Hay, John (Milton) biographical name
(born Oct. 8, 1838, Salem, Ind., U.S.died July 1, 1905, Newbury, N.H.) U.S. diplomat and writer. He studied law in Springfield, Ill., where he met Abraham Lincoln. He served as President Lincoln's private secretary (1861–65) and then held diplomatic posts in Europe (1865–70). After writing editorials for the New York Tribune (1870–75), he served as assistant secretary of state (1879–81). He coauthored a 10-volume biography of Lincoln (1890). He was appointed ambassador to Britain (1897–98) by Pres. William McKinley. As secretary of state (1898–1905), Hay helped negotiate the end of the Spanish-American War, supported the decision to retain the Philippines for the U.S., promulgated the Open Door policy, and negotiated treaties that gave the U.S. an exclusive right to build the Panama Canal.
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