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Thomas Addis Emmet (1764-1827) and his wife Jane (Patten) Emmet (1771-1846), both born in Ireland, sailed for America from Bordeaux, France on October 4, 1804. Emmet, the elder brother of the Irish patriot and martyr Robert Emmet, had been jailed by the British in 1798 and permanently exiled from Ireland.

After spending some years in British jails and some years on the Continent trying to encourage Napoleon to help the cause of Irish independence, the couple arrived in New York in November with four of their children: Robert, Margaret, Elizabeth and Jane Erin. Three other children had been left in Ireland with Emmet’s parents: John Patten, Thomas Addis Jr. and Christopher; they came to America to join the family in March of 1805. One child, Catharine, born in Paris in January,1804 , died there as an infant. Two more children were born in New York.

Having had a successful career in Dublin before the Uprising of 1798, Thomas Addis Emmet lived fewer than 25 years in New York City, yet became well known as a lawyer, as the NY State Attorney General, as an involved citizen and businessman, as well as a strong voice for Irish freedom.