Teresa DaPonte <I>Bagioli</I> Sickles

Photo added by Robert B. Pool II

Teresa DaPonte Bagioli Sickles

  • Birth 1836
  • Death 5 Feb 1867
  • Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
  • Plot Section K, Lot 18923
  • Memorial ID 16926340

She was the wife of Daniel Sickles, lawyer, politician, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and later a Civil War general, and who was known to be a notorious womanizer. Teresa was 15 when they married, while Daniel was in his 30's. Her family (Bagioli) had some connection to Lorenzo Da Ponte, who was one of Mozart's librettists, and who spent the latter part of his life in New York City. Her future husband, Dan Sickles, was sent to live with the Da Ponte's for tutoring, and thus they met. (Lorenzo Da Ponte was buried also in this cemetery, but in an unmarked grave, a kind of homage to Mozart. There's a FindaGrave record for him at Calvary Cemetery in Queens, since supposedly all the graves were moved to that location, but whether his was moved remains a matter of debate.) While appointed to a diplomatic mission in England, Dan left his wife and child home in New York, and instead took a prostitute with him to England. Teresa was a well schooled and also a very attractive young lady, and could speak several languages, and proved to be popular in Washington society when she and her husband both arrived for him to assume his congressional duties. One of the people she met through her husband was Philip Barton Key, the District Attorney for the District of Columbia, and the son of Francis Scott Key, the composer of our national anthem. He was a widower, and became infatuated with Teresa, leading the two of them into an affair that later became notorious. Key rented a house for them to have clandestine meetings, and was widely noticed as absent from his professional duties but seen as conveniently appearing at various places in order to run into Teresa. Her husband was informed eventually, and forced Teresa to write out a confession. He then saw Key outside of their home, and confronted him and shot him to death at Lafayette Square. This resulted in what could be called the trial of the (19th) century, in 1859. Husband Dan Sickles had many friends, and he was acquitted of the charge of murder, being the first person in U.S. history to successfully use the insanity plea as his defense. Teresa was shunned thereafter by polite society, and moved back into her home called "Bloomingdale" at 91st St., on the Hudson River, in New York, and remained there for the remainder of her life. Despite statements that he foregave his wife, Daniel Sickles remained estranged from Teresa once the trial was over. She died of tuberculosis at the age of 31. Her remains were interred in the Catholic Cemetery on Second Ave. near Eleventh St., but author Thomas Keneally, writer of the book on Daniel Sickles, called "American Scoundrel" says that this cemetery was "long since built over." Further research has revealed that the graves in this cemetery were later moved to Calvary Cemetery in Queens. However, I now have information from FindAGrave member Ruth Edebohls, who tells me that she's buried in an unmarked grave in the Sickles plot at Green-Wood Cemetery, and have changed this record to reflect this new info. Daniel later had an affair with the deposed Queen of Spain, remarried, but fell out with daughter Laura Sickles, who became an alcoholic and who pre-deceased him. There were as well a number of other liaisons. He's buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


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  • Created by: Robert B. Pool II
  • Added: 6 Dec 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16926340
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Teresa DaPonte Bagioli Sickles (1836–5 Feb 1867), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16926340, citing Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA ; Maintained by Robert B. Pool II (contributor 46620960) .