Polish American Monuments

Monuments in Washington, DC.

kosciuszko_dcThaddeus Kosciuszko Monument – Washington DC

Location: Northeast corner of Lafayette Park, Pennsylvania Avenue, in front of the White House
Metro: McPherson Square (Blue, Orange lines)

The monument is the work of the Polish sculptor Antoni Popiel (1865-1910) and was dedicated on May 11, 1910 by President William Howard Taft.

Standing portrait of General Kosciuszko holding a map of the fortifications of Saratoga in his proper right hand. He rests the map against his extended proper right leg. He holds a sword his proper left hand. His dress is that of the U. S. Continental Army military uniform consisting of a long coat with fringed epaulets and a sash at the waist, tall boots, and a hat.

The sculpture rests atop a square tiered base adorned with bronze sculptures on all four sides. On the north side, there is an eagle perched on top of a globe showing America with a flag, a sword, and a shield. On the south side, there is globe showing Poland with and eagle fighting a snake on top. On the east side, there is a figure group depicting Kosciuszko dressed in a U. S. military uniform with a drum at his feet and a flag held in his proper left hand. With his proper right hand he unties a rope from around the waist of an American soldier who symbolizes the American army. On the west side, there is a figure group depicting Kosciuszko dressed in a Polish military uniform lying on the ground and pointing into the distance with his proper right hand. Assisting him is a Polish soldier dressed in peasant military attire to symbolize the Polish Army.

The inscription on the monument reads “Erected by the Polish National Alliance of America and presented on behalf of Polish-American citizens, May 11, 1910.”

pulaski_dcCasimir Pulaski Monument

Location: Freedom Plaza, Pennsylvania Avenue and 13th, NW
Metro: Federal Triangle (Blue, Orange lines)The Brigadier General Count Casimir Pulaski Memorial, by sculptor Kasimir Chodzinski (1861-ca. 1920) and architect Albert Randolf Ross was dedicated on May 11, 1910 on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 13th Street, NW, which is now the eastern end of Freedom Plaza. The 15-foot bronze equestrian statue sits atop a 12-foot granite base.

General Pulaski is dressed in the uniform of a cavalry commander from his native Poland that consists of a military jacket with a long cape and a hat adorned with fur and feathers. His feet are in the stirrups and he holds the horse’s reins with both hands. The horse trots with its head raised up and its proper right foot raised. The sculpture rests on an oval base decorated with a band of foliage and Greek key design. Wreathes flank the inscriptions which appear on the long sides of the base. Three steps lead up to the base.

The plaque reads: “Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski 1748-1779. The bronze equestrian statue of Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski portrays the Revolutionary War hero in the uniform of a Polish cavalry commander. Born in Winiary, Poland on March 4, 1748 to a noble family. Pulaski gained prominence in Europe for his role in defending liberty in Poland. Excited by the struggle of the emerging American Republic, Pulaski joined in its fight for independence, arriving in Boston on July, 1777. Pulaski was given a commission as Brigadier General and Chief of Cavalry in command of all cavalry of the American forces. He was present at Germantown, Pennsylvania and led his legion at Haddonfield, New Jersey; Egg Harbor, New Jersey; Charleston, South Carolina; and Savannah, Georgia. At Savannah, Pulaski was mortally wounded and was taken aboard the American brig, WASP, where he died and was buried at sea on October 11, 1779. He was 31 years old. The statue was designed by the sculptor Kazimierz Chodzinski and architect Albert R. Ross. It was erected in 1910.”

Resources: Smithsonian Institution Research Information System, http://collections.si.edu

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