At Lincoln's Side: John Hay's Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings

By Andreasen, Bryon C. | Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Winter 2001 | Go to article overview

At Lincoln's Side: John Hay's Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings


Andreasen, Bryon C., Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society


At Lincoln's Side: John Hay's Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings. Michael Burlingame, ed., (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000. Pp. xxvii, 294. Introduction, two Appendices, Notes, Index. Cloth, $39.95.)

While working on a multi-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln, Michael Burlingame has created a sideline industry of sorts by publishing new editions of important Lincoln source materials, including three volumes of writings by Lincoln's assistant secretary, John Hay. At Lincoln's Side completes Burlingame's "Hay trilogy" published by Southern Illinois University Press. First in the series was a new edition of Hay's Civil War diary, Inside Lincoln's White House (1997). Second was a compilation of articles that Burlingame contends Hay wrote anonymously for the wartime press, Lincoln's journalist (1998). This third volume presents Hay's wartime letters and post-war reminiscences.

Hay regrettably destroyed much of his correspondence, including letters he wrote to his family. All that have been found 231 letters and telegrams (the introduction gives the number as 227) are included. They are a mix of personal and official papers, ranging from a mundane two word telegram to an illuminating eight-page memorandum documenting Lincoln's impressive handling of a quarrelsome border state delegation. Many oft-quoted gems familiar to the readers of Lincolniana literature are found in these letters. Not only do they provide a scintillating glimpse into the inner workings of the Civil War White House and the Lincoln administration, they also reflect the tone and tenor of wartime Washington society. Of special interest to students of Civil War Illinois are the letters written from Hancock County on the eve of the 1864 National Democratic Convention in Chicago, revealing the anxious and agitated state of affairs on the Illinois homefront. Written by Hay between the ages of 22 and 27 years, the letters do indeed, as Mark Neely has observed, reflect the "ironic humor of youth." Don Fehrenbacher once characterized Hay's writings as "more sophisticated than profound." Nevertheless, the best of these letters lend some credence to Theodore Roosevelt's opinion that Hay was "the best letter writer of his age."

Hay's four post-war reminiscences (written between 1866 and 1890) are minor classics of their own. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

At Lincoln's Side: John Hay's Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.