Hay, John, the late Secretary of State under Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt, was a poet as well as a diplomat and statesman. He was born at Salem, Ind., October 8, 1838; graduated in 1858 at Brown University; entered the legal profession in Illinois, and became private secretary to President Lincoln, which position he resigned to enter the Union army in the Civil War. In the diplomatic service he represented the United States successively at Paris, Madrid, and Vienna; and in 1897-98 he was Ambassador to the Court of St. James. He was First Assistant Secretary of State in 1879-81, and in 1898 he was called home from England to fill the most responsible office in the government, excepting only that of the chief executive, being Secretary of State from 1898 until his death, July 1, 1905. In addition to a voluminous life of Abraham Lincoln in ten volumes (in connection with J. G. Nicolay), 1887, he published Castilian Days, 1871; Pike County Ballads, 1871; and Poems, 1890. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Three of his poems are used as hymns in modern Church hymnals. His hymn on |Sinai and Calvary| is possessed of more than ordinary merit, and shows that a great statesman may rightly estimate the moral value and lessons of both the law and the gospel.
Defend us, Lord, from every ill 403