THADDEUS ANDRZEJ BONAWENTURA KOSCIUSZKO
Thomas Jefferson: he is as pure a son of liberty as I have ever known
Polish patriot and soldier, b. near Novogrudok, Lithuania, Poland, 12 February, 1752; d. at Solothurn, Switzerland, 15 October, 1817. He was educated at the military schools of Warsaw and Versailles, and attained the rank of captain in the Polish army. When the American Revolution broke out he embarked for the scene of conflict and, joining Washington's army, received a commission as officer of engineers, 18 October, 1776. He served with distinction through the war, was made a brigadier general, and was voted the thanks of Congress. He then returned to Poland and lived for several years in retirement. In 1789, when the Polish army was reorganized, he was appointed a major-general and fought gallantly under Prince Poniatowski against the Russians. At the second partition of Poland, he resigned his commission and went to live in Leipzig. He headed the abortive revolution of Poland in 1794, and was wounded and captured by the Russians at the battle of Maciejowice, 10 October. Imprisoned for two years, he was liberated by Emperor Paul on parole and with many marks of esteem. Thereafter his life was passed in retirement. In 1797 he revisited the United States, receiving everywhere great honor and distinction. Congress voted him a grant of land and an addition to his pension. On his return to Europe he took up his residence near Paris, spending his time in agricultural pursuits. In 1806 Napoleon wished him to join in the invasion of Poland, but he felt bound by his parole to Russia and refused. He went to live in Switzerland in 1816, making his home at Solothurn, where he was killed by a fall from a horse. His remains, by direction of the Emperor Alexander, were taken to Krakow, where they were interred with solemn pomp in the cathedral near the tombs of Poniatowski and Sobieski. A mound 150 feet high, made of earth taken from every battle-field in Poland, was piled up in his honor in the outskirts of the city.
HASSARD, Hist. of U. S. (New York), GRIFFIN in Am. Cath. Hist. Researches (Philadelphia, April, 1910); MICHELET, Pologne et Russie, legende de Kosciuszko (Paris, 1851); IDEM, La Pologne martyre (1863); FALKENSTEIN, Kosciuszko (Leipzig, 1827); RYCHLICKI, Kosciuszko and the Partition of Poland (Krakow, 1872); CHODZKO, Histoire militaire, politique et privee de Kosciuszko (Paris, 1837).
THOMAS F. MEEHAN
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII
Kosciusko, Thaddeus , Pol. Tadeusz Andrzej Bonawentura Košciuszko, 1746–1817, Polish general. Trained in military academies in Warsaw and Paris, he offered his services to the colonists in the American Revolution because of his commitment to the ideal of liberty. Arriving in America in 1777, he took part in the Saratoga campaign and advised Horatio Gates to fortify Bemis Heights. Later he fortified (1778) West Point and fought (1780) with distinction under Gen. Nathanael Greene in the Carolina campaign. After his return to Poland he became a champion of Polish independence. He fought (1792–93) in the campaign that resulted in the second partition (1793) of Poland (see Poland, partitions of). In 1794 he issued a call at Kraków for a national uprising and led the Polish forces against both Russians and Prussians in a gallant but unsuccessful rebellion that ended with the final partition of Poland. He was imprisoned, and after being freed (1796) went to the United States and later (1798) to France, where after the fall of Napoleon he pleaded with Alexander I of Russia for Polish independence. He died in Solothurn, Switzerland, and is buried in Kraków. His devotion to liberty and Polish independence have made him one of the great Polish heroes.
See studies by M. Haiman (1943, repr. 1975 and 1946, repr. 1977). Kosciusko, Mount , 7,316 ft (2,230 m) high, SE New South Wales, Australia, in the Australian Alps; highest peak of Australia. Tourism developed significantly in the 1980s.
|"The effusion of friendship and my warmest toward you which not
time will alter. Your principles and dispositions were made to be honored,
revered and loved. True to single object, the freedom and happiness of
These words were authored by the President of the United States Thomas Jefferson and dedicated to Tadeusz Kosciuszko, American and Polish army general whose only motto in life was the independance of any individual and any nation.
Born in February 1746 in the Eastern territories of the Kingdom of Poland Tadeusz Kosciuszko is the historical statue that held in himself the most dearest to humanity virtue - the desire of freedom. He received his education in the Military Academy in Warsaw and in Paris where for the first time he became acquinted with the idea of the French Enlightment. In 1776 he left for America and took part in the U.S. War if Independence from October 18th 1776 till November 25th 1783 when he accompanied the COmmander-n-Chief George Washington on his triumpnant return to New York. In 1784 he was back in his homeland and as an outstanding strategist he commanded his troops during numerous battles in the war with Russia. In 1794 Kosciuszko was appointed commander-in-chief of an armed insurrection. The following words constituted his oath to the nation that he took on March 24th in Cracow:
"I swear to the whole Polish nation that I shall not use the power vested in me for private oppression but that I shall exercise this power only in the defense of the whole of the frontiers and to regain the independence of the Nation and to establish universal freedom."
In order to encourage the peasant classes in to the military conflinct
in fight for the independence of the country he proclaimed the Polaniec
Universal which aim was to abolish serfdom, reduce the amount of unpaid
labor for the lord and free peasants who were drafted into the army from
this duty. After short period of temporary victories in October, the Polish
forces were completely defeated at Maciejowice. Kosciuszko heavily wounded
was taken into prison in Russia, where he remained until 1796. He spent
the rest of his life in the West, dying in Switzerland in 1817. His body
was rested in the Royal crypt at Wawel Castle -place of great honour for
|Kosciusko's Monument and Garden
Text from William Wade
The heights in the vicinity are many of them crowned by redoubts and batteries, erected under the direction of the great Kosciusko. In August, 1780, Arnold received the command of this military station, which extended from Fishkill to Verplank's Point. On the 25th of September, he made his escape from his head-quarters, the Robinson House, two miles below West Point. His treason has had its reward. Of the three monuments which meet the eye at West Point, that at the north-eastern extremity of the works, at the projecting point forming the abrupt bend of the river, is erected to the memory of the patriot Kosciusko, who resided here. It is of white marble, consisting of a base and a short column. It was completed in 1829, by the corps of cadets at an expense of about five thousand dollars. In the vicinity of the monument is Kosciusko's garden, the place "where the Polish chieftain was accustomed to retire for study and reflection. Marks of cultivation are perceptible in the disposition of the walks and trees, and the beautiful seclusion of the spot still invites to thought and repose." Thaddeus Kosciusko, says the American Encyclopedia, was born at Lithuania, in 1756, and educated at the military school of Warsaw. After studying in France, he came to America, recommended by Franklin to Washington, to whom he was appointed an aid. In October, 1776, he was appointed an engineer, with the rank of colonel, in which capacity be fortified the camp of General Gates, in his campaign against Burgoyne, and afterwards erected the works at West Point. He was highly esteemed by both American and French officers; he was admitted a member of the Society of the Cincinnati; and he received the thanks of Congress for his services. At the close of the Revolutionary war, he returned to his native country, and was made Major-General under Poniatowski. He fought several battles with great bravery; but all his efforts were rendered useless by the follies of the Polish Diet. In April, 1794, on the breaking out of the new revolution, he was appointed to the chief command, with dictatorial powers, and he managed affairs with great address and bravery, until the 10th of October, when, overpowered and wounded, he was made prisoner and carried to St. Petersburg. On the accession of the Emperor Paul, he was released from the confinement into which Catharine had thrown him, loaded with honours, and offered employment in the Imperial service. This he declined; and when the Emperor proffered him his own sword, he said, " I no longer need a sword-I have no longer a country." In 1797, he visited the United States, and received a grant from Congress. In the latter part of his life he retired to Switzerland, where he died, October 16, 1817. His remains were taken to Cracow, and a public funeral made for him at Warsaw, where almost divine honours were paid him.
|John Keats (1795–1821).
The Poetical Works of John Keats. 1884.
29. To Kosciusko
Good Kosciusko, thy great name alone
Former President of Poland
"Poland - Past, Present and Future"
October 16, 1998
Lech Walesa: Ladies and gentlemen, the name of the Chair of Polish Studies at the Miller Center has been chosen appropriately. Tadeusz Kosciuszko fought so that the United States would not be under British rule and the colonists could thus decide their own fate. On American soil, a huge unification of the peoples of various nations from various continents occurred. They came here to seek freedomófreedom from political or economic oppression. For many people, the decision to migrate was tragic. Sometimes they left behind all that they had worked for in their lives, but when they came here, they also brought hope. These people who brought hope to the United States constructed a new societyóone with a peaceful coexistence between African-Americans and those who came from Europe and Asia, between the Jews and the Palestinians, the Poles and the Russians, the Germans and the French, and the Greeks and the Turks. The Americans must remember that they are great ambassadors of this unification. Americans are ambassadors in the quest to avoid a tragic fate for future generations.
I am deeply confident that the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies that is being inaugurated today will allow people to cultivate Polish national identity without xenophobia, individualism without forgetting or rejecting the social qualities, and pride without prejudices and lack of appreciation for others.
When Tadeusz Kosciuszko fortified West Point, he struggled for freedom for Americans and Poles. He also fought for a free Poland because the struggle is always for values. The values that everyone should support and defend should be so beautiful and great in order to meet the challenges of the coming millennium.
When the clock strikes midnight on 31 December 1999, it will last only a second, but at the same time, people will enter a totally different world. They will find themselves in totally new circumstances and will be faced with new challenges that they must confront. The end of this millennium has revealed two ideas of hatredóhatred in national terms and in class terms. The cruelty and the enormous size of the crimes committed by the black and red terrors have been seen, as Auschwitz and gulag have become symbolic names known all over the world. The fall of these great utopias has left humanity with a clean page in the book of its history. It is up to the people to determine what they will write on this page.
At the same time, enormous technological progress is occurring. The world is shrinking and problems are on a global scale. The global dimension is expanding through greater access to information, thanks to satellites, television, telephones, and the Internet. With all of these technological inventions, one person is now able to immediately contact another person regardless of where that person is on the globe.
Ecological concerns have also reached global dimensions. The Chernobyl disaster proved that ecological threats do not need visas or passports. The forests in the Amazon really influence the weather in Europe. The currents in the Pacific shape the weather in the United States. The forest fires in Indonesia shape the weather in Malaysia. The environment is not really the environment of any one country, but of the whole world. When people look to nature, they should remember that nature is not mankind's property. It is merely a deposit. People living today must hand it to the coming generations in good condition.
Economic matters have also reached a global scale. Montevideo, Uruguay, reacts to the early changes on the stock market exchange in Tokyo. Great corporations seen in one country have plants in another and more markets elsewhere, whereas the shareholders live in yet another country. Economics no longer has a purely national role because it transcends national borders. Europe has already introduced a common currency. Sometime in the near future there will be only one currency for the whole globe. Instead of a dollar or a euro, people will use a globo!
People today are living in a global village. This change implies a change of the function of the state. The supranational organizations in the United States and Europe will force states to redefine such notions such as national sovereignty and independence. One thing is certainóthe isolation of countries is no longer possible. Even if the leaderships of these countries are willing to isolate themselves, it is impossible because increasing technological progress and the level of civilization do not allow isolation.
The United States remains the only superpower in the world. It has leading economic, political, and military roles, but it is not upholding its political-moral role. Recent proof of this fact presented itself when the United States decided not to participate in the initiative on establishing a permanent international court. True leadership does not mean that one country possesses the most efficient missiles, the most destructive bombs, the fastest computers, or the best bank safes. It implies possessing the most attractive social model.
Both liberalism and socialism will become outdated in the 21st century. People will be faced with new challenges and the necessity to construct new social orders. On what shall future societies be based? Will people base them on an economy where the richer are considered the better and more just? This premise would lead to a terrible world of slavery. Should people, rather, base their societies on the rule of law as certain left-wing politicians have suggested? I am very much in favor of the rule of law, but a spiritless law is nothing. Spiritless law is merely a set of regulations, and people like to ignore or avoid regulations. Instead, society in the 21st century must be based on values. Law and economy can be the means, for example, but they can never be the goal.
Politics must be a sphere of implementation of values, not merely a sphere of efficiency. When one talks about efficiency, one can ask what the purpose is. Efficiency is not good and appropriate in every case.
What should the values implemented by politics be? The first value should be the rights to life, human dignity, and free development of the individual. Everyone must work for the free development of a human individual. Everyone must get equal chances at the start and be justly rewarded when they reach the finish line. The better should be justly rewarded.
Other values that I will mention include the freedom of economic enterprise, freedom of speech and association, and freedom of the circulation of goods and people. Representative democracies, solidarity, tolerance, self-governance, and justice must also exist. This list is long, but what will really count is if the list lives in the hearts of citizens. This list of values must not be imposed. Everyone should construct such a list for his or her own use and for the sake of common prosperity. People must be convinced that this list is right. They must be ready to live and die for those values. This kind of a society is precisely the one in which I wish everyone is able to live in the next century.
I come from the heart of Europe. Poland is a middle-sized country, but the average American will consider Poland a tiny country. My country has had terrible experiences in its history. It is located between two big, powerful peoplesóthe Russians and the Germans. In the course of history those two peoples have enjoyed visiting one another. To meet, they had to cross Poland on their way there and sometimes on their return way. On one occasion they stayed in Poland for 123 years, but Poland always rose up against them.
After World War II, Poland was handed over into the Soviet sphere of influence. The Polish people had struggled, participated in the battles too well, and bled too much. They therefore had no strength for a good finish of the war, but they never accepted the fact that Poland was not a free country. The people tried to liberate themselves. In the 1940s, they opposed communism with arms. In the 1960s and 1970s, they opposed communism by various forms of demonstrations, but all of these methods were inefficient.
Enriched with these experiences, we knew what to do in 1980. We had to bear in mind that Poland was surrounded by about one million Soviet soldiers and nuclear weapons in silos. We therefore led our struggle in a way that would not put the world at riskóby means of strikes. We would like to be forgiven for the fact that we went on strike, but it was the only efficient method at that moment. I personally hate striking, but it was through the strikes that we actually achieved a new situation in Europe and in the world. Any other tactic would have been inefficient and dangerous.
We imagined that once communism was gone that we would live in a world full of happiness. This world is far from paradise. The United States is still the only superpower in the world, and it is therefore expected to provide new solutions for the new circumstances. I travel often around the world and wherever I go, I ask people what Europe should look like or what relations between Europe and the United States should be like. The current situation is a bit dangerous and perhaps a bit awkward. People with left-wing orientations say that societies must be based on the rule of law, both in an individual dimension and in the international political arena.
I am clearly in favor of the law, but it must function. Two examples will illustrate the fact that the law itself can also be inefficient. Almost every person has broken the law but has not been punished for it. There are different kinds of laws, such as driving through a red light, tax laws, or speed limits. Many people have not been punished for breaking them simply because the law punishes people for letting themselves be caught, not because they broke the law.
A second example is the funny situation in the Communist countries some years ago. When people wanted to seek freedom in those days, they would hijack airplanes. The Communist authorities then decided that they would introduce security people on board the planes who would pretend that they were tourists. These security people were supposed to ensure that hijacks did not happen. On one occasion, one of the security people wanted to seek freedom, so he hijacked the plane. A second level of security people was naturally introduced on planes to make sure that the security people and the tourists did not hijack the planes. Therefore, the authorities reached an ironic situation in which the planes were full of security people and had no tourists but were still being hijacked. My suggestion is that things should work differently.
People have developed many spheres of their lives, but many have not developed their consciences at all. There is no better guard and no better security than the human conscience. I believe in a world that is based precisely on human conscience.
In my case, I am also a man of religious faith. If I were not, I do not think that I would even be here. I have led a sufficiently good life on my revolution, and my wife Danuta is quite attractive. So why should I go to the trouble of traveling and meeting with people? If I were not working, though, I must remember that there is hell in my religion. Hell is precisely where I would end if I did not listen to my conscience. Since there is a kind of negative selection in hell, I know that Lenin and Stalin are holding high offices there. I will not give them the pleasure of getting me there. I remind everyone that those two men were not extremely fond of Americans, so Americans must try to do everything to avoid going there and getting into their hands.
In conclusion, a certain era has come to a close, an era in which Poland was only able to beg for money from the United States. It was also an era in which American soldiers had to establish order in certain conflicts around the world. Today we expect the United States to provide the solutions. We expect the United States to rewrite the regulations for organizations like the United Nations and NATO and to supervise the implementation of those regulations. When a bipolar world existed, certain U.N. resolutions were passed, for example, but they were not implemented for fear of a great conflict.
In the unipolar world that exists now, there is no fear of such a large-scale conflict, so the resolutions that are passed must be implemented. There is no fear of any great conflicts anymore. The United States has always known what to do and how to do it.
QUESTION: Throughout all of the crackdowns and repression, what kept you optimistic about the future of Poland?
PRESIDENT WALESA: It would be a terrible thing if the leaders of the fight were not optimistic about a victory. I was fully convinced that we were going to win. I was working on accelerating and bringing the victory faster so that I could minimize the victims and the price to be paid.
Communism was a system based mainly on censorship. The Communist system of censorship would be impossible today. Every cellular phone would need five policemen to monitor it. For every satellite dish on a television set, at least two men would be needed to ensure that people watched the proper channels. Watching American programs would be impossible under this type of censorship. Communism was a system that was bound to die. Some might say that it still exists in North Korea, Cuba, and China, but they are each unique cases that must be discussed separately.
QUESTION: What is the next role for Solidarity in Polish politics?
PRESIDENT WALESA: The Polish people's struggle could only have been carried out through the working class by means of labor unions. The labor union was a weapon used to fight communism, but it is difficult to build capitalism and a free-market economy by means of Solidarity. Solidarity cannot be in every place, just as each person cannot exert the skills of a priest or a doctor. Similarly, it is hard to construct capitalism by means of Solidarity. Solidarity should contribute to the construction of a capitalist system in Poland by remaining a trade union.
Labor unions are very badly needed in today's world. They are the hole through which the excess steam produced by change escapes. Each country should allow freedom for labor unions, or it might run the risk of revolution. Labor unions should press the owners, be they state owners or private owners, to the maximum, but the unions must behave like decent bacteria. They should not destroy the host organism from which they live.
QUESTION: What will people hear about Poland in the coming years? How will Poland's membership in NATO affect this alliance?
PRESIDENT WALESA: Poland has specialized in struggle. It is good at struggling, but when Poland puts itself to work, it becomes a middle-sized, average country in the middle of Europe. The harder that Poland works, the less it is noticed in the media. The media broadcasts news about revolutions or scandals. Of course, if Poland were involved in a revolution or scandal, it would be in the daily news. It will not be involved in revolution or scandal in the coming years, however.
There are only two ways of perceiving NATO expansion. One way is that it is aimed against someone. From the beginning, Poland had a totally different approach to NATO expansion. NATO and the Warsaw Pact existed during a certain balance of power. When the Warsaw Pact was dissolved, NATO was the only organized military force left in the world. Poland's approach is to take advantage of this appropriate moment to enlarge NATO and thus create a situation where there is no material left from which an opposing bloc could emerge. Once Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary are included, the superiority of NATO will be clear, and there will be no possibility of the emergence of conflict. The story can end there. If that enlargement is still too little, three more countries could join to really ensure that no conflict-prone country will arise from what remains. From this chapter, Europe can enter a new one.
For example, if at this point NATO is left with 100 missiles and the other side has ten, the second step could be to reduce this potential by ten. NATO will then be left with ten missiles, and the rest of the world with one missile. There is no chance for any confrontation in this situation. The third stage, where NATO forces are restructured for other tasks, can then begin. Many calamities and dangers, such as chemical or ecological problems, will emerge, and such forces will always be necessary to save the world from different hard situations. The generals will even have some work to do. Those who do not enlarge NATO today at this very appropriate moment are simply providing the material for a conflict tomorrow.
QUESTION: During your years of struggle, were you ever really afraid?
PRESIDENT WALESA: I have always been afraid of God. I am also afraid of Danuta, my wife!
QUESTION: What can American citizens do to help economic development in eastern Europe?
PRESIDENT WALESA: They should do business and invest in eastern Europe. These countries need the U.S. generals -- that is, General Motors and General Electric.
QUESTION: What is Poland's biggest challenge today?
PRESIDENT WALESA: Poland is quickly constructing what it took the United
States much longer to build. It has many problems because the Communists
took property from different people. It is difficult to estimate or judge
how the property can be given back to its previous owners or how, or if,
these owners can be compensated. A classic example is the Palace of Culture.
The Soviets never asked anyone about it. They built a big, beautiful house
in the middle of Warsaw on other people's property. When I was president,
some people came to me and claimed that they owned the land where the Palace
of Culture had been built. Their demands were simple: Take away the palace
and give them back their land. This problem is unsolvable. Somehow, though,
Poland must deal with such complex problems. The Polish government is trying
to deal with them in a just way. This example is one among many other challenges.
Poland's main challenge is that it wants to achieve the same level of development
as in the West over a much shorter period of time.
HJR 2 – AS INTRODUCED
Whereas, Thaddeus Andrzej Bonawentura Kosciuszko
(Kosciuszko) was born on February 12, 1746 in the town of Zaosie, Poland;
David P. Currier
Caitlin A. Daniuk
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
BY NEAL ASCHERSON
excerpts of the
Juliusz Kossak: Portret Tadeusza Kosciuszki.
1879. Akwarela. 78 x 63 cm.
Muzeum w Lancucie.