8. Jan, 2020

BLOG 48-48-MOUNT KOSCIUSKO

Yesterday whilst travelling into Sorell, I heard a program on out local radio about Thaddeus Kosciusko and the naming of our highest peak in Australia. I looked it up and found this piece of info. Enjoy

 

Mount Kosciusko

Mount Kosciusko, mountain in southeastern Australia, in the center of the Snowy Mountains range, 160 km (100 miles) southwest of the national capital, Canberra. At 2,228 m (7,310 ft) high, Mount Kosciusko is the highest point in Australia. Kosciusko National Park contains the mountain along with some of the surrounding region. The peak was first climbed in 1840 by Polish explorer Paul Strzelecki, who named it after the Polish national hero and military leader Tadeusz Kościuszko.

Thaddeus Kosciusko (1746-1817), Polish national hero and military leader.

Kościuszko was born on February 12, 1746, near Brest (now in Belarus), and educated in military engineering in Warsaw and in Germany, Italy, and France. Imbued with contemporary French liberal philosophy, he went to America in 1776 to serve with the colonial forces in the American Revolution. He fought under General Horatio Gates, and his selection of a defensive position contributed significantly to the decisive American victory at the Battle of Saratoga (1777). The following year he directed the construction of fortifications at West Point, New York, and in 1780-81 he served under General Nathanael Greene in South Carolina. In 1783, in recognition of his services, Kościuszko was granted U.S. citizenship, a pension, estates, and the rank of brigadier general.

In 1784 Kościuszko returned to Poland, attaining the rank of major general in the Polish army. In 1794, following the second partition (1793) of Poland, by Russia and Prussia, he led a rebellion for Polish independence. Proclaimed military commander and given dictatorial powers by his followers, he defeated the Russians at Racławice in April, but was overcome by a combined Russian and Prussian force at Szczekociny in June. After successfully defending Warsaw against the Russians and Prussians (July-September 1794), he went on the offensive in October, but he was defeated and wounded at the Battle of Maciejowice. This defeat ended the Polish uprising. Kościuszko was held prisoner in Russia until 1796, when he was released and exiled. He visited America, where he was awarded $15,000 and a grant of Ohio land. After 1798 he lived in France and Switzerland, unsuccessfully seeking independence for Poland. He died October 15, 1817, in Solothurn, Switzerland.

He not only fought for national independence in the United States and Poland but also supported the principle of political equality. He freed the serfs on his estates in Poland just before his death, and he ordered in his will that his Ohio property be sold to provide education for black Americans.