A statue of the Irish hero Robert Emmet stands in Triangle Park at Massachusetts Ave, 24nd Street, and S Streets, NW. Jerome Connor, a DC Irishman who cast the statue at the Washington navy yard, sculpted it, it was the first statue to be cast in the District of Columbia.
After its unveiling the bronze statue, standing 7-feet tall, was placed in the rotunda of the Museum of Natural History until 1964 when it was taken down and placed in storage. In 1966, the statue was taken out of storage and placed in Triangle Park.
Robert Emmet, at the age of 25, led rebellion against British rule in 1803 and was captured, tried and executed. The English, being the English, then beheaded him. Since various members of his family were arrested simply for being related to the young man, no one claimed his body.
His last words were “I have but a few more words to say — I am going to my cold and silent grave — my lamp of life is nearly extinguished — I have parted with everything that is dear to me in this life, for my country’s cause; with the idol of my soul, the object of my affections. My race is run, the grave opens to receive me, and I sink into its bosom. I have but one request to make, at my departure from this world– it is the charity of its silence. Let no man write my epitaph: for as no man, who knows my motives, dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice nor ignorance asperse them. Let them rest in obscurity and peace. Let my memory be left in oblivion, and my tomb remain uninscribed until other times and other men can do justice to my character; when my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not until then, let my epitaph be written. I am done.”
Robert Emmet's older brother, Thomas, immigrated to the United States after Robert's execution and would eventually serve as the New York States Attorney General.