Daniel Edgar Sickles (American National Biography)

Scholarship
Richard A. Sauers, "Sickles, Daniel Edgar," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/05/05-00714.html.
In 1847 Sickles won election to the New York State Assembly. Six years later, in January 1853 he was appointed corporation counsel of New York City, but he resigned after eight months to become secretary of the American legation in London. While serving under Ambassador James Buchanan, Sickles had a hand in drawing up the notorious Ostend Manifesto, the document that claimed America's right to seize Cuba, thereby embarrassing the Franklin Pierce administration. While attending a U.S. Independence Day dinner in Richmond on the Thames in 1854, in a spate of nationalistic fervor, Sickles refused to rise from his seat when a toast was offered to Queen Victoria; this affront to British dignity caused an outcry on both sides of the Atlantic.

Sickles returned to New York later in 1854 and resumed his law practice. After winning a seat in the New York Senate (1855-1857), the rising Democrat won election to the U.S. House of Representatives (1857-1861). It was during his stay in Washington, D.C., that Sickles first attracted widespread national fame. Although he had married sixteen-year-old Teresa Bagioli in 1852 and fathered a child, Sickles was widely known for his infidelity and womanizing. Teresa started an extramarital affair of her own with Philip Barton Key, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and son of "Star-Spangled Banner" author Francis Scott Key. Once Sickles was informed of his wife's affair, he took matters into his own hands. On 27 February 1859, as Key loitered near Sickles's house on Lafayette Square, Sickles confronted Key and shot him dead.
How to Cite This Page: "Daniel Edgar Sickles (American National Biography)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/22231.