Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

John Milton Hay


[Carte de Visite Photograph, J. Gurney-Photography]


John Hay was born in Salem, Indiana in 1938. He studied at Brown Univerity and began the practice of law in the law office of Milton Hay, Springfield, Illinois in 1861. During the Civil War he fought with the Union, held the rank of colonel, and served as private secretary to Abraham Lincoln. After the war, Hay assumed various diplomatic posts in Paris, Vienna, and Madrid, and was appointed ambassador to Great Britain. He was U.S. Secretary of State from 1898 to 1905 in the administrations of Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt.

The following John Hay chronology is a verbatim rendition of a Biographical Note, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.:

1838 , Oct. 8 Born, Salem, Ind.
1858 Graduated, Brown University, Providence, R.I.
1859 Entered law office of Milton Hay, Springfield, Ill.
1861 - 1864 Assistant private secretary to Abraham Lincoln
1864 - 1865 Assistant adjutant general in the United States army
1865 - 1867 Secretary of American legation, Paris, France
1867 - 1868 Charge d'affaires, Vienna, Austria
1869 - 1870 Secretary of American legation, Madrid, Spain
1870 - 1875 Editorial writer, New York Tribune
1874 Married Clara Louise Stone (died 1914)
1879 - 1881 Assistant secretary of state
1881 Editor, New York Tribune
1897 - 1898 Ambassador to Great Britain
1898 - 1905 Secretary of state
1905 , July 1 Died, Lake Sunapee, N.H.


[image #1] [image #2]
Early American Collection
University of Virginia


[Jim Bludso of the Prairie Belle] [Jim Bludso of the Prairie Belle] [The Mystery of Gilgal] [Hymn of the Knights Templars] [Liberty] [The Surrender of Spain] [Christine] [Pike County Ballads] [Little Breeches] [Little Breeches] [The Stirrup-Cup] [Good Luck and Bad Luck] [Mystery of Gilgal]


John Hay, Pike County Ballads and Other Pieces (Boston: Osgood and Company, 1871)(Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, Riverside Press, 1881) [online text]

______, Poems (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1890)(1891)(1896)(1997)(1899)(1913) [online text (London, Publisher: J. Lane, Bodley Head)] [online text]

_______, The Complete Poetical Works (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1916)(Houghton Mifflin, Household ed., 1917)(New York: AMS Press, 1970) [Houghton Mifflin, 1917 ed., online text]

_______, Jim Bludso of the Prairie Belle (Austin, Indiana: Muscatatuck Press, 1963)


John Hay, Castillian Days (Boston: J.R. Osgood and Company, 1871)

(J.R. Osgood and Company, 1872)(Boston: Hougton, Mifflin, 1884)(Hougton, Mifflin, rev. ed., 1896)(London: John Lane, 1897)(Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1899)(Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1903)(London: W. Heinemann, 1903)(Boston: Houghton, Mifflin; Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1904)(Houghton, Mifflin, rev. ed. 1913)

Correspondence & Journals

Michael Burlingame & John R.Turner Ettlinger (eds.) Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civl War Diary of John Hay (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1997)

George Monteiro & Brenda Murphy (eds.), John Hay-Howellls Letters: The Correspondence of John Milton Hay and William Dean Howells 1861-1905 (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1980)

A College Friendship: A Series of Letters from John Hay to Hannah Angell (Boston: priv. print., D.B. Updike, Merrymount Press, 1938)

William Roscoe Thayer, The Life and Letters of John Hay (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1915)(2 vols.)

Caroline Ticknor, A Poet in Exile: Early Letters of John Hay (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1910)

Clara Stone Hay and Henry Adams (eds.), Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary (Washington, D.C.: priv. print., 1908)(New York: Gordian Press, 1969)


John Hay, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and Letters of John Hay (New York: Da Capo Press, 1988)(Westport, Connecticut: Negro Universities Press, 1972)(1939)

_______, Addresses of John Hay (New York: Century Co., 1906)(Century Co., 1907)

_______, Lincoln at the Helm, as described at the Time by John Hay's Letter (New York: Century Co., 1909)

_______, Memorial Address on the Life and Character of William McKinley (Washington, D.C.: Govt. Printing Office, 1903)

_______, Little Breeches, and other Pieces Humorous, Descriptive, and Pathetic (London: J.C. Hotten, 1871)

_______, Jim Bludso of the Prairie Belle and Little Breeches (Boston: Osgood and Company, 1871)(Austin, Indiana: Muscatatuck Press, 1963)

_______, Life in the White House in the Time of Lincoln (New York: Century Co., 1890)

_______, Abraham Lincoln: A History (New York: Century, 1890)(10 vols.)(with John G. Nicolay)

_______, The Bread-Winners: A Social Study (New York: Harper & Row, 1893)(New Haven, Connecticut: College & Univesity Press, 1973)(Charles Vandersee ed.)

_______, Abraham Lincoln, Complete Works: Comprising His Speches, State Papers, and Miscellaneous Writings (New York: Century Company, 1894)(co-edited with John G. Nicolay)(2 vols.)


Michael Burlingam (ed.), At Lincoln's Side: John Hay's Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings (Carbondale: Southern Illinois Univesity Press, 2000)

Michael Burlingam (ed.), Lincoln's Journalist: John Hay's Anonymous Writings for the Press, 1860-1864 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois Press, 1998)

Tyler Dennett, John Hay: From Poetry to Politics (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1934)

Kenton J. Clymer, John Hay: The Gentleman as Diplomat (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1975)

Robert L. Gale, John Hay (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1978)

Howard I. Kushner & Anne Hummel Sherrill, John Milton Hay: The Union of Poetry and Politics (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1977)

George Monteiro, Henry James and John Hay: The Record of a Friendship (Providence, Rhode Island: Brown University Press, 1965)

______________ (ed.), The Blood Seeling and Other Tales: The Uncollected Fiction of John Hay (Providence, Rhode Island: Cut Flower Press, 1972)

Lorenzo Sears, John Hay: Author and Statesman (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1914)

Warren Zimmermann, First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002)

Bibliography: Biographical Sketches

Philip B. Eppard, "John Hay," in Eric L. Haralson (ed.), Encyclopedia of American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century (Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998)

Chandler B. Beach, The New Student's Reference Work for Teachers Students and Families (Chicago: F. E. Compton and Company, 1909)

[Used with permission of the Florida Center for Instructional Technology]


Charleston Gazette
June 20, 1936, p. 11

Research Resources

John Hay Papers
Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
Washington, D.C.