One last post devoted to my favorite secretaries, John Hay and John Nicolay, and then I’ll move onto other topics!
The secretaries spent years compiling an official history of the Lincoln administration:
In addition, John Hay’s diaries provided more details of life in the Executive Mansion – he and Nicolay complained about Mary’s conspiracies and Tad’s bad behaviour, while discussing Lincoln’s ever-changing moods.
After the war, both became diplomats, and Hay would eventually rise to Lincoln moulded these men, and stayed with them in experience and memory their entire lives. Just a few weeks before he died in 1905, Hay wrote,
I dreamed last night that I was in Washington and that I went to the White House to report to the President who turned out to be Mr. Lincoln. He was very kind and considerate, and sympathetic about my illness. He said there was little work of importance on hand. He gave me two unimportant letters to answer. I was pleased that this slight order was within my power to obey. I was not in the least surprised at Lincoln’s presence in the White House. But the whole impression of the dream was one of overpowering melancholy.
I’ve added all of these to the Library.