Considering Buffalo’s significant population of Polish-Americans, it is fitting that the Queen City is home to a memorial for an American Revolutionary War hero from Poland.
Casimir Pulaski was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1745. As a teenager, he joined his father and other Polish nobles in opposition to growing Russian influence. For this, Pulaski was exiled from Russia. In 1777, while in Paris, he met Benjamin Franklin and was convinced to lend his services to another group searching for liberty: the American colonies.
Pulaski sailed to America and proved his worth shortly after arriving when he covered George Washington at the Battle of Brandywine. At that point, the colonial army did not have a horseback unit, but Pulaski helped to change that. To this day, he is known as the “Father of the American Cavalry.”
The statue in Buffalo was created in 1979. It was meant to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Pulaski’s death at the Battle of Savannah on October 8, 1779. It is a bronze statue on a polished black granite base with bronze plaques with writing in English and Polish. It is believed the monument was the largest monolithic bronze casting in the world when it was made.