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Congress Itself Should Prosecute Those It Charges With Contempt

The committee called Mary Lincoln’s friend Henry Wikoff, known as the Chevalier, whom historians agree was the leaker. Dissatisfied with the Chevalier’s refusal to disclose his source, the committee asked the full House to find him in contempt, which it promptly did.(1) The sergeant-at-arms was ordered to hold him “in close custody until he shall purge himself of said contempt.” Wikoff was locked up in what historians tell us was a storeroom in the Capitol basement, although the editors of the Herald, which employed Wikoff, reported that he was held in “a dungeon” where he “slept on a iron rack.”(2) 

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