#Onthisday in 1777, American War of Independence Lt. Colonel Tadeusz Kosciuszko arrived at Fort Ticonderoga.
Kosciuszko, a Polish volunteer and engineer officer, joined American forces at Ticonderoga in New York. Kosciuszko recently worked on the Delaware River defenses and had been recommended by American General Gates, now the Fort Ticonderoga commander. Although Gates expected Kosciuszko “to serve not supercede” the other Engineer officers, Gates so valued Kosciuszko as an engineer that he wanted the Pole to examine the Ticonderoga works and make recommendations for necessary improvements and additions.
Polish-born Thaddeus Kosciuszko was a distinguished military man who traveled across Europe to the Americas to fight for independence. He served in the American Revolution continuously from 1776 to the war’s end in 1783 and operated not only as far north as Ticonderoga, Saratoga, and West Point, but became the Chief Engineer with the Southern Department of the Continental Army. Kosciuszko earned praise and thanks for his courageous war efforts and dedication to freedom from men like George Washington, Horatio Gates, Nathanael Greene, and Thomas Jefferson. A close friend, Thomas Jefferson, once wrote that Kosciuszko was “as pure a son of liberty, as I have ever known, and of that liberty which is to go to all, and not the few or rich alone.”
Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community. There are many individuals like Tadeusz Kosciuszko that help define this country and our community. It is the determination of our forefathers, in surmounting overwhelming odds that help define the American spirit – the will and ability to shape a better future. It is the people it is that define this community by choice or by chance have changed this country and even the world political development. That is why studying the people of Saratoga is integral to a good understanding of the condition of being human.