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Kazimierz Konopka in Jan Matejko's 1891 painting, Constitution of May 3, 1791.

Kazimierz Konopka (1769-1805 or 1809) was a Polish Jacobin, secretary of Hugo Kołłątaj, officer in the Polish Legions, aide-de-camp of Jan Henryk Dąbrowski. He gained notoriety for his involvements in the unrest and hangings in Warsaw during the Kościuszko Uprising.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Konopka was born in 1769 to a burgher family in Poznań.[1] He studies law in Kraków, where he was a lawyer applicant in the F. Barss legal practice.[1] Member of the Kołłątaj's Forge organization and one of the Polish Jacobins, and secretary to Hugo Kołłątaj; during Kołlataj's period as the Deputy Crown Chancellor (podkanclerz koronny) in 1791, Konopka held the position of the Secretary of the Lesser Seal (sekretarz pieczęci mniejszej).[1][2][3][4]

He participated in the Kościuszko Uprising, joining the cavalry.[1] During that period, around May and June 1794, he gained notoriety as one of the leaders of the demonstrations and riots in Warsaw.[1][2][5][6][7] In particular, he was involved in the "hanging of the traitors" incident around 28 June.[1][8][9] In this incident, not supported by the insurrectionist government, out of several people hanged, including insurrection opponents such as chamberlain Karol Boscamp-Lasopolski, prince Antoni Stanisław Czetwertyński-Światopełk and bishop Ignacy Jakub Massalski, the defense attorney and a prosecutor who attempted to stop the mob were also beaten and hanged; they included a friend of Tadeusz Kościuszko, advocate Michał Wulfers.[10][11][12] For his involvement in the incident, Koponka was sentenced by the insurrectionist court to an exile (banicja).[1][7][12]

Koponka left for France, where he joined French cavalry, and fought in Corsica.[1][6][7] In the aftermath of the final Third Partition of Poland, after Polish Legions were recreated under the French control in Italy, he became involved in the formation creation, reaching a rank of a captain or [9] major[13] (sources vary).[1][2][3][14] He commanded a squadron, and later, a baon. In 1801 he was an aide-de-camp of Jan Henryk Dąbrowski.[1]

He died in 1805 in Bari[1][14] (Pachoński mentions a sudden heart attack) or in 1809 (according to Rusinowa).[2]

Konopka is one of the figures immortalized in Jan Matejko's 1891 painting, Constitution of May 3, 1791. He is shown near the center, with an outstretched hand, holding the czekan (an ax- and hammer-like weapon) and with a French blue-white-red flower in his hat.[15]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Zdzisław Czeszejko-Sochacki (1981). Słownik biograficzny adwokatów polskich: G-Ł. Wydawnictwo Prawnicze. p. 166. http://books.google.com/books?id=t7d4PwAACAAJ. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Izabella Rusinowa (1986). Polska w latach 1795 - 1864. Wydawnictwa Szkolne i Pedagogiczne. http://books.google.com/books?id=f6lFAAAAIAAJ. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Józef Ignacy Kraszewski (1903). Polska w czasie trzech rozbiorów, 1772-1779: 1791-1799. Gebethner i Wolff. p. 476. http://books.google.com/books?id=N6pDAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA476. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  4. Instytut Sztuki (Polska Akademia Nauk) (1984). Pamiętnik teatralny. Instytut. p. 326. http://books.google.com/books?id=xvgLAQAAMAAJ. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  5. Józef Ignacy Kraszewski (1903). Polska w czasie trzech rozbiorów, 1772-1779: 1791-1799. Gebethner i Wolff. pp. 437–439, 459–460. http://books.google.com/books?id=N6pDAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA417. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Alexander Kraushar (1903). Barss, palestrant warszawski: jego misya polityczna we Francyi, 1793-1800. Przewodnik Naukowego i Literackiego. pp. 149–150. http://books.google.com/books?id=h_IKAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA150. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Szymon Askenazy (1918). Napoleon a Polska. Towarzystwo wydawnicze w Warszawie. p. 59. http://books.google.com/books?id=g-4JAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA59. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  8. Jonas Šliupas (1915). Lithuania in retrospect and prospect. The Lithuanian press association of America. p. 60. http://books.google.com/books?id=jyE7AQAAIAAJ&pg=PA60. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Kazimierz Bartoszewicz (1891). Księga pamiątkowa setnej rocznicy ustanowienia konstytucji 3 Maja. Nakł. K. Bartoszewicz. p. 264. http://books.google.com/books?id=RsnGTMa2EXMC&pg=PA264. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  10. Alex Storozynski (3 August 2010). The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution. Macmillan. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-312-62594-8. http://books.google.com/books?id=wVqnlTbsdXcC&pg=PT201. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  11. Norman Davies (30 March 2005). God's Playground: The origins to 1795. Columbia University Press. p. 407. ISBN 978-0-231-12817-9. http://books.google.com/books?id=07vm4vmWPqsC&pg=PA407. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 William Van Norden (1835). The Foreign quarterly review. L. Scott. p. 1. http://books.google.com/books?id=osMRAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA61. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  13. Antoni Jan Ostrowski (1873). Żywot Tomasza Ostrowskiego, ministra rzeczypospolitej póżniej,prezesa senatu xięstwa warszawskiego i królestwa polskiego: obejmujacy rys wypadḱow krajowych od 1765 roku do 1817. Nakł. K. Ostrowskiego. p. 215. http://books.google.com/books?id=Q2wRAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA215. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Jan Pachoński (1975). Józef Grabiński, generał polski, francuski i włoski, naczelny wódz powstania bolońskiego 1831 roku. Wydawn. Literackie. p. 161. http://books.google.com/books?id=9aEbAAAAMAAJ. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  15. Jan Matejko (1993). Matejko: obrazy olejne : katalog. Arkady. ISBN 978-83-213-3652-7. http://books.google.com/books?id=WMsuAQAAIAAJ. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 

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