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This is about John Hay and John Nicolay. Joshua Zeitz, the author, did a good talk here in North Carolina yesterday. Looking forward to reading this one.
There is a review of Joshua Zeitz's book here.
I thumbed through this at Books-A-Million yesterday! Looks like a great read. I think I will put it on my short list.

This is an off-the-wall question, but has any historian studied the relationship of Hay and Nicolay to Robert Lincoln? I have heard that the three were friends, but for some reason, I have wondered whether Abraham Lincoln's close relationship with Hay and Nicolay ever had any effect on Robert (i.e. jealousy). I might toss Elmer Ellsworth into the mix also. There was some age difference, I believe, but not enough to preclude Robert being envious of the time and respect that his father had for these three men.
I forget where I got it, but allegedly Robert and John Hay ran to the whorehouses in DC together and both studied Spanish with Lucy Hale. This implies some friendship--at least to me.

Don't forget the story I told you, Laurie, which may or may not be apocryphal, about Robert refusing to allow Bull Moose Republican and erstwhile Lincoln biographer Albert Beveridge access to Abe's papers, while granting Hay and Nicolay full access. After a screaming match, Beveridge stormed out of Robert's Pullman Co. office, slammed the door and nearly broke the glass, forgetting his hat in the process, leaving it behind. Robert came out, had his secretary contact a life insurance company to find out how long Beveridge would live and had the Lincoln papers held until they were released after World War II in the Roy Basler edition, years after Robert and Beveridge had died.

Just for fun, I went over to the university library the other day and checked the footnotes in the 2 volumes Beveridge wrote (from Lincoln's birth to the election of 1860) and while he had extensive research, he never got any of Lincoln's papers unless the letters were held by someone other than Robert, near as I could tell.

Nicolay and Hay's 10 volumes are dedicated to Robert, BTW. Beveridge never mentioned him so kindly.
Thanks, Bill. I had forgotten your reference to Beveridge's work and RTL. I guess I can set aside my thoughts on rivalry with The Boys.
This is part of a C-Span program about the book. The book sounds interesting. It seems they both wrote diaries, which might make for interesting reading, if published.
oops! Hays wartime diary has been published
I find Hay's accounts and style enjoyable to read, very illustrative. He seems quite respectless regarding how he words his entries (and probably is in most cases), but concerning his superior, if you look at the message beyond, it's right the opposite.

As for "edited by Burlingame", I also recommend:

Also I recently discovered that his second "Abraham Lincoln - A Life" is online now, too:
Thanks, Eva. I also enjoy reading John Hay's diary. Here is an entry where he mentions seeing John Wilkes Booth. The date is November 11, 1863, which is two days after Lincoln himself had seen Booth:

"Went to the Capitol this afternoon and looked at some pictures.

In the evening went to the theatre with Ulrich Dahlgren, Stahel, Kent & Kirkland to see Wilkes Booth in Romeo. Wheatley took all the honors away as Mercutio. Went to Harvey's and afterwards to Willard's and drank a good deal. Dahlgren was very funny by the one-legged enterprise he displayed at making a night of it.

Finished the evening by a serenade of Miss Chase by the band of the 17th Infantry."

(Kate Chase's wedding was the next evening.)

Gene made reference to John Nicolay also having kept a diary. This was new to me. I have never seen a published version.
Well, I must confess I am a bit confused. I thought for sure that Mr. Zeitz mentioned in the C-Span program Hay & Nicolay both wrote diaries, but according to Michael Burlingame, editor of this book on Nicolay's writing, Nicolay did not have a diary. I may have misunderstood him. Then again, maybe what Mr Burlingame considers memorandum and journal entries, Mr. Zeitz considers a diary.

Has anyone read either of these men's diaries, journals or whatever? Mr Burlingame has written/edited a few on Hay. Any recommendations?
Gene, I agree with you. I thought I heard Mr. Zeitz use the word "diarists" in describing both Hay and Nicolay. I took this to mean he was saying both men kept diaries. As you say, the confusion could be simply a matter of semantics.
This is definitely a book I want to read - thanks for the information about it. Looks fascinating -
I am reading Lincoln's Men at the present and have to say it is a very good insight of the lives of both Nicolay and Hay. Daniel Epstein shows tells how each man had a special job and place in Lincoln's mind and heart. Reading this book Estein tells how these young men came from Springfield completely unaware of how Washington and its politics worked. They knew no one in Washington and yet dug in and from what I have read so far did a very good job. From the start Nicolay without any knowledge of Washington etiquette planned and executed the Presidents inauguration. Hay like Lincoln had a deep love and affection for Shakespeare. Many nights on there ride out to the soldiers home they would discuss literature, philology and Shakespeare.There is also another young man who is befriended by Lincoln named Stoddard. He also plays a large part in the day to day events in Lincoln's Washington. I am almost done reading this book and have enjoyed it very much. Best Gary
I just finished the Jason Emerson biography of Robert Lincoln. It seems clear that Robert was quite friendly with Hay and Nicolay. The climax of their relationship was Robert Lincoln's commissioning of them to write the official Lincoln biography which most people believe suffered from the authors' acceptance of Robert's fierce editorial filial devotion.

The story that Abraham Lincoln had a father/son relationship with Ellsworth,Hay and Nicolay that was stronger than his relationship with Robert should be treated with extreme caution. Unlike the others Robert was away from Washington most of the time. The Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed Abraham Lincoln's letters to Robert at Harvard along with the original Emancipation Proclamation. Abraham also confided to Robert his profound disappointment in Meade's failure to aggressively pursue Lee after Gettysburg.
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