Revolution 250 Podcast

Tadeusz Kościuszko with Kiersten Marcil

September 26, 2023 Kiersten Marcil Season 4 Episode 39
Revolution 250 Podcast
Tadeusz Kościuszko with Kiersten Marcil
Show Notes Transcript

Tadeusz Kościuszko was 30 years old when he emigrated to America to join the cause in support of American Independence.  The recommendation he carried from Benjamin Franklin and other friends in France earned him a Colonel's commission, and his engineering skills were especially useful as  Kościuszko designed the fortifications along the Hudson River, most notably, West Point.  After the War, he was active in trying to establish a free Poland, and trying to eradicate slavery in America.  We talk with Kiersten Marcil, author of a series of time-travel novels about the Revolution, including  Witness to the Revolution.

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 Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Revolution 250 podcast.
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 I'm Bob Allison.
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 I chair the Rev 250 advisory group.
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 We're a collaboration among about 70 groups in Massachusetts looking at ways to commemorate the American Revolution.
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 And our guest today is Kirsten Marshall, who is an author and adventurer into history.
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 She's working on a five-volume projected adult fantasy series called The Enlightened.
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 Book one is out called Witness to the Revolution.
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 But we're here to talk to her about another project, that is her research into General Thaddeus Kosciusko.
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 There are many different pronunciations of the general's name, and we will hear more about him now from Kirsten Marshall.
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 Kirsten, thanks for joining us.
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 Thank you for having me.
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 I'm so glad to be here.
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 And I see I lost my camera, so let me quickly come back.
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 Well, now we have you back.
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 There we go.
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 It must be the L, because I'm coming to you from Chicago today.
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 Oh, wow.
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 Thank you.
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 So Thaddeus Gischusko was another one of our foreign friends who just got really caught up in the
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 the movement and the excitement of the Revolutionary War.
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 He had kind of a sad inspiration for joining us.
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 He had lost his connection to the love of his life.
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 Oh, wow.
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 He had been studying for a while in Europe, mostly in Paris.
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 He wanted to be a hussar, which was a winged night soldier.
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 in Poland and he spent his entire life pretty much been telling that he wasn't quite good enough.
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 So having soldiered, studied, he came back from Paris.
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 His father had died a few years earlier.
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 He came back to his inheritance having been squandered by his older brother, no means to buy a commission in the Polish army like he had wanted to.
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 So he started tutoring
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 two young women and had the misfortune of falling in love with one of the two young women, Ludwika Sosnowski, and if I'm saying that correctly, and they had tried to elope and were caught in the means of getting away.
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 They had been betrayed by a friend and so she got hauled off by her dad and the soldiers and he got beaten
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 senseless and left in the street.
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 So he sort of kind of lost his way for a few months, ended up back in Paris.
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 And this was in 1775, I believe.
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 And just Paris was just alive with this news of Lexington and Concord and of course the Boston Tea Party.
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 And he just got caught up in it and found a means to just kind of find liberty that he had wanted for himself and for his own home country.
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 And he came over
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 with some of the French as an engineer and had a bit of a crazy ride getting over here too and found himself in Philadelphia and found himself speaking no English, just French and Polish and he looked for the most famous American he could find and that was Benjamin Franklin who got him his start.
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 Now, fascinating story, but he's also been training as an engineer while he's been going to military school in France and in Poland.
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 So that's really a very valuable skill that Washington was really looking for.
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 Part of his training, whether it was in the Corps of Cadets, which had just started, he was part of the inaugural class in Poland, started by the royal family.
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 He was there under scholarship by one of the princes.
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 Or when he was in France, the military construction forts were a part of his education, ancient Greek and Roman warfare.
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 All of that was part of his training.
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 So yes, when he came over, the first Washington heard of him was...
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 We think we see him writing about Kosciuszko in December of 1776.
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 And he thinks of him as a French engineer because that's all he knows is he came over with the engineers.
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 He's built Fort Billingsport and Fort Mercer on the Delaware around Philadelphia and is gaining for himself a great reputation as just being a good, easy to work with person.
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 He got in very, very close with Gates
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 who was commanding at the time where he was there.
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 And so, yes, that was exactly what Washington needed.
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 In fact, when he met Benjamin Franklin, the way their conversation was recorded through a biography down the road by one of his, Kosciuszko's assistants, it went something like,
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 you know i'm here to take the officer's exam and he starts telling franklin about all these courses and franklin's like who would give you this exam yeah yeah we don't have that stuff yeah yeah you know more than we do exactly yeah it's amazing so we're talking with kirsten marcel about that that is the polish officer who comes and then
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 I think you are from upstate New York and part of your lead in into this was finding out what's happening in that area.
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 And he really does a lot of work in along the Hudson River and up to Lake Champlain.
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 From Philadelphia, when Horatio Gates was given command of Fort Ticonderoga, he was given sole command of Fort Ticonderoga, even though General Philip Skiley was in charge of, it started out as the New York or separate department, eventually became the Northern Department.
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 um he wanted to take some of the french engineers that he had been working with in philadelphia and kosciuszko was one of those people so he ended up at fort ticonderoga and he's the one where um trumbull the painter had kind of given gates this idea that maybe mount defiance which overlooks fort ticonderoga was going to be a problem right and so he sent kosciuszko to go
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 navigate, survey that area, and he climbed Defiance, and he's like, yes, absolutely, this is a problem.
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 We need to do something about it.
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 And unfortunately, through politics, with Horatio Gates and General Schuyler just hating each other and constantly butting heads for command, when Schuyler got Horatio Gates kicked out, that kind of put an end to Kosciuszko's wanting to build fortifications up on Mount Defiance and getting cannons up there to defend the fort.
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 And they didn't.
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 And they didn't, and it ended up getting the commanding officer, St.
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 Clair, and Schuyler court-martialed.
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 They were removed from command, and both men actually asked for the court-martial, I believe, to clear their names.
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 It took over a year to get one.
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 And Kosciuszko testified for St.
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 Clair, actually.
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 Oh, wow.
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 Gives them the British fortified Mount Defiance and that thing.
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 They did.
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 They did.
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 Yeah, most people know that the traitor who should not be named came in with the Green Mountain Boys, took it, and then the British took it back as they were coming down from Canada.
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 Interesting story.
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 And then he's involved in fortifying West Point and making it more than just a lone fort as he sees a way of creating a system of river defenses.
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 And so West Point is really critical to that.
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 He had gone through Battle of Saratoga, built the fortifications there.
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 So he had really gained the attention of General Washington at that point.
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 So when they were looking to chain off the river, they had made attempts in October through the fall of 77, Fort Montgomery, where the original chain was got sacked, but everybody knew that the Hudson River was the key to controlling the war, control of where the men were coming from, the supplies were coming from.
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 He sent Kosciusko there and not Kosciusko's fault, but he got into a little bit of a thing with the chief engineer there as well.
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 But at that point, the Frenchman Colonel de La Radiere had already torqued off everybody at West Point.
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 Basically, he was arguing where the fortifications needed to be, not knowing that General Washington already said West Point is the place.
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 Right, yeah.
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 So eventually Washington replaced de La Radiere with Kosciuszko.
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 And yes, he spent two and a half years there building up Fort West Point.
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 Did we skip over Saratoga too quickly?
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 Should we talk a little bit more about that?
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 Yeah, let's back up to Saratoga because he, I think, is the hero of Saratoga.
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 Forget the traitor who shall not be named.
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 Forget Gates taking credit as he always did.
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 It really was Kosciuszko because when Ticonderoga fell,
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 all the men sort of scattered, like they abandoned ship, they abandoned Fort Saigon Roca at like three in the morning, according to some of the journals.
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 And so the militia and everyone just kind of freaked out and ran for it.
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 And Kosciusko is one of the men who got on his horse and he sort of rallied up the militia and led them down.
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 And they came down to,
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 I can't remember the island where they landed, but Kosciuszko kind of brought them there and said, look, we need to make a stand, but it's gotta be further north.
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 They were like nine miles north of Albany at that point.
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 And so Kosciuszko gets sent out with some men, he rides up to what is modern day Stillwater and he finds Bemis Heights.
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 And it said, when he sees it, his eyes got big and he started riding around in circles and this is the place.
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 So he designed,
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 the fortifications at Saratoga, at Bemis Heights.
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 And not only that, he was given command of two units.
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 So according to Gates' aide de camp, who wrote a memoir down the road, Kosciuszko was the one who was allowed to choose where the brigades were stationed.
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 So not only did he build the fortifications, he chose where the men were going.
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 Even though Horatio Gates was, of course, in charge.
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 And it's this stymied gentleman, Johnny Burgoyne, that he he couldn't make a direct attack on the Americans.
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 He kind of went around through the woods.
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 And that's where we get our first battle of Freeman's Farm that did not go so well.
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 And then a second attempt is as
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 Burgoyne tried to dig in and, and tried to make a second assault to, to escape.
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 But at that point, you know, the militia, the Americans were pouring in to about 13,000 to his less than seven.
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 So he is, uh, I mean, we'll say he's the hero because he sees the place where we can stop this British advance.
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 And I mean, having that eye for the, um, battlefield is really an extraordinary thing and extraordinary, um,
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 ability to have, and then to build the fortifications, which is not an insignificant skill.
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 No, and it really was the terrain.
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 Gates even recognized in a letter in 77, he wrote to his friend, Dr. Benjamin Rush, and spoke about how it was, let's face it, and that's his words, let's face it, it's the terrain, it was the hills, and it was a young, brilliant Polish officer who knew how to use it to their advantage.
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 Now, the men who were under his command, are they artillery or are they infantry or
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 um he said he had two units that were he did in any he wasn't officially put in command it was really more that schuyler at that point had said um you get to call the shots okay right right because nobody was taking an engineer who was a colonel at that point and saying you're in charge how do you how do you learned english by this point
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 He had.
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 He was learning English throughout, so you can actually see some of his letters.
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 He was writing back and forth to Gates while he was in Ticonderoga.
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 There's letters throughout that he has written.
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 They are in English, obviously not perfect English, but very good, very communicable English.
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 I think few people were writing perfect English at that point.
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 That is true.
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 That is true.
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 Yeah, and then it's at West Point when he meets Agrippa Hull, someone who will have a relationship with really for the rest of their lives.
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 Yes, that's correct.
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 And there's this story I hesitate to tell, because it doesn't really hold up, I don't think.
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 But they were close friends.
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 He was a freed Black man who worked with Kosciuszko, traveled with Kosciuszko.
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 He was nicknamed Grippy.
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 And his big claim to fame was that he was African royalty.
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 And so at one point Kosciusko goes off for a meeting, a dinner, I forget.
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 And he comes back and Grippy is in his hut and he has drunk all his alcohol.
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 He is drunk.
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 He is wearing Kosciusko's clothing and partying it up with other men.
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 And so when Kosciusko comes in, he's mortified.
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 Grippy starts apologizing and, you know, please don't throw me out, whatever.
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 And Kosciuszko, in his manner, as I guess soldiers are apt to do, I don't know, they decide to punish him by teasing him.
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 And so they dress him up as an African king and start parading him around, you know, all hail the king.
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 And he never did that again.
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 But they were lifelong friends for as long as, yeah, they were together.
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 What does Agrippa Hull do after the war?
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 I don't know the answer to that.
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 So he has become with Gates, and then he goes with Gates down south.
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 So can we talk a bit about, we're talking with Kirsten Marshall, who is the author of a series called The Enlightened, book one, Witness to the Revolution.
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 And we're talking about one of the characters or figures in that, as well as in the revolution, that is Kosciuszko.
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 And I apologize if I keep mispronouncing his name.
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 That's okay.
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 Again, nobody knew how to say his name.
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 Nobody knew how to spell his name.
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 It's what makes him so hard to research.
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 You can't search for him under his name.
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 It took Washington a couple of years to finally realize that he was important enough that he should learn
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 how to spell his name really no internet back then so that's true yeah yeah it took a few letters i think from uh from um thaddeus himself to washington to learn that um i get a little i'm not as good with his southern department history because most of my research is for the northern department with my books but he does end up going down with gates when gates takes command
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 of the Southern Department.
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 It doesn't last long because of the Battle of Camden.
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 It goes very badly and he retreats.
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 But he had asked for Kosciuszko.
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 Du Portail was the chief engineer at that point.
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 He had been captured.
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 They needed one anyway.
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 Gates had been pushing to
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 on Kosciuszko's behalf to get him out and get him promoted.
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 Washington, in fact, had been writing to Congress to get him promoted.
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 But between French politics and everybody like, what about me?
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 Kosciuszko's like, you know what, just let it go.
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 Just let it go.
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 So we get down to...
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 you know, the South, and Nathaniel Green comes in to replace Gates.
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 And so Kosciuszko's there at that point.
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 He had written to Washington and said, please, I want to get into the action.
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 I've done all that I can at Washington or at West Point with all of the supplies that I have.
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 And so he did come under Nathaniel Gates.
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 He did
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 act as a soldier.
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 He was at places like Yorktown.
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 He did still continue with engineering.
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 He helped map out the rivers so that Green could escape, I forget what it's called, the race to... The Dam.
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 Thank you very much.
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 Thank you.
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 So it was through Kosciuszko's mapping of that area that Nathaniel Green was able to get through and get to where he needed to be for that.
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 So he did have a funny experience at Yorktown, if I may.
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 Poor Kosciuszko, of course, still the soldier, still the engineer, was examining the entrenchments that they had built
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 And so the way the story goes is that he was standing outside of the entrenchment looking out upon the British and they start shooting as they do.
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 And he does what you're supposed to do.
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 You take care of the first problem first and worry about the second problem second.
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 So he jumps out of the way into the entrenchment and lands right on somebody's bayonet.
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 and takes a bayonet right on his butt.
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 Oh, that's painful.
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 And the soldiers did not let him forget it, yes.
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 Yeah, teasing, as we said, is part of the whole.
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 Yeah, it's that gallows humor.
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 It's what gets you through.
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 Now, as you said, you're an author, an adventurer into history, not a professional historian, which doesn't take away.
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 So how did you get interested in these stories?
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 That is a good question, because I hated history growing up.
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 I was not a history fan at all.
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 I don't know about you, but I grew up sitting at a desk and taking notes from a chalkboard, which is like the worst way to learn history.
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 It totally is.
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 But I was a museum educator for a few years, which is how I got interested in researching and started discovering it as more of this adventure, this detective work that you do.
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 But it was through
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 my academic studies that I became a research assistant for a professor who's writing about James Madison's contribution to the Constitutional Convention of 1787.
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 One of my jobs was to research a man named George Wythe.
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 And so if you've ever been to Colonial Williamsburg, you've probably been to his house.
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 And we had actually the folks from the Wikipedia with us a few weeks ago.
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 Oh, excellent.
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 I'm going to have to check that out.
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 But it was it was through studying him and having to being asked to study who were his pupils at the Constitutional Convention.
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 You can't look into men's education without seeing their war experience.
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 And so you just I just started learning these stories and their histories.
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 And it just it was fascinating to me.
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 It really is.
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 And I know, okay, so I grew up always fascinated with history, but not because I was learning it in school, but because I saw places and heard stories and read a lot.
 18:26.742 --> 18:33.524
 And I think that's one of the, a number of years ago, I did a number of teacher workshops and asking how people got interested in history.
 18:33.564 --> 18:39.125
 And invariably it was, A, you might like to read, which is, I think we're a small group.
 18:39.705 --> 18:46.612
 But often it was, I had my mother, my uncle took me to historic sites, my father, and we saw these places.
 18:46.932 --> 18:51.116
 And that was, I think, one of the big hooks, as well as someone who's able to tell stories.
 18:51.857 --> 18:57.603
 And getting the stories, I think, is really the critical thing, because that's what makes it interesting.
 18:58.473 --> 19:02.736
 And, you know, George Wythe is a fascinating character for a lot of reasons.
 19:03.697 --> 19:18.727
 And Zadie Skrzysko, I mean, that story you told, he has this failed romance, and that leads him to come to America, where he then has this fabulous career, and then things don't go well for him when he returns to Poland because of it.
 19:19.408 --> 19:23.951
 But this is really the way we capture people's interest in history, and I really thank you for
 19:24.994 --> 19:26.235
 doing this and sharing this.
 19:26.855 --> 19:31.478
 And I think, I don't know why we do such a bad job teaching this, because it really is interesting.
 19:32.499 --> 19:39.124
 Yeah, I think because I was an educator for years as an arts educator, like I said, as a museum educator.
 19:39.144 --> 19:49.591
 And it really is when you have good teachers and the money in your school to look beyond the sitting at your desk and the read, the write, the arithmetic.
 19:50.311 --> 19:54.693
 and really just put it all together and try to find ways for students to experience it.
 19:54.713 --> 20:04.058
 Like you said, going to places like Fort Ticonderoga or the Boston Interior Experience, anything like that that can really help immerse students in.
 20:04.419 --> 20:05.399
 That's where the fun is.
 20:05.439 --> 20:10.582
 That's where the stories are, because these are real people and it's learning who they were.
 20:10.762 --> 20:12.543
 And in some ways, they're just like us.
 20:12.703 --> 20:18.386
 They had worries and concerns and fears and hopes and dreams, and they just lived in different circumstances.
 20:19.465 --> 20:19.986
 That's true.
 20:20.766 --> 20:30.217
 Jonathan tells me that the archivists at West Point in a few days, four days, are going to be opening up a time capsule that was placed under Kosciuszko's statue in 1828.
 20:31.738 --> 20:37.585
 Yes, I'm so excited about that because I was able to get a tour of West Point as part of my research for my book.
 20:37.705 --> 20:39.627
 And so the statue came down in 2021.
 20:42.005 --> 20:43.206
 There was a crack in the base.
 20:43.226 --> 20:46.927
 And when they did that, that's how they discovered that there's a time capsule in there.
 20:47.728 --> 20:55.691
 And so on August 28th, the time capsule is being opened and I will be tuned in because I am so excited about that.
 20:55.731 --> 20:56.091
 Oh, right.
 20:56.111 --> 20:56.191
 20:56.431 --> 20:57.952
 Do you have any idea what's in it?
 20:58.894 --> 21:01.696
 No, not a clue, which is kind of funny.
 21:01.736 --> 21:04.018
 You do have to wonder if they know.
 21:04.639 --> 21:05.059
 I don't know.
 21:05.159 --> 21:07.942
 Do they record these things back in the 1800s, what they put in there?
 21:09.023 --> 21:11.204
 The reason they put it in is so it will be remembered.
 21:11.224 --> 21:14.227
 I don't know if there's a list somewhere else of what's in it.
 21:14.627 --> 21:15.108
 21:15.208 --> 21:17.450
 So, yeah, hopefully it survived.
 21:18.314 --> 21:20.216
 That's fascinating.
 21:20.236 --> 21:33.606
 So in 1828, his statue is put at West Point because he was connected with the creation of West Point as a fort, so long before it becomes the military academy, it is the strategic point.
 21:35.000 --> 21:39.341
 And actually, yeah, it's an interesting story too that I learned.
 21:40.182 --> 21:51.185
 Because Kosciuszko designed so much of the fortifications, all of the batteries, he designed Fort Putnam, I believe, that looks down over West Point, helps secure that.
 21:53.105 --> 21:56.687
 He had the plans for West Point drawn up.
 21:56.747 --> 22:00.648
 And when he was transferred to the South, he was so ecstatic.
 22:01.528 --> 22:03.210
 But he didn't know who his replacement was.
 22:03.350 --> 22:08.675
 He went to his old landlady and he stored all the plans, all the maps with her until the replacement could be named.
 22:09.396 --> 22:12.859
 And he came in and I think they had dinner before he did actually take off.
 22:12.940 --> 22:16.863
 Completely slipped his mind because he was so excited to finally be back to soldiering.
 22:17.144 --> 22:18.545
 He didn't tell the guy where the plans were.
 22:19.146 --> 22:20.567
 So he leaves.
 22:22.629 --> 22:30.153
 I think the same exact day, I want to say it's August 6th, 1780, that the trader who should not be named gets command of West Point.
 22:30.613 --> 22:36.836
 So the trader comes in and he doesn't have the plans for West Point.
 22:37.356 --> 22:48.961
 So this makes, it slows him down from dealing with Andre from the British side and sharing where the weaknesses are for the port, where
 22:51.122 --> 22:54.845
 you know, what they can do to turn it over and allow the British to pour in.
 22:55.345 --> 23:00.909
 So the trader actually has to go through with the new chief engineer and inspect the entire area.
 23:01.690 --> 23:10.436
 And then, of course, when the whole plot's uncovered, the landlady still has the plans and she flips because naturally a witch hunt starts.
 23:10.556 --> 23:13.098
 Anybody who has helped the trader is going to get it.
 23:13.458 --> 23:15.779
 And she doesn't want to be one of the people who's going to get it.
 23:15.859 --> 23:19.262
 She burns all of Kosciuszko's plans for West Point.
 23:19.822 --> 23:21.763
 Wow, wow.
 23:21.783 --> 23:23.985
 Now that's a fascinating story.
 23:24.685 --> 23:26.567
 Yeah, and you don't learn that in school.
 23:26.967 --> 23:28.188
 I know, really, really.
 23:30.609 --> 23:45.159
 By the way, Jonathan has found out more about Agrippa Hull, that he does wind up becoming a large landowner in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and neighbor of Elizabeth Freeman, who is one of the people whose freedom suits will end slavery in Massachusetts in the 1780s.
 23:45.199 --> 23:45.639
 So that's a
 23:48.581 --> 23:51.825
 And it's fascinating stories about all of these people.
 23:51.865 --> 23:58.812
 When we look at these as people who are engaged in things, I think it's a way of connecting kids with what history really is.
 24:01.115 --> 24:09.404
 We're talking with Kirsten Marshall, who is an author and adventurer into history, author of The Enlightened.
 24:12.299 --> 24:18.826
 One of the cool stories, too, that you don't really hear about that I think people get interested in is during the court-martial of St.
 24:18.906 --> 24:33.661
 Clair, Kosciuszko and Angelica, Schuyler's husband, Church, Carter, whatever his name was, they got into a real big tiff over this duel between Gates and
 24:35.262 --> 24:36.482
 oh, the gentleman's name is escaping me.
 24:36.502 --> 24:47.386
 I want to say it's Livingston, maybe, who is how Washington found out about the whole Conway-Campbell, the whole plot to remove Washington, was someone who worked closely with Gates.
 24:47.566 --> 24:52.608
 And so Gates was, of course, miffed because he was the running contender to take over for Washington.
 24:52.648 --> 24:53.508
 It put him in a bad way.
 24:54.168 --> 24:57.150
 And so they had decided to duel.
 24:57.770 --> 25:01.972
 Carter was Livingston's second, Kosciuszko was Gates' second.
 25:02.072 --> 25:03.333
 There's this whole thing.
 25:04.773 --> 25:13.458
 Nobody was hurt, but there was this incident of Carter writing up this certificate saying that Kosciuszko learned later because his English wasn't very good.
 25:13.478 --> 25:14.178
 It was dark out.
 25:14.618 --> 25:22.605
 learning that Livingston was completely free and clear of what had happened with the whole Conway cabal and nothing said about Gates.
 25:22.826 --> 25:26.309
 And so they, like Kosciuszko stormed back in.
 25:26.349 --> 25:28.070
 He's like, hey, can I see that certificate?
 25:28.090 --> 25:30.372
 Takes it back, refuses to give it back to Carter.
 25:30.853 --> 25:36.718
 And they end up like back and forth in the media at each other.
 25:36.738 --> 25:39.820
 And it reaches a boiling point when
 25:40.501 --> 25:42.302
 Kosciuszko is testifying at St.
 25:42.362 --> 25:47.966
 Clair's court-martial on September 6th and 7th, I think it is, 1778.
 25:48.486 --> 25:54.750
 And he comes in, Carter comes in, and he pulls a pistol on Kosciuszko, and they have to call the guards out to chase him off.
 25:55.470 --> 25:58.672
 It's this whole huge, yeah, who knew?
 25:59.313 --> 26:02.094
 And of course, everybody thankfully sides with Kosciuszko.
 26:02.615 --> 26:03.515
 Right, yeah, yeah.
 26:04.156 --> 26:04.836
 Now, do you get a sense...
 26:06.687 --> 26:14.156
 Kosciuszko is able, is he, because we kind of see the Gates-Washington split as a big thing.
 26:14.636 --> 26:16.559
 Is he on the Gates side?
 26:16.619 --> 26:18.060
 Does he come around to Washington?
 26:18.120 --> 26:19.462
 How does Washington get along with him?
 26:20.091 --> 26:29.960
 Washington is, from all the letters I've seen, because I do try to do my research through primary sources as much as possible, Washington does admire Kosciuszko.
 26:30.040 --> 26:36.566
 Again, he does write to Congress and try to get Kosciuszko promoted to brigadier general.
 26:36.666 --> 26:38.788
 He eventually is at the end of the war.
 26:38.808 --> 26:39.989
 So even though
 26:42.811 --> 26:45.713
 Kosciuszko had testified on behalf of St.
 26:45.753 --> 26:51.937
 Clair, he wasn't... Kosciuszko was very good in his politics.
 26:52.638 --> 26:56.480
 He got accused maybe of being a flatterer, but I think that's just his nature.
 26:57.321 --> 26:57.881
 He always...
 26:59.322 --> 27:02.223
 He knew how to use it, but not in an insincere way.
 27:02.903 --> 27:05.403
 He was a very romantic person.
 27:05.963 --> 27:08.584
 So he always had a kind and flowing word for people.
 27:09.004 --> 27:23.586
 But whenever he would write to Gates, whenever he wrote to Washington, you know, early on the war, later on the war, he was always recommitting himself to Washington, to Gates saying, you know, I really am here for you.
 27:23.646 --> 27:24.866
 I really do believe in the cause.
 27:25.827 --> 27:28.187
 My attachment was the word he would use is very sincere.
 27:30.421 --> 27:32.607
 Then after the war, he goes back to Poland.
 27:33.542 --> 27:34.142
 He does.
 27:34.182 --> 27:35.603
 He goes back to Poland.
 27:35.803 --> 27:42.768
 He seeks to bring some of the freedom and independence that we have to his own home country.
 27:43.368 --> 27:45.829
 There's what's called the Kosciuszko uprising.
 27:46.330 --> 27:47.771
 You know, the winners choose the names.
 27:48.251 --> 27:51.993
 And so he ends up incarcerated for a while.
 27:52.073 --> 27:59.958
 It's not until Catherine the Great of Russia passes that her son frees him from his incarceration, but he is banished.
 28:00.678 --> 28:19.892
 um from poland for the rest of his life he never gets to never gets to go home they say um when he was when he was buried i think they they sent they kept his heart um because they wanted to when poland was free send it home i think it did eventually get buried in warsaw but the rest of his body is in switzerland
 28:23.694 --> 28:36.881
 I know you probably didn't focus as much on his European experiences in the 1790s, but apparently he, with 5,000 men, holds off 30,000 Russians at the Siege of Dubienka.
 28:37.281 --> 28:41.683
 He's trying to preserve a unified Poland, and Russia and Prussia are dividing it up.
 28:41.763 --> 28:48.406
 That's one of the real tragedies of Poland in this period, and he's trying to hold it together.
 28:49.352 --> 28:53.414
 Yeah, he was unfortunately injured, injuries that lasted through the rest of his life.
 28:53.494 --> 28:58.417
 When he did pass and they did an autopsy, they could still see the sword wounds in his head.
 28:58.437 --> 28:59.618
 He had a permanent wound.
 29:00.298 --> 29:02.339
 He lived in Philadelphia for eight months.
 29:04.040 --> 29:05.561
 In the 1790s, he came back.
 29:05.621 --> 29:08.383
 He befriended then Vice President Thomas Jefferson,
 29:09.123 --> 29:11.084
 And they became close friends.
 29:11.144 --> 29:18.588
 In fact, Kosciuszko put Jefferson in charge of his back pay because he collected almost none of his pay during the war.
 29:18.708 --> 29:22.069
 He gave it to Jefferson and made him executor.
 29:22.209 --> 29:30.933
 And his instructions, of course, were to educate and free Jefferson's own enslaved people, which Jefferson worked around.
 29:31.313 --> 29:34.435
 Kosciuszko was like, if you can't do that, just go buy some slaves and free them, please.
 29:36.676 --> 29:41.877
 But he was injured in the leg, so he needed help walking for the rest of his life.
 29:41.917 --> 29:45.598
 He had a crutch, but he needed the assistance of other people to help him walk.
 29:45.698 --> 29:46.999
 And he did have that hand wound.
 29:47.059 --> 29:51.080
 So he gave and bled a lot for our country, for his country.
 29:52.165 --> 29:52.645
 He did.
 29:52.705 --> 29:56.847
 And Jonathan reminds me that there are a couple of places named for him.
 29:56.867 --> 30:02.990
 It would be interesting to find out how Cusco, Mississippi or Cusco County in Indiana pronounce it.
 30:03.311 --> 30:05.512
 I know there's a Mount Cusco that is based on him.
 30:05.572 --> 30:11.915
 And in South Boston, there's a Cusco Circle and there's a Cusco Highway in New Jersey.
 30:11.995 --> 30:14.416
 So the name lives on in a lot of places.
 30:14.476 --> 30:15.837
 I wonder how it is pronounced.
 30:17.046 --> 30:19.648
 I had, I've heard it a couple different ways.
 30:19.728 --> 30:25.712
 I was just in Boston, of course, and saw the statue, and I heard somebody pronounce it Kosciusko.
 30:25.732 --> 30:29.595
 And somebody came up to me, and I guess that is a regional thing, Kosciusko.
 30:30.375 --> 30:40.062
 But I had, because I do in my book try to say how to pronounce it, I did the best research I could, you know, with different places.
 30:40.102 --> 30:44.645
 I was very happy when the historian at West Point was talking about opening up the
 30:45.445 --> 30:48.127
 time capsule from his base, and she pronounced it Kosciusko.
 30:49.327 --> 30:49.528
 30:50.268 --> 30:57.952
 And apparently in Kosciusko, Mississippi, there's a statue of him by a sculptor, I think Diana Shogan.
 30:57.992 --> 31:01.114
 She's also made a sculpture of Kosciusko with a grip of hull.
 31:01.735 --> 31:02.395
 Oh, that's good.
 31:03.175 --> 31:03.556
 I like that.
 31:03.836 --> 31:05.697
 We have two bridges in New York named for him.
 31:05.757 --> 31:10.840
 In fact, the bridge that spans the Mohawk River that leads from Saratoga County into Albany
 31:11.340 --> 31:17.545
 Something I, you know, growing up, drove over my entire life, you know, not knowing who the guy was.
 31:17.605 --> 31:21.669
 We just call it the Twin Bridges, but it's the Thaddeus Kosciuszko Memorial Bridge.
 31:22.149 --> 31:22.910
 Well, now we know.
 31:23.110 --> 31:32.798
 And thank you for helping to make more people aware of the incredible story and contribution of General Thaddeus Kosciuszko.
 31:33.953 --> 31:34.613
 You're very welcome.
 31:34.633 --> 31:35.794
 Thank you so much for having me.
 31:36.034 --> 31:36.334
 Thank you.
 31:36.614 --> 31:40.916
 We've been talking with Kirsten Marcel, who is an author, adventurer into history.
 31:42.096 --> 31:49.099
 The first book in her series, Witness to the Revolution, is out, an adult fantasy involving time travel.
 31:49.139 --> 31:49.959
 It's a lot of fun.
 31:50.139 --> 31:53.580
 And we have been talking about General Thaddeus Kosciusko.
 31:53.620 --> 31:57.062
 I want to thank you for joining us from Chicago now.
 31:57.282 --> 32:00.003
 And we'll look forward to hearing more from you.
 32:00.103 --> 32:00.423
 And I want to
 32:00.936 --> 32:07.579
 Thank Jonathan Lane, both for feeding the information during the show and for being our producer and our listeners.
 32:07.639 --> 32:16.863
 You know, we thought initially when we started these podcasts, we'd have a handful of friends in and around Massachusetts listening in, but we have people really all over the world tuning in and I want to thank them.
 32:16.963 --> 32:29.809
 And so folks in both Plymouth, Massachusetts and in Plymouth Montserrat, New Bedford and Sao Paulo, Brazil, New Bedford, Massachusetts, of course, and Honolulu and places in between and beyond.
 32:30.169 --> 32:31.050
 Thanks for joining us.
 32:31.130 --> 32:35.735
 And if you are in one of these places, send Jonathan Lane an email, jlane at
 32:35.815 --> 32:42.783
 Or if you have an idea for something you'd like us to talk about or someone you'd like us to talk to, let us know.
 32:42.883 --> 32:47.268
 And Jonathan will send you one of our Revolution 250 refrigerator magnets.
 32:47.328 --> 32:50.432
 And now we'll be piped out on the road to Boston.
 32:50.492 --> 32:51.313
 Thanks for joining us.