Brigadier Gen. Casmir Pulaski Memorial
In the parkway Median on the west side of Oneida Street is the bronze statue of Brigadier General Count Casimir Pulaski. Dedicated October 12th, 1930, it is the work of sculptor Joseph Pollia. As with General Steuben, the 18th century military uniform with its flowing Cape gives the sculptor interesting formal opportunities. The striding pose and agitated drapery contribute to a more romantic image than that of the Steuben figure, though many might prefer the broader masses of Baron's statue to the somewhat fussy modeling in that of the Count.
Pulaski is a hero both in his native Poland and in the United States. He first gained military glory in the unsuccessful Rebellion against the Russian-dominated Polish King, Stanislaw II. Following Russian victories in Poland he fled to Prussia in 1772 and later to Paris where he met Benjamin Franklin, who gave him a letter of introduction to George Washington. Joining the American war of independence in 1777 he served at Brandywine and Germantown. In 1778, rather than continue to serve under General Anthony Wayne, he resigned a cavalary command and formed the Pulaski Legion. Pulaski was mortally wounded on October 11th, 1779, while leading a cavalry charge in the attack on Savannah.
The inscription on the front of the Granite base reads: "Originator of American Cavalry"; on the rear of the words: "Erected and presented to the city of Utica by the Polish and American residents of Utica, New York Mills, Herkimer, Middleville and vicinity, October 11th, 1930.
A scheme for a monumental equestrian statue proved too ambitious and the figure actually cast was on a smaller scale than originally intended. There was nothing small-scale about the dedication, however: the parade and unveiling ceremony was attended by over 10,000 people.