Tadeusz Kosciuszko was a skilled engineer with a military education by the time he arrived in the American colonies from Poland in 1776. Offering his services to the revolutionary cause, he masterminded a key British defeat at Saratoga and oversaw the building of military fortifications at West Point. At war’s end, he returned to Poland and led a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful uprising against the nation’s partition by Russia and other foreign powers. After several years of imprisonment in Russia, Kosciuszko returned to the United States, where he was welcomed as a hero and counted Thomas Jefferson among his close friends. With Poland still under foreign control throughout the rest of his life, Kosciuszko never returned to his native land, and died in exile in Switzerland in 1817.