Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Tadeusz Kościuszko Family Legal Documents, 1843-1860

Finding aid created by
Erin Platte and Meg Hixon, December 2012

Summary Information
Title: Tadeusz Kościuszko family legal documents
Creator: United States. Circuit Court (7th Circuit)
Inclusive dates: 1843-1860
Extent: 15 items
This collection is made up of 15 legal documents pertaining to a lawsuit related to Ohio lands claimed by the descendants of Tadeusz Kościuszko in 1855.
Language: The material is in English and Russian
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1998. M-4011.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Tadeusz Kościuszko Family Legal Documents, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Tadeusz Andrzej Bonawentura Kościuszko was born near Kosów, Poland (now Kosava, Belarus), in February 1746, the son of Ludwig Tadeusz Kościuszko and Thecla Ratomska. From 1765-1769, he attended the Royal Military School in Warsaw, Poland, and from 1769-1774 he studied military subjects and art in Paris, France, before returning to Poland. Kościuszko traveled to the United States in 1776, where he received a congressional appointment as a colonel of engineers. He served in the Continental Army throughout the war. In 1783, he became brevet brigadier general, and in 1797, the United States Congress awarded him monetary compensation and 500 acres of land in Ohio for his wartime service. Kościuszko returned to Poland, where he became a lieutenant general in the Polish Army. He served in the Polish-Russian War of 1792 and led the Revolution of 1794 (the unsuccessful "Kościuszko Uprising"). He spent two years in Russia as a prisoner of war, and later lived in the United States, Paris, and Switzerland. Tadeusz Kościuszko died on October 15, 1817.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is made up of 15 legal documents pertaining to a lawsuit over Ohio lands claimed by the descendants of Tadeusz Kościuszko in 1855.

The earliest manuscript is an English- and Russian-language document respecting claims on Tadeusz Kościuszko's personal property and Ohio real estate (May 7, 1843). The document includes genealogical information about the Estko, Zalkowski, and other families, including a family tree. A contemporary English translation accompanies the manuscript.

Ten documents from 1855 concern the court case George Dawson v. Joseph Crisman ("John Doe v. Richard Roe"). Dawson inherited the Ohio lands on the deaths of the prior owners and evicted all of the tenants residing on the property. The documents include a description of the suit, in which Crisman, a tenant, forced Dawson off of the land at gunpoint; a bill for legal fees; and 8 copies of depositions related to the case and to the ownership of the property. The final items are translated documents about the genealogy of Kościuszko's descendants and legal statements by the translator of the Russian document.

Subject Terms

    • Kościuszko, Tadeusz, 1746-1817.
    • Inheritance and succession.
    • Real property--Ohio.
    Genre Terms:
    • Depositions.
    • Estate administration records.
    • Genealogies.
    • Legal documents.
    • Receipts (financial records)
    • Translations.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   14, Small Collections  
    Tadeusz Kościuszko family legal documents [series]
    Folders   6-9  
     May 7, 1843-February 3, 1860
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    This collection arrived at the Clements Library with the Johann de Kalb family legal documents and Dunlap legal papers.


    Herbst, Stanislaw. "Tadeusz Kościuszko." Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2012.

    Ward, Harry M. "Kościuszko, Tadeusz." American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press, 2000. DOI: 03-0026.