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NYC - East Village: St Marks Churchyard - David S. Jones Vault, Thomas Addis Emmit | by wallyg
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NYC - East Village: St Marks Churchyard - David S. Jones Vault, Thomas Addis Emmit

Thomas Addison Emmet (April 24, 1764-November 14, 1827), Irish lawyer and politician, was senior member of the revolutionary republican group, the United Irishmen in the 1790s. The second son of Robert Emmet, physician to the lord lieutenant of Ireland, and elder brother of martyred nationalist Robert Emmet, he was a man of liberal political sympathies and became involved with campaign to extend the democratic franschise for the Irish Parliament and to end discrimination against Catholics. He was called to the Irish bar in 1790 and quickly obtained a practice, principally as counsel for prisoners charged with political offenses. He also become the legal adviser of the Society of the United Irishmen.

 

When the Dublin corporation issued a declaration of support of the Protestant ascendancy in 1792, the response of the United Irishmen was their non-sectarian manifesto which was largely drawn up by Emmet. In 1795 he formally took the oath of the United Irishmen, becoming secretary in the same year and a member of the executive in 1797. As by this time the United Irishmen had been declared illegal and driven underground any efforts at peaceful reform of government and Catholic emancipation in Ireland were abandoned as futile and their goal was now the creation of a non-sectarian Irish republic, independent from Britain and to be achieved by armed rebellion. Although Emmet supported this policy, he believed that the rebellion should not commence until French aid had arrived, differing from more radical members such as Lord Edward Fitzgerald.

 

British intelligence had infiltrated the United Irishmen and managed to arrest most of their leaders on the eve of the rebellion. Though not among those taken at the house of Oliver Bond on the 12th of March 1798 (see Lord Edward Fitzgerald), he was arrested about the same time, and was one of the leaders imprisoned in Scotland at Fort George until 1802. Upon his release he went to Brussels where he was visited by his brother Robert Emmet in October 1802 and was informed of the preparations for a fresh rising in Ireland in conjunction with French aid.

 

He received news of the failure of Robert Emmet's rising in July 1803 in Paris, where he was in communication with Napoleon Bonaparte. He then emigrated to the United States and joined the New York bar where he obtained a lucrative practice becoming Attorney General of New York in 1812-1813. His abilities and success being such that Judge Story declared him to be by universal consent in the first rank of American advocates. He argued the case for Ogden in the landmark Supreme Court case of Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824) relating to the interstate commerce and supremacy clauses of the US Constitution. He died while conducting a case in court.

 

The churchyard at St. Marks-in-the-Bowery Church houses many burial vaults. The West Yard is known as the Healing Garden, providing an oasis from city life. Among the famous buried here are Daniel Tompkins, who abolished slavery in New York; Commodore Matthew Perry, who forced Japan to accept U.S. trade; New York Mayor Philip Hone; and Peter Stuyvesant. Department store pioneer A.T. Stewart, whose store filled the block between 9th and 10th streets east of Broadway, was buried here in 1876, but on November 6, 1878, his body was snatched and held for $200,000 ransom. The widow eventually regained possession of the corpse in 1881, after bargaining the kidnappers down to $20,000. He now rests elsewhere.

 

Saint Mark's-in-the-Bowery Church was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1966.

 

National Register #72000885 (1972)

 

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Taken on May 13, 2007