Daniel Sickles, the Congressman Who Murdered His Wife’s Secret Lover

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Library of Congress

Imagine Teresa Sickles, the wife of U.S. congressman Daniel Sickles, gazing out her window overlooking Lafayette Square in D.C. day after day for a year, anxiously awaiting the shake of a handkerchief that would signal another meeting with her lover.

At a young age, Teresa had been saddled with a much older husband who was not only a philanderer but someone who used his high-profile position to mask his degenerate behavior.

When Philip Barton Key, the well-regarded district attorney, widower father, and son of the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” began showing a romantic interest, it must have been a sweet relief from her life as Mrs. Daniel Sickles.

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