Saturday, May 24, 2014

Louise Warfield and Count Włodzimierz Ledóchowski (PAHA News, Spring 2014)


by Thomas Hollowak

Warfield and Count Ledochowski, with the family crest

Baltimore women are renowned for their beauty and two are remembered for their marriages to nobility – Elizabeth “Betsy” Patterson married Joseph, the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who later abandoned her and Wallis Warfield Simpson to England’s King Edward VIII, later Duke of Windsor. Less known is the marriage of Wallis’ older cousin Louise Warfield, daughter of Edwin Warfield, Governor of Maryland (1904-1908) to Count Włodzimierz Ledóchowski.

The couple met at Peking, China, where her brother Edwin introduced them to each other at a foreign embassy entertainment. Since she didn’t speak Polish and he did not know English, they conversed in French. After a brief courtship they became engaged. When she returned home in December 1912 she was reticent to speak about the rumored engagement since her parents opposed the match because of the brevity of the courtship and her large fortune. She was able to convince her father it was a true “love” match and the wedding set for May.

Count Ledóchowski was a nephew of the late Cardinal Mieczysław Halka Ledóchowski, Primate of Poland and prefect of the Propaganda at the Vatican. The Ledóchowski family lineage began in 1457 in the Volhynian Voivodeship where the boyar knight Nestor Halka took the name of his estate, Ledóchow, as his own. It is believed that the dynastic family Halka dates to the time of the Kievan Rus in 971. The Halka family’s used the official Austrian title of Halka von Ledóchow Count Ledóchowski.

On May 8, 1913 the couple was married at the Warfield home in Baltimore by Rev. William A. Fletcher, rector of the Cathedral. Cardinal Gibbons witnessed the ceremony, and bestowed his blessing. It was a simple ceremony because the bride’s maternal grandmother had recently died. Only relatives and a few personal friends were invited. After a wedding breakfast the couple left for New York to take a steamship to return to Poland to reside at the family estate, located near the Austrian border, an eight-hour journey from Moscow and twelve-hours from Vienna and in the midst of the zone of war that erupted on July 28, 1914.

Warfield with her daughter.

On August 19, the Warfield family received a cablegram form Włodzimierz dated August 18,Ostropol, Russian Poland “Situation uncertain. Louise safe with cousins.” There was no news from her until October when the family received several letters appealing for medical and surgical supplies, as well as clothing and blankets. These appeals prompted the former Governor to establish the Russian Poland Red Cross Relief Fund Committee. The local Polish Community rallied to his support and by December the first of several boat loads of supplies were sent to Poland.

After the war he would be honored by Baltimore’s Polonia for his efforts. Although the couple would have three children, two daughters and a son the marriage was doomed and on November 25, 1922 they were divorced. She was given custody of the children and the following year she renounced her title to regain U.S. citizenship and took back the name Warfield.

Thomas L. Hollowak


Reprinted from PAHA Newsletter, Spring 2014. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Warsaw Conference Update and the Kosciuszko Foundation Scholarships


The Fifth World Congress on Polish Studies will be held at the University of Warsaw, June 20-23, 2014. We are pleased to inform you that the featured speaker at the closing banquet will be Leszek Balcerowicz, the former Chair of the National Bank of Poland, Deputy Prime Minister, and the Father of Poland’s Economic Transformation. He will be speaking on “Poland’s Transformation in Comparative Perspective.” We are sure you will not want to miss this, but seating is limited so if you have not already done so please go to the Polish Institute web site to reserve your ticket to the event

Leszek Balcerowicz in LA with Maja Trochimczyk and Bohdan Oppenheim

The Congress will convene at the University of Warsaw. The main gate is at 26/28 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street. Upon entering, go to the Old Library Building where the registration desk will be set up beginning at 8:15 am on June 21. The Old Library is building 10 on the attached map. You will be able to pick up your participant packet at the registration desk. If you have not already pre-registered, please do so at the Polish Institute web site

New Kosciuszko Foundation Tuition Scholarship Program 
Available For Undergraduate Students of Polish Origin
Over $75,000 In Grant Funding Secured From The Polish Government For 2014 

 The Kosciuszko Foundation is pleased to announce the opening of the application process for a special tuition scholarship program for undergraduate students of Polish origin. A $2,000 scholarship will be offered to 30 promising undergraduate students studying in the USA and pursuing degrees at the intersection of media, communication, political science, social studies, law, and administration. Students seeking careers in media, government, and public affairs are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications will be accepted through July 31, 2014 and scholarship awards will be distributed for the fall semester of the 2014-2015 academic year. 

 The key goal of the program is to identify and support highly motivated students of Polish descent who contribute or are likely to engage in community service or any initiatives that benefit or promote a positive image of Polish Americans. "This groundbreaking program will increase opportunities for Polish-American students enrolled in specific fields at universities throughout the United States. It is yet another example of the importance that the Polish government places on good relations with Polonia, and the confidence that it has in the Kosciuszko Foundation to implement this and other important projects," said Dr. John S. Micgiel, president of the Kosciuszko Foundation. 

 Full-time undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a minimum GPA of 3.0 are eligible to apply. Scholarships are merit-based and are awarded for academic achievement, leadership qualities, motivation, interest in Polish subjects, and involvement in the Polish American community. Click HERE to learn more about the program and to apply

 Click HERE to learn more about the program and to apply

The scholarship program was made possible thanks to a $60,000 grant secured by the Kosciuszko Foundation in the national competition "Cooperation with Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad in 2014" run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland. An additional grant of over $15,000 was awarded to the foundation for an update of the New KF English-Polish, Polish-English Dictionary, last published over a decade ago. The project, co-sponsored by the KF and the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union, has begun and will result in a thoroughly updated Dictionary, with online and app-based versions ready in 2015.


 Founded in 1925, the Kosciuszko Foundation promotes closer ties between Poland and the United States through educational, scientific and cultural exchanges. It awards up to $1 million annually in fellowships and grants to graduate students, scholars, scientists, professionals, and artists, and promotes Polish culture in America. The Foundation has awarded scholarships and provided a forum to Poles who have changed history.