Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Kosciusko, Tadeusz
KOSCIUSKO, or KOSCIUSZKO, TADEUSZ, a Polish patriot; born in Lithuania, Feb. 12, 1746. He chose the career of arms, and was trained in France. In 1777 an unhappy love affair drove him to the United States, where he fought for the colonists and advanced to the rank of Brigadier General. He returned to Poland in 1786. When Russia attacked his country in 1792, Kosciusko held a position at Dubienka for five days with only 4,000 men against 18,000 Russians. King Stanislaus submitted to the Empress Catharine, whereupon Kosciusko resigned and retired to Leipsic. After the second partition of Poland he led the national movement in Cracow and was appointed dictator and commander-in-chief (1794). His defeat of a greatly superior force of Russians at Raclawice was followed by a rising of the Poles in Warsaw. He established a provisional government and took the field against the Prussians, but, defeated, fell back upon Warsaw. He was overpowered by superior numbers in the battle of Maciejowice, Oct. 10, 1794; and, covered with wounds, fell into the hands of his enemies. Two years later the Emperor Paul restored him to liberty. He spent the remainder of his life chiefly in France. When Napoleon, in 1806, formed a plan for the restoration of Poland, Kosciusko refused his aid. In 1814 he besought the Emperor Alexander to grant an amnesty to the Poles in foreign countries, and to make himself constitutional King of Poland. He died in Switzerland Oct. 15, 1817, by the fall of his horse over a precipice.