Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (1746-1817), the great Polish leader, was born in Lithuania. He was educated in France at the expense of the State, and on his return to Poland entered the army. In 1777 he went to America, and served throughout the War of Independence. In 1786 he returned to Poland, and three years later was made major-general. The first services rendered by the great patriot to his country were in the war with Russia in 1791-92, when he distinguished himself at Dubienka, having heavy odds against him. After the peace he resigned his commission, but in 1794 was recalled and requested to act as commander against the Russians. He defeated them near Cracow, and a rising followed by which the enemy were driven out of Poland. Now, however, Prussia interposed, and Kosciuszko was defeated at Szezekochin. He defended Warsaw successfully for a time, but in an attack on a superior Russian force which came to its relief he was overpowered by numbers, wounded, and made prisoner. After two years' captivity he went to England, and thence to America, but in 1798 finally settled in France. He refused to assist Napoleon in his designs on Poland, and disowned the appeal issued in his name. In 1814 he had an interview with Alexander I. in France, but nothing came of it, and next year Kosciuszko retired to Switzerland, where he died from the results of a horse accident. He was a greater soldier than statesman. The most accessible life is in Michelet's Pologne et Russie, Legende de Kosciusko.