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D.C. Mondays: Star Spangled Scandal: Sex, Murder, and the Trial that Changed America

Illustration of one man shooting another man
Illustration in Harper’s Weekly, New York, 1857. Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection.


It is two years before the Civil War, and Congressman Daniel Sickles and his lovely wife Teresa are popular fixtures in Washington, D.C., society. Because Congressman Sickles is frequently out of town, he trusts his friend, U.S. Attorney Philip Barton Key — son of Francis Scott Key — to escort the beautiful Mrs. Sickles to parties in his absence. An anonymous note sets into motion a tragic course of events that culminates in a shocking murder in broad daylight in Lafayette Square. 

Author Chris DeRose shares the riveting true story of the murder and trial that sparked a national debate on madness, male honor, female virtue, fidelity and the rule of law.  

About Chris DeRose

Chris DeRose is the New York Times bestselling author of The Fighting Bunch, Star Spangled Scandal, The Presidents' War, Congressman Lincoln and Founding Rivals. DeRose was formerly senior litigation counsel to the Arizona Attorney General, a professor of constitutional law and clerk of the Superior Court for Maricopa County, leading a team of over 700 professionals in serving America's fourth largest county. He serves on the board of directors for the Abraham Lincoln Association and on the board of scholarly advisors for President Lincoln's Cottage in D.C. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America.  

How to Participate

To participate, register online, and we will email you a link and instructions for joining the program on Zoom. Simply follow that link at the time the event starts (12 p.m. EST). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included.  

About the D.C. Mondays Series

Join local authors, researchers and community members online for lively discussions about Washington, D.C.’s history, politics, culture and more. Browse upcoming programs