Remembering Tadeusz Kosciuszko on his date of birth

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Military strategiest Tadeusz Kosciuszko was born today (Feb. 4) in 1746.

The Polish born military man is best known for his support of the Colonial Army during the American Revolution. Kosciuszko was said to be so moved after reading the United States Declaration of Independence, he requested to meet with it’s main author, Thomas Jefferson.

Kosciuszko and Jefferson would go on to form a close friendship, with Jefferson eventually forging a fake passport and securing his friend’s secret departure back to Europe.

Kosciuszko is also known for calling for freedom for American slaves over 60 years prior to the Emancipation Proclamation. The cause was so dear to him that he left his entire estate to Thomas Jefferson with instructions that it be used to buy freedom for as many slaves as possible, including those owned Jefferson himself.

While he is known worldwide for his military service, in central Mississippi the Polish/American hero is known as the namesake for the town of Kosciusko.

Several names were originally suggested for the small village along the Natchez Trace located at the geographical center of the state.

The area was first known RedBud Springs due to several natural springs located in the area. Travelers along the Natchez Trace, including General Andrew Jackson, would stop in the area to fill their canteens and let their horses drink from these springs.

Paris was also suggested as a name for the town in the hopes that the exotic/sophisticated nature of the French city would draw people to the area.

However, the town eventually decided on the name Kosciusko, with a more Americanized spelling and pronunciation. The suggestion was made by state surveyor William Dodd due to the admiration his grandfather had for the respected general.

The town of Kosciusko continues to honor the man for which it is named.

A statue of his likeness stands in Redbud Springs park just off the downtown square. A portion of the soil the statue and park sit on is from Kosciuzsko’s hometown in Poland, brought to Kosciusko in 1976 to celebrate America’s Bicentennial.

Another life-sized monument of Kosciuszko is located at the Kosciusko Visitor’s Center near the Natchez Trace Parkway. Visitors can listen to several recordings that describe his major achievements.

In addition to Kosciusko, MS, Kosciusko Island in Alaska and Kosciusko County, Indiana are also named after the military hero.

 

Video: The Kosciusko Attala Partnership “Eye on Kosciusko”

 

 

 

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