciuszko helped to select the site as a strategic point and thus  helped Americans to  gain a permanent strategic advantage in the South
  7.  helped fortify the American bases in North Carolina
  8. took part in several smaller operations in the final year of hostilities, harassing British foraging parties near Charleston, South Carolina
  9. 1783 Kosciuszko supervised the fireworks during the July 4 celebrations at Princeton, New Jersey

Kosciuszko Legacy in US

Kosciuszko was paid 12,280 dollars(1784), and received the right to 500 acres (202.34 ha; 0.78 sq mi) of land, but only if he chose to settle in the United States. For the winter of 1783–84, his former commanding officer, General Greene, invited Kościuszko to stay at his mansion. He was also inducted into the Society of the Cincinnati.

After collecting his back pay, he wrote a will, and entrusted it to Jefferson as executor. Kościuszko and Jefferson had become firm and very close friends and thereafter corresponded for twenty some years.  

In the will, Kościuszko left his American estate to be sold to buy the freedom of black slaves, including Jefferson's own, and to educate them for independent life and work.

Kosciuszko's American will was never carried out,but its legacy went to found an educational institute for African Americans in the United States at Newark, New Jersey, in 1826, bearing Kościuszko's name...

Kosciuszko and Columbus, OH Connection | Thaddeus Kosciuszko Park

Did you know that General Kosciuszko was the  owner of the 500 acres of property  / land along what is now Riverside Drive in Columbus, OH? It was a  payment for his contributions during the Revolutionary War . The land now is a Thaddeus Kosciuszko Park