By Daniel Mark Epstein
“An intimate portrait of
Lincoln’s males by Daniel Mark Epstein deals a desirable close-up view of the Abraham Lincoln White residence during the eyes of
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Extra info for Lincoln's Men: The President and His Private Secretaries
Letting fortress Sumter undergo the insurgent siege might quantity to a validation of secession, the dissolution of the Union. “All the worries and anxieties of my life,” Lincoln informed Browning and Nicolay, “have now not equaled these which intervened among this time and the autumn of Sumter. ” the wonderful AND pleasant inauguration, the fanfare, parades, and speeches, the beauty of the inaugural ball, have been triumphs for which Nicolay might declare a few credits. certainly one of his first tasks because the president’s deepest secretary was once to behave on kingdom events as leader of protocol. Protocol is the stern observance of etiquette, and exceptionally priority in kingdom functions—who needs to move first, moment, and 3rd via a doorway or in a procession, or in being awarded to a duke or chargé d’affaires. who's to be seated within which chair, and subsequent to whom, at a nation dinner for 40? it truly is approximately unimaginable twenty-nine-year-old German-American, an ex-printer’s satan who had visible not more rite than should be discovered in western parlors and the country Springfield statehouse, could locate himself saddled with this type of burden. many folks didn't approve. One Republican chief idea it absurd: “It wishes a guy of refinement and tradition and carefully at domestic in superb society. He arranges the President’s dinners and events . . . very much will depend on that appointment no matter if our republican [administration] will make itself ridiculous or no longer. the assumption of Nicolay being healthy for the sort of position . . . ” males like Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner, chairman of the Committee on overseas family members, and Charles Francis Adams, minister to England, have been deeply involved, realizing the significance of appearances in powerful international relations. What those males didn't comprehend is that Lincoln—having to settle on just one deepest secretary—instinctively selected a guy whose virtues have been entire loyalty, honesty, and nearly uncanny versatility, features that John Hay additionally shared. we'll by no means comprehend precisely how Nicolay mastered protocol in six days—the time it took the Lord to make heaven and earth—but with Hay’s aid, dog-eared manuals, and some mossy nation division veterans, Nicolay made a pass of it. He doesn't clarify this in his letters or journals. Like such a lot of impressive projects that Nicolay and Hay entire, the association of nation events used to be performed since it needed to be; and no-one may possibly convince those cocky younger fellows that there has been whatever they can now not do. it will come to appear extra mind-blowing, as we watch their paintings load elevate, and because the president is predicated a growing number of upon them for atypical and exacting tasks. without doubt their self assurance was once swelled through their speedy prestige as confidants to the president-elect. They have been courted, flattered, and wanted. now not used to be Hay a trifling volunteer. 4 days after the inauguration, Lincoln had him appointed a clerk within the division of the internal, whence he was once specific to the White apartment as Nicolay’s assistant at a wage of $1,600 a 12 months. outdated neighbors discovered Hay within the bar of Willard’s lodge, the most watering gap for Republican politicians, generals, and lobbyists, simply round the nook from the White residence.