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Casimir Pulaski, 1749-1779
Casimir Pulaski - 1747-1779. Early 19th century portrait from the collections of the Pulaski Museum in Warka-Winiary.

Western New York Celebrates the Legacy of General Casimir Pulaski - A Revolutionary War Hero

"I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it," wrote Casimir Pulaski to George Washington in a letter in which he offered his military services to America during the Revolutionary War. He proved true to his word. At age 32, his heroic death at the Battle of Savannah on October 11, 1779 was received with sorrow across the land. General Pulaski's life represents the dedication of countless Americans of Polish and other ethnic origin to the principles of personal liberty and independence, which have always defined the spirit of the United States of America.

Born into a wealthy family in Poland in 1747, Pulaski, as a young man, fought for freedom from Russia in his homeland until 1771, when he was exiled to France. In Paris he met American envoy Benjamin Franklin, who influenced him to help Americans fight for their independence. Washington was so impressed with Pulaski's abilities during the Battle of Brandywine Creek that he recommended the Continental Congress appoint Pulaski as general of the American cavalry. In 1778, Pulaski organized an independent corps of cavalry and light infantry known as the Pulaski Legion. It is reported that he spent $50,000 of his own money to help train and equip his troops.

Since the 1930s, Pulaski's legacy has been celebrated in an annual Pulaski Day Parade and wreath-laying ceremony in Buffalo, New York. The October parade is organized by the General Pulaski Association of Western New York, which was founded to preserve the memory and the legacy of one of America's greatest Revolutionary heroes.

Documentation comprises a five-page report.

Originally submitted by: Jack Quinn ,Representative (30th District).



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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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