Sunny's bookshelf
Sunny's bookshelf photo by Judy Solomon

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The Peasant Prince

Remembering The Peasant Prince

One thing leading to another is the case when reading about an unearthed time capsule brings me back to Thaddeus Kosciuszko.

Last Thursday, August 31st, I ran across a New York Times article written by Livia Alberck-Ripka, about a 200-year-old time capsule. I mean, who isn’t interested in what might be found to be worth saving for someone to dig up in the future? But I began to lose interest when dirt seemed to be all that the container contained. Boring. Until the next words: “Then they looked closer.”

Kosciuszko's Monument
Kosciuszko Monument, West Point

Now the article grabbed my attention big time, but the 1828 coins eventually found encapsulated were not nearly as interesting to me as where the capsule was found. The discovery of the time capsule occurred earlier in the year during repair work on a West Point monument honoring Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a Polish engineer who played a key role in protecting West Point from the British. The picture is from the 1883 edition of A. Gilman’s History American People.

I had to get a stepladder to pull Alex Storozynski’s The Peasant Prince and The Age of Revolution from the top shelf of my American history books. An hour later, after a satisfying browse through The Peasant Prince, I knew it was time to update my 2009 review. It was time to remind and/or introduce readers to a fascinating and important man who played a pivotal role in our American Revolution (think  Benedict Arnold). Important, but like a lot of our American history, one of the least acknowledged stories in today’s textbooks.

I also encourage readers to check out the author, Alex Storozynski. His story is worth knowing as well.  –  Sunny Solomon


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