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New York During the American Revolution

Kosciuszko and Hull

Private Agrippa Hull from Massachusetts, 2nd and 12th Regiments and Colonel Tadeusz Kościuszko from Poland established a regarded camaraderie and friendship which began at West Point in New York State.  Private Hull was an African American freeman and landowner and Colonel Kościuszko was an abolitionist and an engineer.  Primary source documents of their time spent in service in New York State are listed from resources of the National Archives and Records Administration, Governor Clinton’s Public Papers (volumes II and III), and the Life of John Paterson, major-general in the Revolutionary Army by his great-grandson Thomas Egleston

In the Life of John Patterson, Major General in the Revolutionary Army, there is a chapter on the friendship between Colonel Kościuszko and Agrippa “Grippy” Hull.  In the chapter, it describes the party where Grippy dresses as Kościuszko in his war attire and acts as a colonel.  Kościuszko happens to return early from a mission and stumbles upon the party.  Grippy is so upset by acting as Kościuszko that he falls to Kościuszko’s feet and states:  “Whip me, kill me, Massa, do anything with me, Mr. General…”General Kościuszko, taking hold of his hand with great formality said, “Rise, Prince, it is beneath the dignity of an African Prince to prostrate himself at the feet of any one.”