Portrait by Wojniakowski
|Born||February 4 or 12, 1746
Mereczowszczyzna, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (now Merechevschina, Belarus)
|Died||October 15, 1817
United States of America
Army of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
|Years of service||1765–1794|
|Rank||U.S. Brigadier General by brevet, October 1783; Generał dywizji|
|Unit||engineer of the Continental Army, Naczelnik of the Polish Army|
|Battles/wars||American Revolutionary War, Polish–Russian War of 1792 (Battle of Zieleńce, Battle of Dubienka), Kościuszko Uprising (Battle of Racławice, Battle of Maciejowice)|
|Awards||Order of the White Eagle, Virtuti Militari|
Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko ([taˈdɛuʂ kɔɕˈt͡ɕuʂkɔ] ( listen); 1746–1817) is a national hero of Poland, Belarus, Lithuania and the United States who fought in the Polish uprising against Russia and in the American Revolution. He was a firm believer in human rights and was a friend and admirer of Thomas Jefferson and his enlightenment ideals of inalienable rights and the American Revolution. He led the 1794 Kościuszko Uprising against Imperial Russia and the Kingdom of Prussia as Supreme Commander of the Polish National Armed Forces.
Kościuszko was born in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, in a village located in present-day Belarus. However, his exact birth date is not known, with either February 4 or February 12 being used.[note 1] He graduated from the Corps of Cadets School in Warsaw. Kościuszko moved to France during the outbreak of a civil war in Poland to pursue further studies. He returned to Poland in 1774, two years after the First Partition of Poland, and took a position as a private tutor. He left for France again due to financial difficulties. Upon learning of the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War while in France, Kościuszko moved to the United States in 1776 and participated in the fighting as a colonel in the Continental Army. While in New York he helped design and supervised the construction of the garrisons at West Point, New York. In 1783, in recognition of his dedicated service, he was brevetted by the Continental Congress to the rank of brigadier general. Kościuszko was also an accomplished architect and artist and painted portraits including one of Thomas Jefferson.
Following his return to Poland in 1784, Kościuszko became a major general of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's Army. After the Polish–Russian War of 1792 resulted in the Second Partition of Poland, Kościuszko organized an uprising against the Russians two years later, serving as Naczelnik. He was captured by Russian forces at the Battle of Maciejowice. The defeat of the uprising resulted in the Third Partition of Poland, which ended the existence of the country as an independent state.
In 1796, Kościuszko was pardoned by Tsar Paul I of Russia and emigrated to the United States. Two years later, he collected his back pay and entrusted it to his friend Thomas Jefferson in his will, directing him to spend the money—nearly $20,000—on freeing and educating black slaves, including Jefferson's slaves. The request was never carried out by Jefferson, the will's executor, because he knew the will, a bequest, would be challenged by Kościuszko's relatives and because Virginia's law would not permit such a bequest to be executed. Kościuszko eventually returned to Europe and lived in Switzerland until his death in 1817.
Several anglicized spellings of Kościuszko's name appear in records. Perhaps the most frequently occurring is Thaddeus Kosciuszko, though the full "Andrew Thaddeus Bonaventure Kosciuszko" is also seen. In Lithuanian, Kościuszko's name is rendered as Tadas Kosciuška or Tadeušas Kosciuška. In Belarusian it is Tadevuš Kaściuška (Тадэвуш Касцюшка).
Early life 
Kościuszko was born in February 1746 in the village of Mereczowszczyzna (now Merechevschina; Belarusian: Мерачоўшчына), a folwark near the town of Kosów Poleski (now Kosava in Belarus). The area lay within the Polesie region, then in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Kościuszko was the youngest son of a szlachta (Polish nobleman), Ludwik Tadeusz Kościuszko, a military officer in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth army, and of his wife Tekla, née Ratomska. The Kościuszko family held the Polish coat of arms Roch. Tadeusz received baptism both from the Eastern Orthodox and from the Roman Catholic churches. As a result of the dual baptisms, he bore the names Andrzej and Tadeusz. His family was ethnically Lithuanian-Ruthenian descended from Konstanty Fiodorowicz Kostiuszko, a 15th–16th–century courtier of the Polish King Sigismund I the Old (reigned 1506–1548). The family of his mother, Ratomska, was also Ruthenian. Modern Belarusian sources, however, interpret his Ruthenian or Lithuanian heritage as Belarusian. He once described himself as a Litvin, which at the time meant a Polish-speaking inhabitant, whatever their ethnicity may have been, of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, however now would be interpreted by modern Belarusian sources as a term used for Belarusians before the word "Belarusian" appeared. Nevertheless, Kościuszko himself did not speak Belarusian; his family had become Polonized as early as the 16th century. Like most Polish-Lithuanian nobility of that time, the Kościuszko family spoke Polish and identified themselves with the Polish culture. At the time of Tadeusz Kościuszko's birth, the family possessed modest holdings in the Grand Duchy.
In 1755, Kościuszko began attending a school in Lubieszów, but never finished it, due to the financial troubles his family encountered following his father's death in 1758. In 1765, Poland's King Stanisław August Poniatowski established a Corps of Cadets (Polish: Korpus Kadetów), on the grounds of what is now Warsaw University, to educate military officers and government officials. Kościuszko enrolled in the Corps of Cadets on December 18, 1765, likely thanks to the backing of the Czartoryski family. The school emphasized both military subjects and the liberal arts. Graduating on December 20, 1766, Kościuszko was promoted to the rank of chorąży; he would stay on, both as a student and as an instructor, reaching the rank of captain by 1768.
European travels 
In 1768, a civil war broke out in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, when the Bar Confederation sought to depose King Stanisław August Poniatowski. One of Kościuszko's brother, Józef, fought along the insurgents. Faced with a difficult choice between the rebels and his sponsors, the King and the Czartoryski family—who favored a gradualist approach to shedding Russian domination—Kosciuszko chose to leave the country. In late 1769, he and his colleague Aleksander Orłowski were granted royal scholarships, and on October 5 they set off for Paris. While both sought to gain further military education, they were barred as foreigners from enrolling in any French military academy, and instead enrolled in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and Sculpture. For five years, however, Kościuszko educated himself as an extern, frequenting lectures and the libraries of the Paris military academies. His exposure to the Enlightenment there, coupled with the religious tolerance practiced in the Commonwealth, would have a strong influence on his later career. The theory of Physiocracy made a particularly strong impression on his thinking. He would also develop his fine art skills, and although his future career would take him in a different direction, he would keep on creating drawings and paintings throughout his life.
By the First Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, in 1772, the adjoining countries of Russia, Prussia and Austria annexed large swaths of Polish-Lithuanian territory and acquired influence over the internal politics of the reduced Poland and Lithuania. When Kościuszko finally returned home in 1774, he found that his brother Józef had squandered most of their family's meager fortune, and there was no place for him in the Army, as he could not afford to buy an officer's commission. He also had to deal with a legal dispute involving one of his brothers. He took a position as tutor in the family of a voivode and hetman Józef Sylwester Sosnowski and fell in love with his daughter Ludwika. They planned to elope but were thwarted by her father's retainers. Kościuszko received a thrashing at their hands—an event which may have led to his later antipathy to class distinctions. In autumn of 1775, wishing to avoid Sosnowski and his retainers, he decided to emigrate.
In late 1775, considered joining the Saxon army. However, he was refused and decided to travel back to Paris. There he was informed of the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, in which the British colonies in North America had revolted against the crown and begun their struggle for independence. The first American successes were well publicized in France, and the revolutionaries' cause was openly supported by the French people and government.
American Revolutionary War 
After American diplomats appealed to the French revolutionary and arms dealer Pierre Beaumarchais, the French government loaned Beaumarchais one million livres on June 10, 1776, to establish a shell corporation under the alias Roderigue Hortalez & Co. The faux corporation was intended to smuggle weapons and ammunition to the Continental Army. In June, Kościuszko sailed on a Hortalez & Co. ship to the colonies in the company of other foreign officers.
War in the north 
Kościuszko's first task in America was the construction of the fortification of Fort Billingsport in Philadelphia, protecting the banks of the Delaware River against a possible British crossing. He initially served as a volunteer in the employ of Benjamin Franklin, but on October 18, 1776, Congress commissioned him a Colonel of Engineers in the Continental Army.
In the spring of 1777, he was attached to the Northern Army under Major General Horatio Gates, arriving at the Canadian border in May. Subsequently posted at Fort Ticonderoga, he reviewed the defenses of what had once been one of the most formidable fortresses in North America. His surveys of the landscape prompted him to strongly recommend the construction of a battery on Sugar Loaf overlooking the fort. Though a prudent suggestion, and one that carried the agreement of Kościuszko's fellow engineers, garrison commander Brigadier General Arthur St. Clair ultimately declined to carry it out. This turned out to be an egregious tactical blunder; when the British Army under General John Burgoyne arrived in July, Burgoyne did exactly what Kościuszko would have done and had his engineers place artillery on the hill.
With the British in complete control of the high ground, the Americans realized their situation was hopeless and abandoned the fortress with hardly a shot fired in the Siege of Ticonderoga. The British advance force nipped hard on the heels of the outnumbered and exhausted Continentals as they fled southward. Major General Philip Schuyler, desperate to put distance between his men and their pursuers, ordered Kościuszko to delay the enemy. Kościuszko designed an engineer's solution: his troops carried out these orders by directing the felling of trees, damming of streams, and destruction of all bridges and causeways to deny the British use of the roadway. Encumbered by their vast supply train, the British slowly began to bog down, giving the Americans the time needed to safely withdraw across the Hudson River. Shortly thereafter, General Gates relieved Schuyler, regrouping his forces to try and prevent the British from taking Albany. He tapped Kościuszko to survey the countryside between the opposing armies, choose the most defensible position he could, and fortify it. Finding just such a position near Saratoga, overlooking the Hudson at Bemis Heights (the Battle of Saratoga), Kościuszko proceeded to lay out an excellent array of defenses; nearly impregnable to attack from any direction. His excellent judgement and meticulous attention to every detail in the American defense frustrated the British Army attacks. Gates accepted Burgoyne's surrender of his entire force at Saratoga on October 16, 1777. 
The dwindling British army was dealt a sound defeat, the combination turning the tide of the campaign to an American advantage. Around that time, Kościuszko was assigned a black orderly named Agrippa Hull, whom he would treat as an equal and as a friend. Kościuszko's work at Saratoga received great praise from Gen. Gates, who later told his friend Dr. Benjamin Rush "...the great tacticians of the campaign were hills and forests, which a young Polish engineer was skillful enough to select for my encampment".
At some point in 1777, Kościuszko composed a polonaise and scored it for the harpsichord. It was named after him and became popular among Polish patriots at the time of the 1830 Uprising, with lyrics by Rajnold Suchodolski.
In 1778, Kościuszko was tasked with the command of improving defensive works at the stronghold in West Point, arriving there in March. It was Kościuszko's defenses at West Point that General Benedict Arnold attempted to pass to the British when he turned traitor. Here he was posted until George Washington granted his request for transfer to the active battlefield of the Southern Army in August 1780, soon after Kościuszko finished his work on fortifying West Point. Kościuszko's West Point fortifications would be widely praised as innovative for their time.
War in the south 
Traveling southward through rural Virginia, Kościuszko eventually reported to his former commander Gen. Gates in North Carolina in October. However, following the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Camden on August 16, Congress selected Washington's choice of Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene to replace the disgraced Gates as commander of the Southern Department. When Greene formally assumed command on December 3, 1780, Kościuszko's services were retained, employed as Greene's chief engineer. By that time, he was praised by both Gates and Green.
Over the course of this campaign, he was placed in charge of constructing bateaux, siting camps, scouting river crossings, fortifying positions, and developing intelligence contacts. Many of his contributions were instrumental in preventing the destruction of the Southern Army. This was especially true during the famous "Race to the Dan", where Earl Cornwallis and his exhausted troops chased Greene through 200 miles of rough backcountry terrain in the dead of winter. Thanks largely to a combination of Greene's tactics, and Kościuszko's bateaux and accurate scouting of the rivers ahead of the main body, the Continentals safely crossed each one in its path, including the Yadkin River and the Dan River. Cornwallis, having no boats of his own, and finding no way to cross the swollen Dan River|, finally gave up the chase and withdrew back into North Carolina, while the Continentals regrouped south of Halifax, Virginia, where Kościuszko had earlier established a fortified depot at Greene's request.
During the "Race to the Dan", Kościuszko had contributed to the selection of the site where Gen. Greene eventually returned to fight Cornwallis at Guilford Courthouse. Though tactically defeated, the Americans all but destroyed Cornwallis' army as an effective fighting force and gained a permanent strategic advantage in the South. Thus, as Greene began his reconquest of South Carolina in the spring of 1781, he recalled Kościuszko to rejoin the main body of the Southern Army. As the combined forces of the Continentals and Southern militia gradually forced the British from the backcountry into the coastal ports during the latter half of 1781, on August 16 Kościuszko participated in the Second Battle of Camden. At Ninety Six, Kościuszko conducted a siege on Star Fort from May 22 to June 18. Kościuszko suffered his only wound in seven full years of service during the unsuccessful siege, having been bayonetted in his buttocks during an assault by the Star Fort's defenders on the approach trench he was preparing.
Subsequently, Kościuszko helped with fortifications of the American bases in North Carolina. However, he was most active throughout the final year of hostilities in much smaller actions focused on harassing British foraging parties near Charleston; he became engaged in those actions after the death of his friend, colonel Laurence, and taking over his intelligence network in the area. He commanded two cavalry squadrons and an infantry unit, and his last known battlefield command of the war occurred at James Island on November 14, 1782. In what is believed by many to be the Continental Army's final armed action of the war, he was very nearly killed as his small force was soundly routed. A month later, he was among the Continental troops that reoccupied Charleston following the British evacuation of the city. Kościuszko spent the rest of the war there, conducting a fireworks display on April 23, 1783, to celebrate news of the signing of the Treaty of Paris earlier that month.
In late May 1783, Kościuszko decided to collect his back pay, as in his seven years of faithful, uninterrupted service to the American cause, he had never collected a single paycheck. On July 4 that year he was asked by the Congress to supervise the fireworks during the celebrations in Princeton, New Jersey. On October 13, 1783, Kościuszko was promoted by Congress to the rank of brigadier general, but at this time he still has not received his back pay; this was an issue that has affected a large number of other officers and soldiers at that time. While waiting for his pay, unable to even finance a trip back to Europe, Kościuszko, like a number of others, was living on money borrowed from the Polish-Jewish banker Haym Solomon. Eventually he would receive a certificate for 12,280 dollars, at 6%, to be paid at January 1, 1784, and 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 to 1784, he was invited to stay in a mansion of his former commanding officer, General Greene. He also was admitted to the Society of the Cincinnati.
Return to Polish Commonwealth 
On July 15, 1784, Kościuszko set off for Poland, where he arrived, stopping by Paris, on August 26. Due to the ongoing conflict between his patrons, the Czartoryski family, and king Stanisław August Poniatowski, Kościuszko once again failed to be granted a position in the Commonwealth army. He settled in Siechnowicze (Belarusian: Сяхновічы, now Sehnovichi, Belarus). His brother Józef managed to lose most of the family's land through bad investments, but with the help of his siter, Anna, Kościuszko was able to secure some part of the lands for himself. Soon afterwards, Kościuszko decided to limit the servitude of his peasants (corvée) to two days a week, while completely exempting female serfs. Soon, however, Kościuszko's estate stopped being profitable, and Kościuszko started acquiring debts. His situation was not helped by the fact that promised money from the American government—late payment for his seven-year services—never materialized. Kościuszko became involved with some of the liberal activists, and Hugo Kołłątaj offered him a lecturer position at the Jagiellonian University, although Kościuszko declined it.
Finally the Great Sejm of 1788–92 opened the necessary reforms, and approved the creation of a larger army to defend the Commonwealth's borders against its aggressive neighbors. Kościuszko saw this as a chance to return to military service and serve his country in the field which he knew best, and spend some time in Warsaw, among many other who contributed on the outside of the Great Sejm debates. Once again he attempted to rejoin the Polish Army, and wrote a proposal in which he suggested creation of a militia force, based on the American model. With increased political pressure to raise the size of the army, and Kościuszko political allies influencing the king, Kościuszko applied to the army once again and on October 12, 1789, received a royal commission as a general. As such, he began receiving the high salary of 12,000 złotys a year, which ended his financial difficulties. He asked for a transfer to the Lithuanian army, but was denied, and instead was assigned to a unit in Greater Poland. On February 1, 1790, he reported for duty in Włocławek, and in mid-March he was granted a command. Around the summer, he commanded some infantry and cavalry units in the region between the Bug River and Vistula. In August he was dispatched to Volhynia, and was stationed near Starokostiantyniv and Międzyborze. While officially subordinate to Prince Józef Poniatowski, he was given much leeway by him, as Poniatowski's recognized Kościuszko's superior experience and made him his second-in-command.
In the meantime, he became more closely involved with the reformer faction, befriending Kołłątaj, Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, and others. Kościuszko argued that peasants and Jews should receive full citizenship status, as this would motivate them to help defend Poland in the event of a war.
The reformer faction eventually scored a major victory with the passage of the Constitution of May 3, 1791. Kościuszko himself saw the constitution as a step in the right direction, but was disappointed as it retained monarchy and did little to improve the situation of the most underprivileged groups, the peasants and the Jews. Commonwealth's neighbors saw the reforms initiated by the Constitution as a threat to their influence over Polish internal affairs. On May 14, 1792, conservative magnates created the Targowica Confederation, which asked Russian Tsarina Catherine II for help in overthrowing the constitution. On May 18, 1792, a 100,000-man Russian army crossed the Polish border and headed for Warsaw, beginning the Polish–Russian War of 1792.
Defense of Constitution 
The Russians had a 3:1 advantage in terms of numerical strength, with about 98,000 troops facing about 37,000 Polish soldiers. The Russians also had an advantage in combat experience. Before the Russians invaded Poland, Kościuszko had been appointed deputy commander of Prince Józef Poniatowski's infantry division, stationed in Polish West Ukraine. When the Prince became Commander-in-chief of the entire Polish (Crown) Army on May 3, 1792, Kościuszko was given the command of a division near Kiev. The Russians attacked with three armies on a wide front. Kościuszko proposed a plan where the entire Polish army would be concentrated and would engage one of the Russian armies, in order to assure numerical parity and to boost the morale of mostly inexperienced Polish forces with a quick victory; this plan was however rejected by Poniatowski. The Russian forces crossed the border in Ukraine, where Kościuszko and Poniatowski were stationed, on May 22, 1792. The Crown Army was judged too weak to oppose the four columns of enemy armies advancing into West Ukraine and began a fighting withdrawal to the western side of the Southern Bug River, with Kościuszko commanding the rear guard. Prince Poniatowski was victorious in the Battle of Zieleńce on June 18, while Kościuszko's division, which was on the detached rear guard duty, did not take part in the battle and rejoined the main army only at nightfall that day; nonetheless his diligent protection of the main army's rear and flanks allowed him to receive the newly created Virtuti Militari medal, Poland's highest military decoration even today. (Strożyński however notes that Kościuszko received his Virtuti Militari medal for his victory at Dubienka) The Polish withdrawal was continued and on July 7 Kościuszko's forces fought a delaying battle with the Russians at Volodymyr-Volynskyi (Battle of Włodzimierz). Upon reaching the northern Bug River the Polish army was divided into three divisions in order to hold the river defense line yet weakening their numerical superiority in one point, countering the advice of one strong, concentrated army group advocated by Kościuszko, who had opposed this division of the Polish forces on the Bug River.
Kościuszko's unit was assigned to protect the southern flank of the front, touching up to the Austrian border. At the Battle of Dubienka (July 18) Kościuszko repulsed the numerically superior enemy, skilfully using the terrain obstacles and field fortifications, and came to be regarded as one of Poland's most brilliant military commanders of the time. With about 5,300 troops he defeated the attack of 25,000 Russians under General Michail Kachovski. Kościuszko had to retreat from Dubienka, as the Russians begun flanking his positions crossing the nearby Austrian border.
Following the battle, King Stanisław August promoted him to lieutenant general and awarded him the Order of the White Eagle. The news of that victory spread in Europe, and on August 26 he received an honorary citizenship of France from the Legislative Assembly of the revolutionary France. While Kościuszko considered the outcome of the war still open, king Poniatowski decided to ask for a ceasefire. Before the nomination was received by Kościuszko, on July 24, 1792, the King had betrayed the army by formally announcing his accession to the pro-Russian Targowica Confederation and ordered the Polish-Lithuanian armies to cease hostilities against the Russians. Kościuszko considered a plan of kidnapping the King, but it was rejected by Poniatowski. On August 30, Kościuszko resigned his position, and briefly returned to Warsaw, where he received the nomination and pay; he would however refuse the King's request to remain in the Army. Around that time he also fell ill with jaundice.
The King's capitulation was a hard blow for Kościuszko, who had not lost a single battle in the campaign. By mid September he was resigned to leaving the country, and he departed Warsaw in early October. At first, he went east, to the court of the Czartoryski family in Sieniawa, which gathered some other malcontents. In mid-November he spent two weeks in Lviv, where he was welcomed by the populace; since the end of the war, his presence has often elicited spontaneous gatherings of people who wanted to see the famed commander. Izabela Czartoryska even discussed plans to have him marry her daughter, Zofia. The Russians already made plans to arrest him where he to return to the territories under their control; the Austrian authorities, which at that time occupied Lviv, offered him a position in the Austrian army, which he refused. Subsequently they made plans to deport him, but before they could act he left Lviv, at the turn of the month he stopped in Zamość at the Zamoyski family estate, meeting Stanisław Staszic, and then went on to Puławy. He did not rest there for long, either; on December 12–13, he was in Kraków, on the 17, in Wrocław, and shortly afterwards, he left the Polish territories and settled in Leipzig, where many other notable Polish commanders and politicians formed an émigrée community. Soon he and some others began preparing an uprising against Russian rule in Poland. The politicians, grouped around Ignacy Potocki and Hugo Kołłątaj, sought contacts with similar opposition groups formed in Poland and by spring 1793 had been joined by other politicians and revolutionaries, including Ignacy Działyński. While Kołłątaj and others begun planning for the uprising before meeting Kościuszko, his support was a major boon for them, as he was, at that time, among the most popular individuals in all of Poland.
After two weeks in Leipzig, before the second week of January 1793, Kościuszko set off for Paris, where he tried to gain French support for the planned uprising in Poland. He would stay there till summer, but despite the growing revolutionary influence there, the French paid only lip service to the Polish cause, and refused to commit themselves to anything concrete. Kościuszko concluded that the French authorities were not interested in Poland beyond what use it could have for their own cause, and he was increasingly disappointed in the pettiness of the French Revolution—the infighting between different faction and the growing reign of terror.
On January 23, 1793, Prussia and Russia signed the Second Partition of Poland, which was ratified by the Sejm of Grodno, convened under duress in June, and also forced to rescind the Constitution. After the partition Poland became a small country of roughly 200,000 square kilometres and a population of approximately 4 million. Such an outcome was a giant blow for the members of Targowica Confederation who saw their actions as a defense of centuries-old privileges of the magnates, but now were regarded by the majority of the Polish population as traitors.
In August 1793, Kościuszko returned to Leipzig where he was met with demands that he start planning for the uprising; through he was worried that an uprising would have little chance against the three practitioners. In September he would clandestinely cross the Polish border to conduct personal observations, and to meet some sympathetic high-ranking officers in the remaining Polish Army, including General Józef Wodzicki. The preparations in Poland were slow and he decided to postpone the outbreak, and left for Italy, planning to return in February. However, the situation in Poland was changing rapidly. The Russian and Prussian governments forced Poland to again disband the majority of her armed forces and the reduced units were to be drafted into the Russian army. Also, in March the tsarist agents discovered the group of revolutionaries in Warsaw and started arresting notable Polish politicians and military commanders. Kościuszko was forced to execute his plan earlier than planned and on March 15, 1794, he set off for Kraków.
Kościuszko Uprising 
Having learned that the Russian garrison left Kraków, Kościuszko entered the city on the night of March 23. The next morning, at the Kraków's Main Square, he announced the initiation of the uprising. He received the title of Naczelnik (Commander-in-Chief) of all Polish-Lithuanian forces fighting against the Russian occupation. Kościuszko began mobilizing the populace, intending to raise sufficient numbers of volunteers to counteract the larger and more professional Russian Army, he was also hoping that neither Austria nor Prussia would intervene, and thus he would discourage any insurgent activity in the Austrian and Prussian Partitions. Kościuszko gathered an army of about 6,000, including 4,000 regular soldiers and 2,000 new recruits, and marched on Warsaw. The Russians succeeded in organizing an army to oppose him more quickly then he expected, but nonetheless he was able to score a victory at the Battle of Racławice on April 4, 1793, where the battle was turned by him personally leading an infantry charge of the peasant volunteers (the kosynierzy). Nonetheless while the Russians were defeated on the battlefield, their loss was not strategically significant, and the Russian forces quickly forced Kościuszko to retreat towards Kraków. Near Połaniec he received some reinforcements, and met with other leaders of the Uprising (Kołłątaj, Potocki), thus Połanie became the site of a major political declaration of the uprising, the Proclamation of Połaniec. In the meantime, the Russians declared a bounty on his head, for bringing them Kościuszko, "dead or alive". By June the Prussians had decided to actively aid the Russians, and on June 6 he fought a defensive battle against the Prussian-Russian force at the Battle of Szczekociny. From late June Kościuszko defended Warsaw, then under the control of the insurgents.He defended Warsaw successfully for several weeks, and with the Prussian forces needed to suppress the Greater Poland Uprising, the siege of Warsaw was lifted by the morning of September 6. During a sortie against a new Russian attack, Kościuszko was wounded at the Battle of Maciejowice on October 10, and captured by the Russians. He was imprisoned at Saint Petersburg in the Peter and Paul Fortress. Soon afterward, the uprising ended with the Battle of Praga, and the subsequent massacre, where (according to a contemporary Russian witness) the Russians troops killed about 20,000 of the Warsaw inhabitants. The Third Partition of Poland that followed ended the existence of the sovereign Polish state for the next 123 years.
Later life 
The death of Tsarina Catherine of Russia on November 17, 1796, led to a change in Russian policy towards the Poles. On November 28 of that year Tsar Paul I of Russia pardoned Kościuszko and set him free, although only after Kościuszko gave him an oath of loyalty. In exchange for his oath, Paul I also promised to free all Polish political prisoners held in Russian prisons and forcibly settled in Siberia. The Tsar granted Kościuszko 12,000 rubles, which the Polish leader attempted in 1798 to return; also at that time denouncing the oath. Kościuszko left for the United States, through Stockholm, Sweden, and London, departing from Bristol on June 17, to arrive in Philadelphia once more on August 18. Despite being welcomed by the American populace, he was viewed with suspicion by the United States government, at that time controlled by the Federalists, who disliked Kościuszko for his previous association with the Democratic-Republican faction. Not feeling comfortable in the United States, he decided to return to France; before he left he composed a last will dedicating some of his resources to the buyout of the slaves. The following year he returned to Europe, arriving in Bayonne on June 28, 1798. Kościuszko remained politically active in Polish émigré circles in France and on August 7, 1799, joined the Society of Polish Republicans (Towarzystwo Republikanów Polskich). He refused, however, the offer to command the forming Polish Legions in the French service. Also, on October 17 and November 6, 1799, he met with Napoleon Bonaparte. However, he failed to reach any agreement with the French leader, who regarded Kościuszko as a "fool" who "overestimated his influence" in Poland [note 2]. In turn, Kościuszko disliked Napoleon for his dictatorial aspirations, and called him the "undertaker of the [French] Republic". From 1801 Kościuszko settled in Breville, near Paris, distancing himself from politics.
Kościuszko believed that Napoleon would not restore Poland in any durable form. When the Napoleonic forces were approaching the Polish borders, he wrote a letter to Napoleon, demanding guarantees of a parliamentary democracy and extensive borders, which Napoleon ignored. Kościuszko concluded that the Duchy of Warsaw was created in 1807 only because it was expedient, rather than because Napoleon supported Polish sovereignty. Thus he did not return to the Duchy of Warsaw and did not join the reborn Army of the Duchy allied with Napoleon.
Instead, after the fall of Napoleon's empire in 1814 and 1815 he met with Russia's Tsar Alexander I, first in Paris and then in Braunau. The Tsar hoped that Kościuszko could be convinced to return to Poland, where he planned to create a new, Russian-allied Polish state (the Congress Kingdom). In return for his prospective services, Kościuszko demanded social reforms and restoration of territory, which he wished to reach the Dvina and Dnieper Rivers in the east. However, soon afterwards, in Vienna, Kościuszko learned that the Kingdom of Poland created by the Tsar would be even smaller than the earlier Duchy of Warsaw. Kościuszko called such an entity "a joke"; and when he received no reply to his letters to the Tsar, he left Vienna and moved to Solothurn, Switzerland, where his friend Franciszek Zeltner was mayor. On April 2, 1817, he emancipated the serfs in his remaining lands in Poland, but Tsar Alexander disallowed it. Suffering from poor health and old wounds, on October 15, 1817, Kościuszko died there after falling from a horse, getting a fever and suffering a stroke a few days later, at the age of 71.
Funeral and burial 
Kościuszko's funeral was held on October 19, at a former Jesuit church. A series of masses and memorial services were held in partitioned Poland as the news of his passing spread. His body was embalmed and placed in a crypt at Solothurn's Jesuit Church. His viscera, removed in the process of embalming, were separately interred in a graveyard at Zuchwil, near Solothurn, except for the heart, for which an urn was fashioned. In 1818 Kościuszko's body was transferred to Kraków, Poland, arriving at the St. Florian's Church on April 11, 1818, and on June 22, 1818, accompanied by the ringing of the Sigismund Bell and firing of cannons, placed in a crypt at Wawel Cathedral, a pantheon of Polish kings and national heroes. Kościuszko's heart, which had been preserved at the Polish Museum in Rapperswil, Switzerland, was in 1927, along with the rest of the Museum's holdings, repatriated to Warsaw, where the heart now reposes in a chapel at the Royal Castle. Kościuszko's other viscera remain interred at Zuchwil, where a large memorial stone was erected in 1820 and can be visited today, next to a Polish memorial chapel.
Last will 
When he was leaving America after a visit in 1798 during which he collected back pay, Kościuszko wrote a last will, naming Thomas Jefferson the executor and leaving his property and money in America to be used to buy the freedom of black slaves, including Jefferson's, and to educate them for independent life and work. Several years after Kościuszko's death in 1817, Jefferson, at age 77, pled an inability to act as executor, because Virginia law did not allow such a bequest and because he knew such a will would have been challenged by Kościuszko's relatives and overall would have taken more time than he had left to see the will through according to Kościuszko's wishes. There were also political considerations by that time, as the political gap between the northern and southern states was widening over the slavery issue causing an instability in the national government. Jefferson's assessments were correct. Kościuszko's relatives and con-men alike challenged the bequest claiming they had the right to Kościuszko's estate, while the political division in government continued and soon culminated resulting in the American Civil War. The responsibility to handle the bequest was subsequently transferred to John Hartwell Cocke, but for the same reasons he also declined taking on such a contentious responsibility. The case of Kościuszko's estate in America went to the U.S. Supreme Court  three times.[note 3] In 1852 it awarded the estate, by then worth $50,000, to Kościuszko's heirs in Poland. It ruled that Kościuszko had died intestate although he had made four wills. During the legal proceedings between the date of his death and the Supreme Court decision, the value of his estate decreased substantially; this was attributed by a case attorney to Colonel George Bomford's use of the estate for his own purposes. None of the monies that Kościuszko had earmarked for the manumission and education of African Americans in the United States were ever used for that purpose.
Tributes and commemoration 
A number of monuments have been built around the world to honor him, starting with the Kościuszko Mound built in Kraków in the years 1820–1823. Monuments to Kościuszko are found in Poland in Kraków (designed by Leandro Marconi) and in Łódź (designed by Mieczysław Lubelski). There are statues to Kościuszko in Philadelphia (by Marian Konieczny),Detroit (copy of work by Leonard Marconi), Washington, Chicago, Milwaukee and Cleveland in the USA and in Solura in Switzerland. The tallest mountain of Australia, Mount Kosciuszko, is named after him; in the United States there is an island (Kosciusko Island in Alaska), a county (Kosciusko County, Indiana) and several settlements named after him (such as the town of Kosciusko, Mississippi).
Kościuszko was a subject in a number of paintings (first by Richard Cosway, Franciszek Smuglewicz and Michał Stachowicz and later by others, most notably by Juliusz Kossak and Jan Matejko); a large Racławice Panorama was created by Jan Styka and Wojciech Kossak for a centenary anniversary of the battle of Racławice. He has been a subject to a number of written works, with his first biography published in 1820 by Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz. Other biographies of him include Monica Mary Gardner Kościuszko: A Biography (1920). An opera, Kościuszko nad Sekwaną, was written in the early 1820s, with music by Franciszek Salezy Dutkiewicz and libretto by Konstanty Majeranowski. Later works include dramas by Apollo Korzeniowski, Justyn Hoszowski and Władysław Ludwik Anczyc, three novels by Józef Ignacy Kraszewski, one by Walery Przyborowski, one by Władysław Stanisław Reymont, and works by Maria Konopnicka. Kościuszko also appears in non-Polish literature, including a dedicated sonnet by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, another by Leigh Hunt, poems by John Keats and Walter Savage Landor, a novel by Jane Potter, a work by Karl Eduard von Holtei.
See also 
- Kazimierz Pułaski (Anglicized as "Casimir Pulaski"), another Polish commander in the American Revolutionary War
- Jane Porter, author of the novel, Thaddeus of Warsaw (1803), of which Kościuszko is the title hero. (He praised the book.)
- Alex Storozynski in his 2009 biography of Kosciuszko noted that the "twelfth is generally used", and that Szyndler (1991:103) provides a discussion of various theories about Kościuszko's date of birth.
- letter from Napoleon to Fouché, 1807
- Associate Justice Story issued the decision to remand in Armstrong v. Lear, 25 U.S. 12 Wheat. 169 169 (1827)(based on failure to first admit a will to probate). The same estate was also the subject of Estho v Lear, 32 U.S. 130 (7 Pet. 130, 8 L.Ed. 632)(1832), in which Chief Justice Marshall wrote the brief opinion suggesting remand, apparently to Virginia. Finally, the decision in Ennis v. Smith, 55 U.S. 14 How. 400 400 (1852) mentions no individual author, but the Chief Justice was Roger Taney, and the only jurisdictions mentioned were Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Grodno (now in Bielorussia). For different perspectives on Mr. Jefferson's ethics in refusing to act as executor, see: "Why We Should All Regret Jefferson's Broken Promise to Kościuszko". History News Network. Retrieved April 21, 2013. and Coates, Ta-Nehisi (17 December 2012). "Thomas Jefferson, Tadeusz Kosciusko, and Slavery: Annette Gordon-Reed Responds". The Atlantic. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
- Herbst, 1969 p.430
- Savas, 2010 p.13
- Szyndler, 1994 p.455
- Szyndler, 1994 p.103
- Storozynski, 2009 p.13
- Nash, 2012 p.232
- Bumblauskas, 1994 p.4
- Institute of World Politics, 2009 Article
- Herbst, 1969 p.431
- Gardner, 1920 p.317
- Cizauskas 1986 pp.1–10
- Korzon, 1894, p.135
- Новости, 2009 p.317
- Sanko, Saverchenko, 1999 p.82
- Под ред, 2006 pp.206–208
- "Костюшко Тадеуш Андрей Бонавентура – 100 ВЕЛИКИХ АРИСТОКРАТОВ – всемирная история". History.vn.ua. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Storozynski, 2011 p.27
- Storozynski, 2011 p.28
- Storozynski, 2009 pp.17–18
- "Comprehensive Plan – Liberty in My Name". National Park Service. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
- Storozynski, 2011 p.32
- Storozynski, 2011 pp.36–38
- Kite, 1918 p.82
- Colimore, Edward (December 10, 2007). "Fighting to save remains of a fort". Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Storozynski, 2011 pp.41–42
- Storozynski, 2011 pp.47–52
- Storozynski, 2011 pp.53–54
- Holger Afflerbach; Hew Strachan (26 July 2012). How Fighting Ends: A History of Surrender. Oxford University Press. pp. 177–179. ISBN 978-0-19-969362-7. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Storozynski, 2011 p.65
- Storozynski, 2011 pp.111–112
- Nash & Hodges, 2012 p.52
- "Polish Music Journal 5.2.02 – Anderton: The Spirit of the Polonaise". Usc.edu. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Herbst, 1969 p.432
- Storozynski, 2011 p.85
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- Storozynski, 2011 pp.131–132
- Dave R. Palmer" Fortress West Point: 19th Century Concept in an 18th Century War." Military Engineer 68 (1976):171–74
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- Storozynski, 2011 pp.158–160
- Storozynski, 2011 pp.161–162
- Storozynski, 2011 p.163
- Storozynski, 2011 p.164
- Storozynski, 2009 p.114
- Storozynski, 2011 pp.166–167
- Storozynski, 2011 p.168
- Storozynski, 2011 p.177
- Storozynski, 2011 p.178
- Storozynski, 2011 p.181
- Storozynski, 2011 p.187
- Storozynski, 2011 p.203
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- Storozynski, 2011 p.245
- Storozynski, 2011 p.252
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- Herbst, 1969 pp.435–436
- Storozynski, 2011 p.291
- Landau & Tomaszewski, 1985 p.27
- Herbst, 1969 p.437
- Herbst, 1969 p.438
- Davies, 2005 pp. 216–217
- Davies, 2005 p. 208
- "Feliks Koneczny – "Święci w dziejach Narodu Polskiego"" (in Polish). Nonpossumus.pl. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Jonas Zdanys, ed. (1986). "THE UNUSUAL STORY OF THADDEUS KOSCIUSKO".
- Storozynski, 2011 pp.380–381
- "Oficjalna Strona Kopca Kościuszki w Krakowie" (in Polish). Kopieckosciuszki.pl. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Sulkin. 1944 p.48
- Ennis v. Smith, 55 U.S. 400, 14 How. 400, 14 L.Ed. 427 (1852)
- Ottenberg, 1958 pp.22–26
- Storozynski, 2009, notes to chapter 16
- Storozynski, 2009 p.282
- "Statue of General Thaddeus Kosciuszko -Third Street at Michigan Avenue in downtown Detroit". University of Michigan. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
- Herbst, 1969 pp.438–439
- Herbst, 1969 p.439
- Cizauskas, Albert C. (1986). "The Unusual Story of Thaddeus Kosciusko".
Lithuanian Quarterly Journal of Arts and Sciences, Lituanus (Lituanus Foundation, Inc.) 32 (1). Url
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Philadelphia Inquirer. Url
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Oxford University Press. pp. 216–217. ISBN 978-0-19-925340-1. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
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Gorham Press, Boston. p. 614. Ebook (full view)
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Nakł. Muzeum Narodowego w Rapperswylu. p. 819. Ebook in Polish (full view)
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Croom Helm. ISBN 978-0-7099-1607-9. Url
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Cambridge University Press. p. 317. ISBN 9780521559171.
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Basic Books. p. 328. ISBN 9780465031481.
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American Bar Association Journal. pp. 22–26.
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Rodopi B.V., Amersterdam, New York. p. 173. ISBN 978-90-420-2266-9.
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University of Washington Press. p. 374. ISBN 978-0-295-98093-5.
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Macmillan, New York. p. 352. ISBN 9781429966078.
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Ancher. ISBN 978-83-85576-10-5.
Other sources 
- Anderton, Margaret. "The Spirit of the Polonaise: Polish Music Journal 5.2.02 –".
Usc.edu. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Bardach, Juliusz; Leśnodorski, Bogusław; Pietrzak, Michał (1987). "Historia państwa i prawa polskiego".
Paristwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Warsaw.
- Новости (2009-03-24). "TUTэйшыя ў свеце. Касцюшка – Общество – TUT.BY | НОВОСТИ – 24.03.2009, 13:46".
News.tut.by. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Bumblauskas, Alfredas. "Lithuania’s Millennium – Millennium Lithuaniae, Or what Lithuania can tell the world on this occasion". Retrieved January 20, 2010.
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Мінск : Медисонт. p. 544. ISBN 985-6530-29-6. Url
- Pula, James S. (1998). Thaddeus Kosciuszko: The Purest Son of Liberty. Hippocrene Books. ISBN 0-7818-0576-7.
- Niestsiarchuk, Leanid (2006). Андрэй Тадэвуш Банавентура Касцюшка: Вяртаннегероя нарадзіму (Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kosciuszko: Return of the Hero to his Motherland) (in Belarusian). ISBN 985-6665-93-0.
- Nash, Gary B.; Graham Russell Gao Hodges (2008). Friends of Liberty: Thomas Jefferson, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, and Agrippa Hull. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-04814-4.
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- Kosciuszko by Monica Mary Gardner
- The Kosciuszko Foundation. (Polish-American cultural foundation named for General Tadeusz Kosciuszko.)
- About.com feature on Tadeusz Kosciuszko.
- Polish Embassy in the United States: a tribute page.
- U.S. Kosciuszko National Monument web site.
- Kosciuszko Polish-American Historical Society, Inc., of the Valley Ansonia – Derby – Shelton – Seymour, Connecticut.
- Kosciuszko monuments gallery.
- Tadeusz Kościuszko at Find a Grave
- Photographs of Mereszowszczyzna manor in Belarus.
- A humorous biographical comic about Kościuszko.
- Will of Thaddeus Kosciuszko.