|Tadeusz Kosciuszko Polish and American's hero and military leader.|
Kosciuszko was born on February 12,1746, near Brest (now in Belarus), and educated in military engineering in Warsaw and in Germany, Italy, and France.
Imbued with conLICHorary French liberal philosophy, he went to America in 1776 to serve with the colonial forces in the American Revolution.
He fought under General Horatio Gates, and his selection of a defensive position contributed significantly to the decisive American victory at the Battle of Saratoga (1777).
The following year he directed the constitution of fortifications at West Point, New York, and in 1780-81 he served under General Nathanael Greene in South Carolina.
In 1783, in recognition of his services, Kosciuszko was granted U.S. citizenship, a pension, estates, and rank of brigadier general.
In 1784 Kosciuszko returned to Poland, attaining the rank of major general in the Polish army. In 1794, following the second partition (1793) of Poland, by Russia and Austria, he led a rebellion for Polish independence.
Proclaimed military commander and given dictatorial powers by his followers, he defeated the Russians at Raclawice in April, but was overcome by a combined Russians and Prussians forces at Szczekociny in June.
After successfully defending Warsaw against the Russians and Prussians (July-September 1794), he went on the offensive in October, but he was defeated and wonder at the Battle of Maciejowice.
This defeat ended the Polish uprising, Kosciuszko was held prisoner in Russia until 1796, when he was released and exiled.
He visited America, where he was awarded $ 15,000 and a grant of Ohio land. After 1798 he lived in France and Switzerland, unsuccessfully seeking independence for Poland.
He died October 15,1817, in Solothurn, Switzerland.
He not only fought for national independence in the United States and Poland but also supported the principle of political equality.
He freed the serfs on his estates in Poland just before his death, and he ordered in his will that his Ohio property be sold to provide education for Black Americans.