On Gallantry & Gender…
Often considered as a Revolutionary War Hero in both the US and Poland… this valiant person had fought against the British forces in 1777 after joining George Washington’s Army. The researchers have recently claimed that the Polish-American General of the 18th Century, Casimir Pulaski, might have been a female or an intersex (individuals born with any of several variations in sex characteristics and who don’t fit the typical definition of either a male or a female)!
Researchers had made such a claim two decades ago after examining General Pulaski’s skeleton. However, they were not sure whether the skeleton was Pulaski’s. Now, a DNA test has helped the researchers confirm that it was Pulaski’s skeleton and the General was either a lady or an intersex! Commenting on the issue, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Georgia Southern University Virginia Hutton Estabrook said: “One of the ways that male and female skeletons are different is the pelvis. In females, the pelvic cavity has a more oval shape. It’s less heart-shaped than in the male pelvis. Pulaski’s looked very female.” She further said that the facial structure and jaw angle were also decidedly female… According to the professor, the Polish-American was either a biological woman who lived as a man or was potentially intersex.
The new evidence has already been presented in a surprising new Smithsonian Channel documentary – titled ‘The General Was Female?’ – shown in an episode of the ‘America’s Hidden Stories’ series.
Pulaski was born on March 6, 1745 in Winiary village (today, it is a suburb of Warka in Poland). He had grown up as a male member of the Polish Catholic family. Later, He joined the Armed Forces, and was known for excellent horsemanship. The Polish-American-Lithuanian nobleman, soldier and military commander had an interest in politics since childhood. Russia banned teenager Pulaski for joining Polish Independence movement and the move prompted the warrior to leave Poland for France in 1772. He (she?) met American revolutionary Benjamin Franklin in Paris. Franklin urged Pulaski to back the global anti-colonial movement against England under the leadership of the US! Finally, Pulaski joined the US Army on September 11, 1777. Later that year, Pulaski became famous by saving George Washington’s life in the Battle of Brandywine (south Philadelphia). He, in reality, helped Washington and his troops to flee the battlefield. Pulaski died on October 11, 1779 at the age of 34, after receiving serious injuries in the Battle of Savannah. While attempting to rally fleeing French forces during a cavalry charge, Pulaski was mortally wounded by grapeshot. The reported grapeshot is on display at the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah.
At the Polish Constitution Day Parade on May 5, 2018, Polish men hold a portrait of Gen. Casimir Pulaski and Polish flags
A monument in memory of the General was built in Savannah in 1854. It was only after the recent removal of the monument, scientists discovered Pulaski’s skeleton kept inside a metallic box beneath the structure. Later, the scientists conducted a sex determination test on the skeleton to confirm the general’s sexual orientation.
Although Pulaski was a brave warrior, he preferred to stay alone! The General had no wives or children, as well… Researchers are of the opinion that Pulaski was either fully a woman who decided to lead life as an undercover man, or an intersex who had little idea that he (she?) had both male and female traits. Interestingly, Pulaski was baptised as a boy, thus, indicating that his (her?) genitalia was male, and suggesting intersex features.
Polish Bishop Tadeusz Pwoski sprinkles holy water on the coffin of Gen. Casimir Pulaski on October 9, 2005 at the Pulaski Monument in Monterey Square in Savannah on the 226th anniversary of the Revolutionary War battle in which he was slain.
Hida Viloria – an intersex, non-binary activist and author – stressed: “I think that Pulaski being intersex doesn’t impact or change his legacy at all. If anything, I think it enhances it.”
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