Edward (45) Fitzgerald Emmet


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, Genealogical ID:
Thursday, March 10, 1842
New York, NY
Monday, May 14, 1917
535 Park Avenue, New York, NY

Edward (45) Fitzgerald Emmet, Laura (Coster) and William Colville Emmet's fourth son, was born in New York City on March 10, 1842.  He was still living at home in New York at the age of 38 with his parents, as shown in the 1880 Federal Census.  The family had a house on West 49th Street, and four of the brothers were living there as well, plus four maids, all born in Ireland.  Edward's occupation is given as a "coal agent."

The first three boys are named after their father or grandfathers, but Edward received the name of a famous Irish revolutionary,  Edward Fitzgerald (1763-1798), who was born near Dublin, the son of titled British aristocrats.  He served in the British Army in South Carolina as a teenager, and was wounded in 1781.  His life was saved by an escaped slave named Tony Small, and when Fitzgerald was evacuated from Charleston in 1782 with the remains of the British Army, he freed Small  and employed him for the rest of his life.  After a few years back in Dublin, Lord Fitzgerald rejoined the British Army and was sent to New Brunswick in Canada.  The two of them, with a fellow British officer, explored parts of Canada in 1789, finding a new route to Quebec from Fredericton before going down the Mississippi River to New Orleans.  A subsequent visit to Paris in 1792 solidified Fitzgerald's support for the goals of the French Revolution and on returning to Dublin, he became involved with the Irish fight for independence. He was one of the negotiators in Hamburg in 1796 trying to obtain French support for an Irish uprising, the details of which were transmitted to the British by an informer. On his return to Dublin, he joined the United Irishmen and within a year, another informer, Leonard McNally, told the English that Lord Fitzgerald was an active conspirator.  The sweep of UI members in March of 1798 led to TAE's capture, but Firzgerald escaped. He rejected Government offers to leave the country and hid in a  house on Thomas Street, hearing from others about the violent campaign by British soldiers to destroy supporters of the United Irishmen across the country.  Another informer, Francis Magan, revealed Fitzgerald's hiding place and Major Henry Sirr went to the house with others to capture him. He stabbed two of the soldiers, but Major Sirr shot him in the shoulder and took him off to the Newgate prison, where his wound was not treated; he died a few weeks later as the Uprising went on outside.

The fiery reputation of Edward Fitzgerald did not seem to rub off on William Colville Emmet's son.  There is little of note to be found on the record about his life.  In 1900 he was a boarder, along with eleven other men and in 1910, working in real estate, renting an apartment on west 30th street.  He took two trips to Europe in 1904 and 1907, and died in another apartment of "cardiac failure and chronic intestinal nephritis" at the age of 75. His funeral was held at the Calvary Church on 21st St. and 4th Avenue, and he is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, in the Bronx.