Hay, John:see Tweeddale, John Hay, 2d earl and 1st marquess ofTweeddale, John Hay, 2d earl and 1st marquess of,
1626–97, Scottish statesman.
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Hay, John (Milton)(1838–1905) journalist, historian, poet, diplomat; born in Salem, Ind. After working in a law office next to Abraham Lincoln's in Springfield, Ill., he served President Lincoln in the White House as assistant private secretary from 1861–65 in a close relationship that has been described as resembling that of father and son. He then served at diplomatic posts in Paris (1865–76), Vienna (1867–68), and Madrid (1869–70). His widely-known ballads were collected in Pike County Ballads (1871), and from 1870–75 he was staff editorial writer at the New York Tribune. After serving as assistant secretary of state (1879–81), he completed with George Nicolay his monumental Abraham Lincoln: A History (1890), making him a sort of political poet laureate. In 1897 he was successful as ambassador to Britain. As secretary of state (1898–1905), Hay authored the Open Door policy, instituted regular press conferences, and paved the way for the building of the Panama Canal, making his office and American foreign policy of worldwide influence.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.