CHICAGO — He died almost 240 years ago and the search to learn if the bones of Casimir Pulaski are really his have led to a discovery that he may have been intersex.
A Smithsonian Channel documentary that debuted Monday night explored the revelation and how people in Chicago felt about the fact that the “Father of the American Cavalry” may have been intersex.
Twenty years ago, bones were exhumed in Georgia and when they were further examined, it appeared they were not Pulaski's bones, but those of a woman. A closer examination years later, and subsequent DNA tests proved Pulaski, the man credited with saving George Washington’s life, may have possessed both male and female physical traits.
At the Polish Museum of America in Chicago, no one is upset over the scientific exploration. They are simply curious about the results and wonder why anyone would bother investigating the gender of the general nearly 250 years following his death.
James Robaczewski is chairman of the board of museum.
“Why they did it, I don’t know. But it doesn’t change my opinion of him. … I hope it doesn’t change anybody’s opinion on him because his significance in history is there,” he said. “Doesn’t matter if he was a female or male, he’s a Polish and American hero and that won’t change anything.”
WGN’s Julie Unruh has more on the documentary and community reaction.