Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie

By Andrew Carnegie | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVIII
HAY AND McKINLEY

JOHN HAY was our frequent guest in England and Scotland, and was on the eve of coming to us at Skibo in 1898 when called home by President McKinley to become Secretary of State. Few have made such a record in that office. He inspired men with absolute confidence in his sincerity, and his aspirations were always high. War he detested, and meant what he said when he pronounced it "the most ferocious and yet the most futile folly of man."

The Philippines annexation was a burning question when I met him and Henry White ( Secretary of Legation and later Ambassador to France) in London, on my way to New York. It gratified me to find our views were similar upon that proposed serious departure from our traditional policy of avoiding distant and disconnected possessions and keeping our empire within the continent, especially keeping it out of the vortex of militarism. Hay, White, and I clasped hands together in Hay's office in London, and agreed upon this. Before that he had written me the following note:

London, August 22, 1898

MY DEAR CARNEGIE:

I thank you for the Skibo grouse and also for your kind letter. It is a solemn and absorbing thing to hear so many kind and unmerited words as I have heard and read this last week. It seems to me another man they are talking about, while I am expected to do the work. I wish a little of the kindness could be saved till I leave office finally.

I have read with the keenest interest your article in the

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