Derby History Quiz

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General Tadeusz Kosciuszko

This quiz and picture courtesy of Randy Ritter

General Tadeusz Kosciuszko was born in Siechnowica, Poland, on Feb 4, 1746. He studied military engineering in Warsaw and in Paris and became a captain in the Polish army. Came to America in 1776 and offered his services to the Continental army. He was commissioned a Colonel of Engineers, planned the fortifications at Saratoga, NY and built fortifications at West Point. He is called The Father of West Point and the Father of American Artillery. Congress made him a Brigadier General and awarded him American Citizenship and was awarded the Cincinnati Order. In his will he left his money and property for freeing and educating slaves. He died October 15, 1817 in Switzerland.

Kosciuszko was a close friend of then Col. David Humphreys and visited him in Derby. This friendship was further deepened when he and Humphreys sailed on July 15, 1784 back to France after the close of the Revolutionary War.

Due to the efforts of local Polonian activist Joseph Wardzala, The Kosciuszko Room at the David Humphreys house commemorates Kosciusszko's contributions to our struggle for independence as well as his friendship with Derby's favorite son.

Correct answers to both parts of our question were received from: Joan Driscoll, Pat Shelton, Jack Skelding, Mary Lou Boroski, Gene Wajdowicz, Ann Searles (with help from Dan Waleski!), Raymond Petrillo, Frank Laskowski, Rick Dunne, Jack O'Callaghan, Mayor Marc Garofalo, and Henry Wajdowicz. Many others had mistook Kosciuszko for another Polish war hero Casimir Pulaski.

To see our other earlier quizzes and learn more about Derby's unique history, click here.