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The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.
Nicolay, John George
1832–1901, biographer of Lincoln, b. Bavaria. In 1837
he was brought to the United States, and his family settled
in Pike county, Ill. He worked on the Pittsfield, Ill., Free
Press and was its editor and owner from 1854 to 1856. In
1860 he and his close friend, John Hay, became private
secretaries to Abraham Lincoln and continued as such during
his presidency. In 1890 Nicolay and Hay brought out their
Abraham Lincoln: a History (10 vol.), which had been
planned since 1861. It is the authorized biography, and
though biased by hero worship and a sometimes excessive
respect for conventions, it is a basic historical work for
study of the period. Hay and Nicolay also edited Lincoln’s
See biography by his daughter, Helen Nicolay (1949).
Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright © 2004
Columbia University Press.
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