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BOROWSKI, ISIDOR:

Soldier under Bolivar y Ponte, and, later, a Persian general; born at Warsaw, Poland, 1803; killed at the siege of Herat in1837. This military adventurer in Persia and Afghanistan was a Polish Jew who was reared in the United States, and who sometimes claimed to be the illegitimate son of Prince Radziwill by a Jewish mother, and at other times professed to be simply a Polish nobleman. He served under Bolivar, then under Mehemet Ali in Egypt, where in 1829 he supported himself by giving lessons in mathematics and in English. In 1831 he was in Bushire, Persia; and was afterward recommended by Sir John Campbell, the British minister, to Prince Abbas Mirza, the son of Shah Fatḥ Ali, as a useful and talented man. Borowski developed great military abilities in the service of that warlike prince, and took for him the strong town of Cochan in Khorassan. Later he took the castle of Sarakhs and made prisoner the leader of the Turkomans. After the death of Abbas in 1833, Borowski gave most essential assistance to Abbas' son, Mohamed Mirza, and enabled him to ascend the throne of his grandfather. The English were behind most of the military undertakings of the Persians in those days, and Borowski was looked upon as an English general, and even wore the uniform. But he forsook the interests of the British government and joined the Russian party in Persia, and was shot at the siege of Herat. His wife, a Georgian captive of war, received a pension from Mohamed Shah on account of her husband's distinguished services.

Bibliography:
  • Jos. Wolff, Narrative of a Mission to Bokhara, pp. 138-140, New York, 1845;
  • S. Orgelbrand, Encyklopedya Powsiechna, ii., s.v., Warsaw, 1898.
H. R. P. Wi.
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