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Biography of John Hay


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Hay, John. An American statesman and writer. Born in Salem, IN, 1838. He was graduated from Brown University. Settled in Illinois as a lawyer, but went to Washington in 1861 as one of Lincoln's private secretaries, acting also as his aide-de-camp. He served under generals Hunter and Gillmore, with the rank of major and assistant adjutant-general. He was subsequently in the United States diplomatic service, stationed at Paris, Vienna, and Madrid. In 1897 he was made ambassador to England and, in 1898, secretary of state. His literary reputation rests upon "Pike County Ballads," "Castilian Days," (a volume of travel), and "Life of Abraham Lincoln" (with J. G. Nicolay). As secretary of state, Mr. Hay gained a standing equal to that of the most eminent men who have held that high office. In coolness, foresight, and statesmanlike appreciation of current and coming events he had no superior among contemporary diplomats. John Hay died in 1905.