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Who Is That Man, Anyway?
Subject: Robert Emmet
Sculptor: Jerome Connor
Location: Dupont Circle
( Massachusetts Ave. & 24th )
Emmet (1778-1803) was an Irish patriot and revolutionary, seeking a free Irish State. A great admirer of the revolution that lead to the creation of the United States, he travelled to France to seek that country's support in creating an Ireland free of British domination, but was unsuccessful.
In July 1803, he led an uprising in Dublin that was quickly suppressed by the British Army. A British special court condemned him to death by hanging. Depicted in his statue as he appeared while addressing the court, Emmet unrepentently stated that he "wished to procure for [his] country the same guarantee which Washington obtained for America..." This excerpt and others appear on the rear of his memorial.
The statue was funded by Irish-Americans to commemorate the independence of Ireland. It was originally presented to the Smithsonian and displayed in the rotunda of the Natural History Museum. It was later put in storage.
On April 22, 1966, the statue was rededicated as part of a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Irish independence. Its new location is just over two blocks away from the Irish Embassy at Sheridan Circle. (It is on indefinite loan from the Smithsonian.)
Photos and text copyright © 2001 Jean K. Rosales and Michael R. Jobe, All Rights Reserved
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