John Nicolay, Abraham Lincoln, John Hay

20 Years in the Making:  Two longtime secretaries of Abraham Lincoln spent 20 years with exclusive access to the slain president’s personal papers. The research conducted by John Hay and John Nicolay resulted in them writing a 10 volume history of Lincoln that was published in 1890, and that had a significant impact on helping to shape public opinion of the 16th President. It is considered a comprehensive and definitive work on Lincoln’s life.  Even during Lincoln’s lifetime, Hay and Nicolay had received the president’s permission to write his biography, a task that became important as they began to see distorted images of Lincoln published by others.