Home + About + The Speech + Endorsements + Events of 1803 + Commemorations + Guest Book + Remember + Links + Support the Site
Below is the Washington Post page on the Robert Emmet Stature in Washington D.C.  Originally located at http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/museums/original/emmet0313.htm the page is preserved as much as possible.

Museums & Galleries Click Here!
Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar


GWU

Coolfont
Rosenthal Honda
www.travelscape.com
 
Another Irish Hero

Friday, March 13, 1998

  What Am I?



    Jerome Connor's sculpture Jerome Connor's sculpture of Robert Emmet. (By Craig Cola/washingtonpost.com Staff)

For years, members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, a fraternal Irish-Catholic organization, would lead a St. Patrick's Day procession to a small triangular park on Massachusetts Avenue NW, where they would lay a wreath and shamrock at the base of the statue of Irish patriot Robert Emmet, who lived from 1778 to 1803. Now, however, folks are busy doing other things on March 17.

You probably pass by Emmet all the time and never realize it. Near the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and S Street, hidden beneath the long branches of a Yoshino cherry tree, Emmet stands on a granite pedestal and faces the Irish Embassy two blocks away. A member of the United Irishmen's Party that led uprisings against British occupation of the Emerald Isle, he still appears ready for battle, with one foot forward, a bold jaw and large, muscular hands.

Long before the conflict in Northern Ireland took on overwhelmingly religious tones, Catholic and Protestant Irish men and women fought for independence from Britain. According to James Goode's book, "The Outdoor Sculpture of Washington, D.C.," the Protestant Emmet's "last act was to lead an abortive Irish uprising on July 23, 1803, in Dublin, which was quickly crushed by British troops." Emmet was executed that same year and accounts differ as to whether he was hung or beheaded.

Aside from his valiance in battle, Emmet is best remembered for his famous "speech from the dock" at his trial. "I wished to procure from my country the guarantee which Washington procured for America," history has quoted him as saying . . .

Irish patriot Robert Emmet, 1778-1803. (By Craig Cola)
   

When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then let my epitaph be written."

The bronze sculpture has oxidized over the years to a fitting green. It was designed by American sculptor Jerome Connor, an Irish immigrant, who is said to have employed Irish actor Brandon Tynan as a model for Emmet's pose while modeling the head from Emmet's death mask. Other sources say he studied drawings of Emmet made at his 1803 trial. A gift to the Smithsonian in 1917, the statue later was transferred to the National Park Service, which maintains the tiny park where it has resided since 1966.

   
Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

Back to the top
Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar
 

GWU Click Here!

Remember + Speech + In Memoriam + Books + Commemorations + Please Support the Site

Another Internet Presence Provided by Kelly Webworks.
The Internet Is All We Dosm
Powered by Corridor Technologies.
For information or to report problem, contact our
Robert Emmet Web Site by
Kevin M. Kelly