Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Men of Yore: Tadeusz Kościuszko

This is the second in a series of posts about men from history who have either achieved great things in one form or another by pushing boundaries: either in themselves or in society or science or exploration of some form.  Boundary pushing and growth is what men do, it's their nature: to grow and push outwards.  We, as men, are the frontiers men, the first to discover/uncover new territory, in a metaphysical sense (i.e. including both material and the immaterial) that is later colonised and 'civilised' by the rest of humanity. 

It is also partly intended to show images, be they paintings, statues or photographs of the countenaces of men of yore.  Because, quite frankly, many men wear the countenances of women these days: smiling, smirking, cooing, rolling their eyes, looking smug etc.  It's a sign of the times, and by showing some images of men from the past, I hope to show some modern men why looking surly, frowning and giving hard-ball stares at people is something to do, something to practice.

Tadeusz Kościuszko

Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko ([taˈdɛuʂ kɔɕˈt͡ɕuʂkɔ] ( listen); February 4 or 12,[a] is a national hero of Poland, Belarus, Lithuania and the United States and fought in the American Revolution and the Polish uprising against Russia.[2] He was born in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.[..] 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.

Kościuszko was Polish (sometimes described as Polish-Lithuanian)[5] He led the 1794 Kościuszko Uprising against Imperial Russia and the Kingdom of Prussia as Supreme Commander of the Polish National Armed Forces.[6] 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. However, 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.

Kościuszko eventually returned to Europe and lived in Switzerland until his death in 1817.


Check out some of the other entries from the 'Men of Yore' series:
Stephen the III of Moldavia
George Petrovich (Black George)
Vlad II, Prince of Wallachia
King Alfred, the Great
John MacDouall Stuart
Robert Owen
Richard Trevithick
Wyatt Earp
William 'Wild Bill' Cody
Andrew Carnegie
Duke of Viseu (Henry the Navigator)
Meriwether Lewis
Arthur Schopenhauer
Theodore Roosevelt
Rudolph Diesel
John Snow
Ludwig van Beethoven
Henry Ford
George Custer


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