He moved to America along with his family at age 5, and worked in an area Illinois paper growing up. Nicolay went to serve as secretary to President Abraham Lincoln. His family first moved to Indiana, then to Ohio, and eventually settled in Pike County, Illinois. Nicolay’s dad and brothers worked together, using a flour mill, until his dad died in 1846.
After his dad’s passing, neighbors started to see that Nicolay’s mom had not been properly caring for her young son. Because of this, Zachariah N. Garbutt, the editor of the Pike County Free Press, and his wife, assumed Nicolay. Growing up, Nicolay attended an school in Pittsfield, where he met John Hay. He’d later go to work with Hay as a personal secretary for President Abraham Lincoln.
After finishing school, Nicolay worked for Garbutt’s newspaper, the Pike County Free Press, as a printer’s apprentice. He spent eight years in the newspaper, climbing rapidly through the ranks to finally become proprietor, publisher and editor. The Free Press became a form of political headquarters, acquainting Nicolay together with the area’s leading public and political figures, including Abraham Lincoln. A couple of years after making the paper, Nicolay started working as a clerk for the secretary of state in Springfield, Illinois. The future president chose interest in youthful Nicolay, and was impressed with his skills and professional actions. Because of this, when Lincoln was nominated for president, he picked Nicolay as his secretary.
In his job as Lincoln’s secretary, Nicolay was responsible for the president’s most close and private matters through the Civil War. The two became quite close, and Lincoln considered him one of his most trusted aides. Because of his specially close part, Nicolay was totally entwined with all the president’s executive business and private life.
John G. Nicolay and his co-worker, John Hay, composed Abraham Lincoln: A History, a 10-volume biography of Lincoln that was printed in 1890. The biography proved to be a long and time consuming job for both guys; so that you can gather the correct material for the publication, Nicolay and Hay spent several months reviewing the president’s and his cabinet members’ private documents, conducted interviews, and analyzed a huge number of printed content associated with the president. Even though the pair spent years accumulating many wide-ranging interviews, they did not use much of that content in the closing publication because they were suspicious of the truth of human recollection. It took Nicolay and Hay almost 30 years to perform the Lincoln bit. Four years subsequent to the publication of Lincoln’s biography, Nicolay printed a different number of Lincoln’s writings. Nicolay expired on September 26, 1901, in Washington, D.C. He was entombed in the country’s capital, in the Oak Hill Cemetery.