Thaddeus Kosciuszko was one of the first European volunteers to aid the American revolutionary cause in 1776. A brilliant Polish military engineer, Kosciuszko designed and constructed fortifications to help defeat the British, most notably at Saratoga and West Point in New York. Kosciuszko returned to Poland and led his own countrymen in a failed attempt to free them from foreign oppression. Seriously wounded in battle and imprisoned in Czarist Russia, upon his release, he returned to the United States. In a small rented room on the second floor of this house, Kosciuszko spent the winter of 1797-98 reading, sketching and receiving distinguished visitors like Vice-President Thomas Jefferson.