The Kosciuszko Foundation

Thaddeus Kosciuszko (lots of spellings of his name as you might expect) was a Polish hero of the American Revolutionary War, and on East 65th Street there’s the site of a foundation named after him.  It’s a Polish-American group that primarily works to promote educational and artistic exchange between the US and Poland.  I’ve heard that they have a library or museum inside, but wasn’t able to find out when I went by there.

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There are two plaques next to the door.  The first gives the briefest of histories of the Revolutionary War hero.

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The fact that he oversaw the fortifications of West Point is a huge plus for the man as it was the bulwark against the British drive to break the revolution into isolated pockets.  The quote from Jefferson is about as fine a testament to a patriot as you can find.  It reads “He is as pure a son of liberty as I have ever known, and of that liberty which is to go to all, and not to the few and rich alone.”

The second plaque is simply a naming of the foundation and gives the goal of the foundation:  An American Center for Polish Culture.

I’ve actually had a “nodding acquaintance” with Koscuisko for a long, long time.  When I lived in Washington DC, I found that he was one of the five statues located in Lafayette Park.  He was the only one I wasn’t familiar with at the time and I went out of my way over the years to find out a little more about the man.

-H

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