Citizenship for Polish Hero of American Revolution

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ;November 7, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - Gen. Casimir Pulaski finally became an American citizen, 230 years after he died fighting in the Revolutionary War. President Obama signed a joint resolution of the House and the Senate on Friday that made Pulaski, a Polish nobleman, an honorary citizen. Pulaski's contribution to the American colonies' effort to leave the British Empire began with a flourish. He wrote a letter to Gen. George Washington with the declaration: "I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it." Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, had been pushing for the honorary citizenship since 2005."Pulaski made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, and he deserves nothing but the highest honor and recognition for his service", Mr. Kucinich said then. Washington had heard of the young Pole from Benjamin Franklin, who had been his first ambassador to France. Franklin told him that Pulaski's exploits had made him "renowned throughout Europe for the courage and bravery he displayed in defense of his country's freedom." Washington let Pulaski join the fight against the British, and he made a name for himself as a skilled horseman. He would eventually be known as the "father of the American cavalry". Pulaski died before the British were driven away. In October 1779, he led a cavalry assault to save the important Southern port of Savannah, Ga. He was wounded and taken aboard the American ship Wasp. He died at sea two days later .Americans have honored Pulaski throughout the last two centuries. A number of counties and streets, as well as the skyway between Newark and Jersey City, are named for him. The Continental Congress suggested that a monument be erected in his honor, and in 1825 it was finally installed in Savannah. In 1929, Congress declared Oct. 11 Pulaski Day in the United States, a largely forgotten holiday in much of the country. (AP)



There is no proof of Pulaski's Masonic membership. All references to it stem from after 1824, when the corner stone of the monument was laid with Masonic ceremonies, and Richard T. Turner, high priest of Georgia Chapter at Savannah, reported to his chapter that they had laid the corner stone of the monument to "Brother Count Pulaski." Other sources say he was affiliated with the Army Lodge in the Maryland Line. Casimir Pulaski Lodge No. 1167, meeting in Logan Square Masonic Temple, Chicago, is named in his honor, and a brochure issued by them, states in part, "Casimir Pulaski was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in Gould Lodge of Georgia on June 19, 1779 . . . was buried with Masonic honors." d. Oct. 11, 1779.

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Rudolph M. Anderson - captain in the 5th Virginia Continentals, he led the advance of the Americans at the battle of Trenton in 1776, crossing the Delaware in the first boat; was wounded in this action; promoted to major of the 6th Virginia in 1778 and transferred to the 1st Virginia in Sept., 1778. Fought in battles of Brandywine and Germantown and was again wounded at Savannah May 12, 1779 and taken prisoner at Charleston in May, 1780. A daring leader he was at the death-bed of Count Pulaski q.v. and the dying Pole gave him his sword as a memento. After the war he removed to the wilderness of Kentucky near Louisville, and led the life of a pioneer and Indian fighter until advancing civilization pushed the frontier farther west. He obtained the charter for the Louisville lodge from the Grand Lodge of Virginia. d. Oct. 16, 1826.