Poniatowski, the name of a Polish family of Italian origin. Giuseppe Salinguerra, a member of the Italian family of Torelli, settled in Poland about the middle of the 17th century, and there assumed the name of Ponia-towski from the estate of Poniatow, belonging to his wife, who was the daughter of Albert Poniatowski and Anna Leszczynska. The following are the most distinguished of his descendants.
Stanislaw, born in 1677, died in 1762. He attached himself to the fortunes of Stanislas Leszczynski and his protector Charles XII., accompanied the Swedish army to Russia, and was at the battle of Poltava (1709), after which he was ambassador to Constantinople, and while there was skilful enough to involve the sultan in a war with Russia. After the death of Charles he supported Augustus* II., by whom he was raised to several offices. Upon the death of Augustus (1733) he again joined the fortunes of Stanislas Leszczynski, and was taken prisoner at Dantzic by the Russians. He wrote Bemarques d'un seigneur polonais sur VHistoire de Charles XII. par Voltaire (the Hague, 1741).
Stanislaw August, son of the preceding and of a princess Czar-toryska, born in Lithuania, Jan. 17, 1732, was elected king of Poland in September, 1764, and died in St. Petersburg, Feb. 12, 1798. (See Poland.)
Jozef Antoui, prince, and marshal of France, nephew of the preceding, born in Warsaw, May 7, 1762, drowned in the river Elster, Oct. 19, 1813. He entered the Austrian army, was in the campaign of 1787 against the Turks, and in 1789 was made a major general in the Polish army. In the war against Russia in 1792 he commanded on the Bug, and when the king, his uncle, acceded to the confederation of Targovitza, he left the service with most of the best officers; but when Kosciuszko raised the standard of revolt in 1794, he served under him as a volunteer, although in the campaign of 1792 Kosciuszko had been below him in military rank. In command of a division he performed effective service during the two sieges of Warsaw, and after the capitulation of that city he went to Vienna. In 1798 he returned to Warsaw, then under the dominion of Prussia, lived on his estates as a Prussian subject, and upon the occupation of that city by the French he joined their army, and during the campaign of 1807 commanded the Polish national army against the Russians. By the peace of Tilsit the duchy of Warsaw was created, and Poniatowski became its minister of war.
In the war between Austria and France in 1809, he was compelled to evacuate the duchy, but invaded Galicia, and terminated the campaign by the occupation of Cracow. In the invasion of Russia in 1812 he commanded the Polish auxiliaries of the grand army. Just before the battle of Leipsic he was made by Napoleon a marshal of France, and after the battle was intrusted with the duty of covering the retreat of the French. The enemy had gained possession of the suburbs of the city, when with a small retinue he plunged into the deep stream of the Elster, in which he disappeared. His body was recovered five days after.
Prince Joseph, a composer, second cousin of the preceding, born in Rome, Feb. 20, 1816, died in London, July 3, 1873. He was educated in Rome and Florence, joined the French army in Algeria, and in 1848 settled in the latter city. The grand duke of Tuscany gave him the right of citizenship and the title of prince of Monte Rotondo. He was twice returned to the Tuscan chambers, and was minister of Tuscany in Brussels and London. In 1854 he settled in France, and was naturalized and made a senator. In 1870 he removed to London, where he supported himself by his musical talents during the last three years of his life. He composed Buy Bias, Esmeralda, Pierre de Medicis, Bon Besiderio, and other operas, and several masses. The last named opera was reproduced at the Theatre Italien in Paris in 1867. He had a fine tenor voice, and in his early life appeared several times upon the stage.