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Sheridan-Kalorama in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Robert Emmet: Irish Patriot

Rock Creek Park

 

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
Robert Emmet: Irish Patriot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 13, 2018
1. Robert Emmet: Irish Patriot Marker
Inscription.  
"I wished to procure for my country the guarantee which Washington procured for America"

The centerpiece of this small park is a sculpture of Irish patriot Robert Emmet that serves as a tribute to how American democracy inspired the independence of Ireland. Emmet, born in Dublin in 1778, was strongly influenced by the American Revolution. Educated at Trinity College Dublin, Emmet was remembered by contemporaries for his oratorical brilliance.

In 1803, Emmet led an armed rebellion against British rule, proclaiming the establishment of an Irish Republic. The uprising was quickly suppressed. Emmet fled, but was captured upon returning to Dublin to see his fiancé Sara Curran. Tried for treason on September 19, 1803, he was immediately found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. Emmet's "Speech from the Dock" motivated the movement that led to independence for Ireland following the Easter Rising in 1916:

"…I appeal to the immaculate God that my conduct has been governed only by the conviction…of the emancipation of my country from the super inhuman oppression under which she has so long and too patiently travailed. Let no man attaint my memory by believing that I could have engaged in any cause
Robert Emmet: Irish Patriot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 13, 2018
2. Robert Emmet: Irish Patriot Marker
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that of my country's liberty and independence…Let no man write my epitaph. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then and not till then, let my epitaph be unwritten."


Emmet was executed the next day, on September 20, 1803. His stirring words continue to inspire Irish patriotism.

Establishing a Park
In 1912, the Smithsonian Institution offered space for a statue of Robert Emmet in the rotunda of the U.S. National Museum, and a group Irish-Americans commissioned Jerome Connor to create the sculpture. President Woodrow Wilson and members of Congress attended its dedication in 1917. The Smithsonian American Art Museum loaned the sculpture to the National Park Service in 1966 to serve as the centerpiece for this park to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising. President Lyndon Baines Johnson sent this message for the 1966 dedication:

"…The sheer patriotism and the gallant courage of Robert Emmet have inspired Americans no less than Irishmen…We Americans are proud to accord a place to honor here in the Nation's Capital to Robert Emmet, whose struggles and sacrifices bespeak the yearnings of mankind throughout the ages."

In 2016 the park was refurbished and re-dedicated to commemorate the 100th Anniversaries of the Emmet statue, the Easter Rising, and the National Park Service.

Jerome Connor, Master Sculptor
Jerome Connor was born in County Kerry, Ireland
Robert Emmet, Irish Patriot, 1778-1803 image. Click for full size.
1917 bronze by Jerome Connor, photograph by Devry Becker Jones, January 13, 2018
3. Robert Emmet, Irish Patriot, 1778-1803
Statue is 6¾ feet high on a 5 foot base. On the base is inscribed “Lidia-saon-eine” and “I wished to procure for my country the guarantee which Washington procured for America. I have parted from everything that was dear to me in this life for my country’s cause. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written.”
in 1874. After immigrating to Massachusetts in 1888, Connor trained as a stonecutter and bronze founder. He attended Elbert Hubbard's esteemed Roycroft artisan community, and in 1910 established a studio in Washington D.C., where he lived until returning to Ireland in 1925. His sculptures include Bishop John Carroll (1912), Nuns of the Battlefield (1924), Bronx Victory Memorial (1925), and the Lusitania Peace Memorial in Cobb, Co. Cork (posthumous).
 
Erected 2016 by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & PoliticsPatriots & PatriotismWar, US RevolutionaryWars, Non-US. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #28 Woodrow Wilson, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #36 Lyndon B. Johnson series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is September 19, 1803.
 
Location. 38° 54.83′ N, 77° 3.164′ W. Marker is in Sheridan-Kalorama in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is on 24th Street Northwest north of Massachusetts Ave Northwest, on the left when traveling north. On the grounds of Emmet Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2349 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20008, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Robert Emmet (here, next to this marker); Kalorama (a few steps from this marker); St. Jerome the Priest (within shouting distance of this marker);
A portrait of Robert Emmet image. Click for full size.
Portrait by John Comerford, 1803
4. A portrait of Robert Emmet
“A watercolor on ivory miniature portrait(6.9 x 5.7 cm) by John Comerford of Robert Emmet. It is believed to have be sketched by Comerford during Emmet's trial and is the finest likeness of him made. It was transferred to the National Gallery of Ireland by a descendant of Emmet in 1970.” —Via Wikimedia Commons
Jeju Dol Hareubang / 제주 돌 하르방 (within shouting distance of this marker); Woodrow Wilson House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Joel Barlow (about 700 feet away); Simón Bolívar (1783-1830) (about 700 feet away); Dr. Philip Jaisohn, 1864-1951 (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sheridan-Kalorama.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia entry for Robert Emmet. Excerpt:
Emmet wore a uniform of a green coat with white facings, white breeches, top-boots, and a cocked hat with feathers. Failing to seize Dublin Castle, which was lightly defended, the rising of some 200 men amounted to a large-scale disturbance in the Thomas Street area. Emmet saw a dragoon being pulled from his horse and piked to death, the sight of which prompted him to call off the rising to avoid further bloodshed. But, he had lost all control of his followers. ... Emmet was executed in Thomas Street in front of St. Catherine’s on 20 September 1803.
(Submitted on September 19, 2020.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 10, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 13, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 254 times since then and 18 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week September 20, 2020. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 13, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   4. submitted on September 19, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 13, 2021