The Bar Confederation (Polish: Konfederacja barska; 1768–1772) was an association of Polish nobles (szlachta) formed at the fortress of Bar in Podolia in 1768 to defend the internal and external independence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth against Russian influence and against King Stanisław II Augustus with Polish reformers, who were attempting to limit the power of the Commonwealth's wealthy magnates. The founders of the Bar Confederation included the magnates Adam Krasiński, Bishop of Kamieniec, Karol Stanisław Radziwiłł, Casimir Pulaski, Moritz Benyowszki and Michał Krasiński. Its creation led to a civil war and contributed to the First Partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Some historians consider the Bar Confederation the first Polish uprising.
|War of the Bar Confederation|
The Bar Confederates pray before the Battle of Lanckorona. Painting by Artur Grottger.
Kingdom of France
|Commanders and leaders|
Ivan Karpovich Elmpt
Michał Jan Pac
Charles François Dumouriez
|Lanckorona: 4,000 troops||
Lanckorona: 1,300 troops; 18 cannons |
|Casualties and losses|
Around the middle of the 18th century the balance of power in Europe shifted, with Russian victories against the Ottomans in the Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774) strengthening Russia and endangering Habsburg interests in that region (particularly in Moldavia and Wallachia). At that point Habsburg Austria started to consider waging a war against Russia.
France, friendly towards both Russia and Austria, suggested a series of territorial adjustments, in which Austria would be compensated by parts of Prussian Silesia, and Prussia in turn would receive Polish Ermland (Warmia) and parts of the Polish fief, Duchy of Courland and Semigallia—already under Baltic German hegemony. King Frederick II of Prussia had no intention of giving up Silesia gained recently in the Silesian Wars; he was, however, also interested in finding a peaceful solution — his alliance with Russia would draw him into a potential war with Austria, and the Seven Years' War had left Prussia's treasury and army weakened. He was also interested in protecting the weakening Ottoman Empire, which could be advantageously utilized in the event of a Prussian war either with Russia or Austria. Frederick's brother, Prince Henry, spent the winter of 1770–71 as a representative of the Prussian court at Saint Petersburg. As Austria had annexed 13 towns in the Hungarian Szepes region in 1769 (violating the Treaty of Lubowla), Catherine II of Russia and her advisor General Ivan Chernyshyov suggested to Henry that Prussia claim some Polish land, such as Ermland. After Henry informed him of the proposal, Frederick suggested a partition of the Polish borderlands by Austria, Prussia, and Russia, with the largest share going to Austria. Thus Frederick attempted to encourage Russia to direct its expansion towards weak and non-functional Poland instead of the Ottomans.
Although for a few decades (since the times of the Silent Sejm) Russia had seen weak Poland as its own protectorate, Poland had also been devastated by a civil war in which the forces of the Bar Confederation attempted to disrupt Russian control over Poland. The recent Koliyivschyna peasant and Cossack uprising in Ukraine also weakened Polish position. Further, the Russian-supported Polish king, Stanisław II Augustus, was seen as both weak and too independent-minded; eventually the Russian court decided that the usefulness of Poland as a protectorate had diminished. The three powers officially justified their actions as a compensation for dealing with troublesome neighbor and restoring order to Polish anarchy (the Bar Confederation provided a convenient excuse); in fact all three were interested in territorial gains.
After Russia occupied the Danubian Principalities, Henry convinced Frederick and Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria that the balance of power would be maintained by a tripartite division of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth instead of Russia taking land from the Ottomans. Under pressure from Prussia, which for a long time wanted to annex the northern Polish province of Royal Prussia, the three powers agreed on the First Partition of Poland. This was in light of the possible Austrian-Ottoman alliance with only token objections from Austria, which would have instead preferred to receive more Ottoman territories in the Balkans, a region which for a long time had been coveted by the Habsburgs. The Russians also withdrew from Moldavia away from the Austrian border.
In the late 17th century and early 18th century the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth had declined from the status of a major European power to that of a Russian protectorate (or vassal or satellite state), with the Russian tsar effectively choosing Polish–Lithuanian monarchs during the "free" elections and deciding the direction of much of Poland's internal politics, for example during the Repnin Sejm (1767-1768), named after the Russian ambassador who unofficially presided over the proceedings.
In 1767-1768, Russian forces forced the Polish parliament (Sejm) to pass resolutions they demanded. Many of the conservative nobility felt anger at that foreign interference, at the perceived weakness of the presiding government under king Stanisław II Augustus (reigned 1764-1795), and at the provisions, particularly the ones that empowered non-Catholics, and at other reforms which they saw as threatening the Golden Freedoms of the Polish nobility. In response to that, and particularly after Russian troops arrested and exiled several vocal opponents (namely bishop of Kiev Józef Andrzej Załuski, bishop of Cracow Kajetan Sołtyk, and Field Crown Hetman Wacław Rzewuski with his son Seweryn), Polish magnates Adam Krasiński, Bishop of Kamieniec, Casimir Pulaski and Michał Krasiński and their allies decided to form a confederatio - a legal military association opposing the government in accordance with Polish constitutional traditions. The articles of the confederation were signed on 29 February 1768 at the fortress of Bar in Podolia. Some of the instigators of the confederation included Adam Stanisław Krasiński, Michał Hieronim Krasiński, Kajetan Sołtyk, Wacław Rzewuski, Michał Jan Pac, Jerzy August Mniszech, Joachim Potocki and Teodor Wessel. Priest Marek Jandołowicz was a notable religious leader, and Michał Wielhorski the Confederation's political ideologue.
The confederation, encouraged and aided by France, declared a war on Russia. Its irregular forces, formed from volunteers, magnate militias and deserters from the royal army, soon clashed with the Russian troops and units loyal to the Polish crown. Confederation forces under Michał Jan Pac and Prince Karol Stanisław Radziwiłł roamed the land in every direction, won several engagements with the Russians, and at last, utterly ignoring the King, sent envoys on their own account to the principal European powers.
King Stanisław Augustus was at first inclined to mediate between the Confederates and Russia, the latter represented by the Russian envoy to Warsaw, Prince Nikolai Repnin; but finding this impossible, he sent a force against them under Grand Hetman Franciszek Ksawery Branicki and two generals against the confederates. This marked the Ukrainian campaign, which lasted from April till June 1768, and was ended with the capture of Bar on 20 June. Confederation forces retreated to Moldavia. There was also a pro-Confederation force in Lesser Poland, that operated from June till August, that ended with the royal forces securing Kraków on 22 August, followed by a period of conflict in Belarus (August–October), that ended with the surrender of Nesvizh on 26 October. However, the simultaneous outbreak of the Koliyivschyna in Ukraine (May 1768–June 1769) kept the Confederation alive. The Confederates appealed for help from abroad and contributed to bringing about war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire (the Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774 that began in September). The retreat of some Russian forces needed on the Ottoman front bolstered the confederates, who reappeared in force in Lesser Poland and Great Poland by 1769. In 1770 the Council of Bar Confederation transferred from its original seat in Silesia to Hungary, whence it conducted diplomatic negotiations with France, Austria and Turkey with a view to forming a league against Russia. The council proclaimed the king dethroned on 22 October 1770. The court of Versailles sent Charles François Dumouriez to act as an aid to the Confederates, and he helped them to organize their forces. The Confederates also began to operate in Lithuania, although after early successes that direction too met with failures, with defeats at Białystok on 16 July and Orzechowo on 13 September 1769. Early 1770 saw the defeats of confederates in Greater Poland, after the battle of Dobra (20 January) and Błonie (12 February), which forced them into a mostly defensive, passive stance.
In the meantime, taking advantage of the confusion in Poland, already by 1769—71, both Austria and Prussia had taken over some border territories of the Commonwealth, with Austria taking Szepes County in 1769-1770 and Prussia incorporating Lauenburg and Bütow. On 19 February 1772, the agreement of partition was signed in Vienna. A previous agreement between Prussia and Russia had been made in Saint Petersburg on 6 February 1772. Early in August Russian, Prussian and Austrian troops simultaneously entered the Commonwealth and occupied the provinces agreed upon among themselves. On 5 August, the three parties signed the treaty on their respective territorial gains on the Commonwealth's expense.
An attempt of Bar Confederates (including Casimir Pulaski) to kidnap king Stanisław II Augustus on 3 November 1771 led the Habsburgs to withdraw their support from the confederates, expelling them from their territories. It also gave the three courts another pretext to showcase the "Polish anarchy" and the need for its neighbors to step in and "save" the country and its citizens.
The king thereupon reverted to the Russian faction, and for this act targeting their king, the Confederation lost much of the support it had in Europe. Nevertheless, its army, thoroughly reorganized by Dumouriez, maintained the fight. 1771 brought further defeats, with the defeat at Lanckorona on 21 May and Stałowicze at 23 October. The final battle of this war was the siege of Jasna Góra, which fell on 13 August 1772. The regiments of the Bar Confederation, whose executive board had been forced to leave Austria (which previously supported them) after that country joined the Prusso-Russian alliance, did not lay down their arms. Many fortresses in their command held out as long as possible; Wawel Castle in Kraków fell only on 28 April; Tyniec fortress held until 13 July 1772; Częstochowa, commanded by Casimir Pulaski, held until 18 August. Overall, around 100,000 nobles fought 500 engagements between 1768 and 1772. Perhaps the last stronghold of the confederates was in the monastery in Zagórz, which fell only on 28 November 1772. In the end, the Bar Confederation was defeated, with its members either fleeing abroad or being deported to Siberia by the Russians.
Bar Confederates taken as prisoners by the Russians, together with their families, formed the first major group of Poles exiled to Siberia. It is estimated that about 5,000 former confederates were sent there. Russians organized 3 concentration camps in Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth for Polish captives, where these concentrated persons have been waiting for their deportation there.
Until the times of the Bar Confederation, confederates – especially operating with the aid of outside forces – were seen as unpatriotic antagonists. But in 1770, during the times that the Russian Army marched through the theoretically independent Commonwealth, and foreign powers forced the Sejm to agree to the First Partition of Poland, the confederates started to create an image of Polish exiled soldiers, the last of those who remained true to their Motherland, an image that would in the next two centuries lead to the creation of Polish Legions and other forces in exile.
The Confederation has generated varying assessments from the historians. While none deny its patriotic desire to rid the Commonwealth from the outside (primarily Russian) influence, some such as Jacek Jędruch, criticize it for its regressive stand on the civil rights issues, primarily with regards to the religious tolerance (Jędruch writes of "religious bigotry", "narrowly Catholic" stand) and assert it contributed to the First Partition while others such as Bohdan Urbankowski applaud it as the first serious national military effort trying to restore Polish independence.
The Bar Confederation has been described as the first Polish uprising, and the last mass movement of szlachta. It also is commemorated on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Warsaw, with the inscription "KONFEDERACJA BARSKA 29 II 1768 – 18 VII 1772”.
Its activities precipitated a civil war, foreign intervention, and the First Partition of Poland.
Adam Stanisław Krasiński (1714–1800) was a Polish noble of Ślepowron coat of arms, bishop of Kamieniec (1757–1798), Great Crown Secretary (from 1752), president of the Crown Tribunal in 1759 and one of the leaders of Bar Confederation (1768–1772).Aleksandr Bibikov
Aleksandr Ilyich Bibikov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Ильи́ч Би́биков) (June 10 [O.S. May 30] 1729, Moscow – April 20 [O.S. April 20] 1774, Bugulma) was a Russian statesman and military officer.Bibikov came from an old noble family; Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov was his brother-in-law.
He began his military service in 1746, participating in the Seven Years' War (1756–1763). He was unit commander in the Battle of Zorndorf. His unit lost 60 officers and about half of soldiers but did not retreat. He was promoted to Colonel Rank by Empress Elizabeth of Russia. He also participated in Battle of Kunersdorf and thereafter was appointed military commandant of Frankfurt.Bibikov acted against the Polish Bar Confederation (1771–1774). In 1773 Bibikov was assigned to suppress Yemelyan Pugachev's uprising. In the letter to Catherine II of Russia he wrote: "I expect from v. V. of the resolution of the boundary local matter not on the Polish statutes, but on the zbornomu (cathedral) packing code". It notes after the transfer from Poland Bibikov: "I will finally not be obstacle I see and to the intentions of the managers fate Polish".
During this campaign Bibikov fell ill with cholera and died, aged 44, Empress granted large estate to its family. All data attest to the fact that Bibikov connected the bright military and administrative abilities, large diplomatic time with the independence of persuasions and the incorruptible honesty.Alexander Suvorov
Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Васи́льевич Суво́ров, r Aleksandr Vasil‘evich Suvorov; 24 November [O.S. 13 November] 1729 or 1730 – 18 May [O.S. 6 May] 1800) was a Russian military leader, considered a national hero. He was the Count of Rymnik, Count of the Holy Roman Empire, Prince of Italy, and the last Generalissimo of the Russian Empire.
Suvorov was born in Moscow in 1729. He studied military history as a young boy and joined the Imperial Russian Army at the age of 17. During the Seven Years' War he was promoted to colonel in 1762 for his success on the battlefield. When war broke out with the Bar Confederation in 1768, Suvorov captured Kraków and defeated the Poles at Lanckorona and Stołowicze, bringing about the start of the Partitions of Poland. He was promoted to general and next fought in the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774, winning a decisive victory at the Battle of Kozludzha. Becoming the General of the Infantry in 1786, he commanded in the Russo–Turkish War of 1787–1792 and won crushing victories at the Battle of Rymnik and Siege of Izmail. For his accomplishments, he was made a Count of both the Russian Empire and Holy Roman Empire. Suvorov put down a Polish uprising in 1794, defeating them at the Battle of Maciejowice and storming Warsaw.
While a close associate of Empress Catherine the Great, Suvorov often quarreled with her son and heir apparent Paul. After Catherine died of a stroke in 1796, Paul I was crowned Emperor and dismissed Suvorov for disregarding his orders. However, he was forced to reinstate Suvorov and make him a field marshal at the insistence of the coalition allies for the French Revolutionary Wars. Suvorov was given command of the Austro-Russian army, captured Milan, and drove the French out of Italy at the Battles of Cassano d'Adda, Trebbia, and Novi. Suvorov was made a Prince of Italy for his deeds. Afterwards he became surrounded in the Swiss Alps by the French after a Russian army he was supposed to unite with was routed before he could arrive. Suvorov led the strategic withdrawal of Russian troops while fighting off the four times as large French forces and returned to Russia with minimal casualties, for which he became the fourth Generalissimo of Russia. He died in 1800 of illness in Saint Petersburg.
Suvorov is considered one of the greatest commanders in Russian history. He was awarded numerous medals, titles, and honors by Russia, as well as by other countries. Suvorov secured Russia's expanded borders and renewed military prestige and left a legacy of theories on warfare. He was famed for his military manual The Science of Victory and noted for several of his sayings. Several military academies, monuments, villages, museums, and orders are dedicated to him. He never lost a single major battle he had commanded.Battle of Lanckorona
Two of the main battles of the Bar Confederation took place on the plains before Lanckorona. On 22 February 1771, the Bar Confederates defended Lanckorona and its Castle from the Russian army led by Alexander Suvorov. The Russians were forced to retreat after a surprising victory for the Polish army given that it was significantly outnumbered by the Russian side. The Battle of Lanckorona was the second battle before the mount of Lanckorona and one of the greatest clashes of Polish and Russian forces during the Bar Confederation. It took place on 23 May 1771 near Lanckorona when a Polish formation of 1,300 men with 18 cannons was suddenly attacked by 4,000 Russians commanded again by general Alexander Suvorov.
The second battle was lost as the new commander on the Polish side, French envoy lieutenant-colonel Charles François Dumouriez was caught off guard in an early morning attack by the Russian forces and he was unable to assemble his men. Many historians argue that it was sabotage on the part of Dumouriez as he was privately outspoken against the Polish nation and its democratic aspirations. Dumouriez was noted as calling Poles an "Asiatic nation". Antoine-Charles du Houx and Baron de Vioménil replaced Dumouriez in Bar Confederation army.
In 1793, Tadeusz Kościuszko met with Dumouriez in Belgium as he sought the help of revolutionary France for the planned uprising in Poland. A few weeks later, after losing the battle in Neerwinden, Dumouriez betrayed his own country and crossed on to Austria's side. Once there, he betrayed Poland again and passed on the plans for the Kościuszko Uprising to the Prussians who passed it on to the Russians.
Józef Pułaski and his son Casimir Pulaski were the founders of the Bar Confederation. Casimir Pulaski went on to become the "father of American cavalry as he emigrated to North America to help in the cause of the American Revolution and freedom there. He distinguished himself heroically throughout the revolution, most notably when he saved the life of George Washington and became a general in the Continental Army, and when he created the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and reformed the American cavalry.
Source: Confederation of BarBattle of Stołowicze
The Battle of Stołowicze was a battle of the War of the Bar Confederation. It took place on the 23 September 1771 and ended with the defeat of Bar rebels by Russian general Alexander Suvorov. Michał Kazimierz Ogiński, the Bar commander, was defeated and forced into a brief exile.Casimir Pulaski
Kazimierz Michał Władysław Wiktor Pułaski of Ślepowron (Polish pronunciation: [kaˈʑimʲɛʂ puˈwaskʲi] (listen); English: Casimir Pulaski; March 4 or March 6, 1745 – October 11, 1779) was a Polish nobleman,b soldier and military commander who has been called, together with his Hungarian friend Michael Kovats de Fabriczy, "the father of the American cavalry".
Born in Warsaw and following in his father's footsteps, he became interested in politics at an early age and soon became involved in the military and the revolutionary affairs in Poland (the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth). Pulaski was one of the leading military commanders for the Bar Confederation and fought against Russian domination of the Commonwealth. When this uprising failed, he was driven into exile. Following a recommendation by Benjamin Franklin, Pulaski immigrated to North America to help in the cause of the American Revolutionary War. He distinguished himself throughout the revolution, most notably when he saved the life of George Washington. Pulaski became a general in the Continental Army, created the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and reformed the American cavalry as a whole. At the Battle of Savannah, while leading a daring charge against British forces, he was gravely wounded, and died shortly thereafter.
Pulaski is remembered as a hero who fought for independence and freedom in both Poland and the United States. Numerous places and events are named in his honor, and he is commemorated by many works of art. Pulaski is one of only eight people to be awarded honorary United States citizenship. He never married and had no descendants. Despite his fame, there have been uncertainties and controversies surrounding both his place and date of birth and burial.Częstochowa Ghetto uprising
The Częstochowa Ghetto uprising was an insurrection in Poland's Częstochowa Ghetto against German occupational forces during World War II. It took place in late June 1943, resulting in some 2,000 Jews being killed.
The first instance of armed resistance took place on January 4, 1943, at the so-called Large Ghetto established by the Germans in April 1941. During the 'selection' of some 500 Jews to be deported to the ghetto in Radomsko, shooting broke out at the Warsaw Square (now, Ghetto Heroes Square) in which Mendel Fiszelewicz (Fiszelowicz) along with Isza Fajner were killed. 50 young Jews were executed in reprisal.Franciszek Ksawery Chomiński
Franciszek Ksawery Chomiński (c. 1730 - 9 June 1809) was a Polish soldier, politician, translator and poet. Sejm deputy, deputy to the Lithuanian Tribunal and voivode of Mscislaw from 1788 in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and marshal of the Grodno Governorate in the Russian Empire after partitions of Poland.
A cavalry officer, he was a supporter of the Bar Confederation. Later, he became more active in the Commonwealth politics, and was a deputy to Sejms of 1780, 1782 and 1784; at the latter one he served as its marshal. He was among the supporters of the Constitution of the 3rd May.
After the partitions of Poland he supported Adam Czartoryski in Paris. He also served as the marshal of the Grodno Governorate.
He received the Order of Saint Stanislaus in 1784 and the Order of the White Eagle in 1785.
As a writer, he wrote poetry and epigrams, and translated into Polish several works from French, most notably, those of Jean Baptiste Racine.Gottlob Heinrich Curt von Tottleben
Gottlob Curt Heinrich Graf von Tottleben, Herr auf Tottleben, Zeippau und Hausdorf im Saganschen (also Tottleben, Todtleben Todleben; Russian: Готлиб-Генрих Тотлебен) (21 December 1715 – 20 March 1773) was a Saxon-born Russian Empire general known for his adventurism and contradictory military career during the Seven Years' War and, then, the Russo-Turkish War (1768–74) as a commander of the first Russian expeditionary force in Georgia.Hoszów
Hoszów [ˈxɔʂuf] (Ukrainian: Гошів, translit. Hoshiv) is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Ustrzyki Dolne, within Bieszczady County, Subcarpathian Voivodeship, in south-eastern Poland. It lies approximately 6 kilometres (4 mi) south-east of Ustrzyki Dolne and 85 km (53 mi) south-east of the regional capital Rzeszów.On 8 August 1769 in a battle against Russian troops during the Bar Confederation, Franciszek Pułaski, cousin of general Kazimierz Pułaski, was heavily injured and died afterwards in Lesko.Koliyivshchyna
Koliyivshchyna (Ukrainian: Коліївщина, Polish: koliszczyzna) was a major haidamaka rebellion that broke out in Right-bank Ukraine in June 1768, caused by the dissatisfaction of the peasants because of the serfdom oppression, the anti-nobility and anti-Polish moods among the Cossacks and peasants. The uprising was accompanied by violence against Poles, Jews and Roman Catholic and Uniate clergy, culminating in the massacre of Uman . The number of victims is estimated from 100,000 to 200,000Lanckorona
Lanckorona [lant͡skɔˈrɔna] is a village located 30 kilometres (19 mi) south-west of Kraków in Lesser Poland. It lies on the Skawinka river, among the hills of the Beskids, 545 m (1,788 ft) above sea level. It is known for the Lanckorona Castle, today in ruins. Lanckorona is also known for the Battle of the Bar Confederation that took place at the Lanckorona Castle and within a 4 km (2 mi) range south of the town borders on 22 February 1771. In recent years, Lanckorona has become a tourist attraction for the well preserved 19th century wooden houses in its centre. The township of Lanckorona was established by Casimir III the Great in 1336, to protect the road to Kraków, following the creation of new regional borders following the homage given by Mieszko I, Duke of Cieszyn to Wenceslaus II of Bohemia in 1291. Lanckorona lost its town rights on 13 July 1933 as its population declined.Melsztyn
Melsztyn [ˈmɛlʂtɨn] is a village on the left bank of the Dunajec river in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland. It lies approximately 5 kilometres (3 mi) north-west of Zakliczyn, 25 km (16 mi) south-west of Tarnów, and 64 km (40 mi) east of the regional capital Kraków. The village was first mentioned in the year 1347.
The name of the village is a Polonized version of a German word Mehlstein. In the Middle Ages, Melsztyn belonged to a famous nobleman Spytek of Melsztyn, who built a castle on a hill. The castle stood for hundreds of years, and was burned in 1771, during the Bar Confederation, as Polish rebels fought the Russians here. Among the owners of Melsztyn there were noble families of Jordan, Zborowski, Tarło and Lubomirski. The Melsztyn Castle is a ruin now, with an excellent view of the surrounding area.Michał Jan Pac
Michał Jan Pac (1730-1787) was a Polish-Lithuanian nobleman, Lithuanian Marshal of the Bar Confederation from 1769 until 1772, Chamberlain of King Augustus.
He lived in exile in France after the defeat of the Confederation.
In 1780, he bought the castle and the village of Marainville in Lorraine; his steward, Adam Weydlich, made acquaintance with the village syndic, François, who had a son, Nicolas, born in 1771. After Pac's death, the Weydlichs left France for Poland, and young Nicolas emigrated with them; in 1810, he was to have a son, Frédéric Chopin.Polish minority in Russia
There are currently 73,000 Polish nationals living in the Russian Federation. This includes autochthonous Poles as well as those forcibly deported during and after World War II; the total number of Poles in what was the former Soviet Union is estimated at up to 3 million.Przasnysz
Przasnysz ([ˈpʂasnɨʂ]; Yiddish: פראשניץ Proshnitz, German: "Praschnitz") is a town in Poland. Located in the Masovian Voivodship, about 110 km north of Warsaw and about 115 km south of Olsztyn, it is the capital of Przasnysz County. It has 18,093 inhabitants (2004). One of the most important towns in Mazovia during the Middle Ages. Przasnysz was granted town privileges in 1427.
Helga Adler (born 1943) German academic and politician (SED/PDS)
Stanisław Chełchowski (born 1866 - zm. 1907) naturalist and ethnographist
Moisei Freidenberg (1858—1920) — Russian inventor and journalist
Aleksander Kakowski (born 1862 - died 1938) Archbishop of Warsaw
Stanisław Kostka (born 1550 - died 1568) - patron of children in the Catholic Church
Bernard Kryszkiewicz (born 1915 - died 1945) - a Passionist priest
Józef Stanisław Ostoja-Kotkowski (born 1922 - died 1994) - artist
Abraham Lichtstein - Av Beis Din (head of the rabbinical court) of Przasnysz
Józef Sawa-Caliński (died 1771) - one of the leaders of Bar Confederation
Edmund Mikołaj Majkowski (born 1929, died 2009) - sculptor, specializing in battle and historical subjects.Pyotr Krechetnikov
Piotr Nikititch Kretchetnikov (Russian: Петр Никитич Кречетников) (1727 – c. 1800) was a Russian major-general in command of the corps sent to intervene against the Bar Confederation. He was the elder brother of Mikhaïl Kretchetnikov.
He was made a colonel in 1764 and in 1769 he entered the Imperial Russian Army at the head of troops sent against the armies of a Polish uprising. He was accused of several abuses as commander and of the confiscation of goods belonging to active members of the Bar Confederation. He was also accused of fraud in resupplying his troops and was dismissed in 1771. From 1771 to 1775 he was governor of the city of Astrakhan.Rogatywka
Rogatywka (Polish pronunciation: [rɔɡaˈtɨfka]; sometimes translated as peaked cap) is the Polish generic name for an asymmetrical, peaked, four-pointed cap used by various Polish military formations throughout the ages. It is a distant relative of its 18th-century predecessor, konfederatka (because of use by members of the Bar Confederation), although similar caps have been used by light cavalry since the 14th century. It consists of a four-pointed top and a short peak, usually made of black or brown leather. Although rogatywka (derived from róg which means horn or corner) in English seems to mean the same as czapka, the word 'czapka' in Polish designates not only rogatywka, but all caps (not hats).Stanisław August Poniatowski
Stanisław II Augustus (also Stanisław August Poniatowski; born Stanisław Antoni Poniatowski; 17 January 1732 – 12 February 1798), who reigned as King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1764 to 1795, was the last monarch of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. He remains a controversial figure in Polish history. Recognized as a great patron of the arts and sciences and an initiator and firm supporter of progressive reforms, he is also remembered as the King of the Commonwealth whose election was marred by Russian intervention. He is criticized primarily for his failure to stand against the partitions, and thus to prevent the destruction of the Polish state.
Having arrived at the Russian imperial court in Saint Petersburg in 1755, he became romantically involved with the future empress Catherine the Great (1762–1796). With her connivance, in 1764 he was elected King of Poland. Contrary to expectations, he attempted to reform and strengthen the ailing Commonwealth. His efforts met with external opposition from Prussia, Russia and Austria, all committed to keeping the Commonwealth weak. From within he was opposed by conservative interests, which saw reforms as threatening their traditional liberties and privileges.
The defining crisis of his early reign was the War of the Bar Confederation (1768–1772) that led to the First Partition of Poland (1772). The later part of his reign saw reforms wrought by the Great Sejm (1788–1792) and the Constitution of 3 May 1791. These reforms were overthrown by the 1792 Targowica Confederation and by the War in Defence of the Constitution, leading directly to the Second Partition of Poland (1793), the Kościuszko Uprising (1794) and the final and Third Partition of Poland (1795), marking the end of the Commonwealth. Stripped of all meaningful power, Poniatowski abdicated in November 1795 and spent the last years of his life a virtual captive in Saint Petersburg.