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    Tadeusz Kosciuszko Partly Printed Document Signed "T Kosciuszko," one page, 6.5" x 8". Camp at Przybyszow, June 20, 1794. In Polish, translated. Filled out by Kosciuszko. In full, "With this letter I declare that I nominate Lieutenant Michal Narkiewicz from First King's Regiment as a captain, being in effect after resignation of Captain Szczakowski. I know that he is an excellent soldier and I would like to encourage him to continue his service to Poland. This letter authorizes him to all the benefits, for his entire lifetime. I order all generals and all the other higher officers to recognize citizen Michal Narkiewicz as a new captain in First King's Regiment and order all the others to respect his new title. I confirm this with my signature and the official seal of National Alliance." Official "Wolnosc/ Calosc i/ Niepodleglosc" ("Liberty/ Unity and/ Independence") seal stamped at bottom center. In 1772, weakened by a civil war, the Poland-Lithuania commonwealth agreed to a treaty signed by neighboring states Russia, Prussia, and Austria which resulted in the loss of about 25% of its territory and population. In 1793, Poland-Lithuania was forced to cede additional lands to Russia and Prussia. On March 24, 1794, in Krakow's Market Square, after being given total command of Polish forces, Tadeusz Kosciuszko called for a national uprising, promising to restore Poland's borders, sovereignty, and freedom. He quickly began to improve his army of 10,000 to 15,000, less than the number of Russian soldiers in Poland-Lithuania. Kosciuszko began a system of conscription with peasants added to existing regiments. The farmers straightened the angled blades of their scythes into straight points and formed the Kosinierzy (scythe-bearer) units. With 4,000 regular troops and 2,000 Kosinierzy, Kosciuszko marched towards Warsaw and, on April 4, 1794, at Raclawice, he met a larger Russian force led by General Tomasow. Using techniques he had learned in the American Revolution, Kosciuszko used his regular troops as a distraction while the Kosinierzy advanced unnoticed until they were a few hundred yards from Russian artillery. The Polish victory was swift. They captured the Russian cannons and pushed the enemy into retreat. Thousands of peasants throughout the commonwealth joined the Polish army. By the end of April, there were rebellions in Warsaw, Vilna, and other large towns. On May 7, 1794, Kosciuszko announced the Manifesto of Polaniec which reduced the number of serfs and the service time owed by peasants. In June, he led his army of 13,000 towards the Russian forces but, on June 6, 1794, opposed by the King of Prussia at the head of 40,000 men, he was defeated at Szczekociny. On June 15th, the Prussians took Krakow. This military appointment was personally filled out and signed by Kosciuszko just five days later. In September, Kosciuszko occupied Warsaw but he was defeated on October 10, 1794, in the Battle of Maciejowice and taken prisoner. In 1795, the Polish Republic experienced its third and final division and disappeared from the map of Europe. Almost 20 years earlier, while in France, Kosciuszko had been recruited by Silas Deane and Benjamin Franklin to come to America. He arrived in August 1776 and joined the Continental Army as a volunteer. On October 18, 1776, the Continental Congress "Resolved, That Thaddeus Kosciuszko, Esq., be appointed an engineer in the service of the United States, with the pay of sixty dollars a month, and the rank of colonel." In 1783, in recognition of his dedicated and faithful service, recommended by Secretary at War Benjamin Lincoln, he was brevetted by the Continental Congress to the rank of brigadier general. There is a minor tear at the bottom repaired on verso. In America, Kosciuszko fought in a revolution; in 1794, he led one. This document was penned during the Kosciuszko Uprising. It would make a superb addition to any military collection. With light folds, it is in very fine condition.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
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