John Hay
John Milton Hay was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 statesman, diplomat, author, journalist, and private secretary
Secretary to the President of the United States
The Secretary to the President was an old 19th and early 20th century White House position that carried out all the tasks now spread throughout the modern White House Office...

 and assistant to Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

Hay was born in Salem, Indiana
Salem, Indiana
Salem is a city in Washington Township, Washington County, Indiana, United States. Salem serves as the county seat, and its downtown area is on the National Register of Historic Places...

, of Scottish
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 ancestry, the third son of Dr. Charles Hay and Helen Leonard from Middleborough, Massachusetts
Middleborough, Massachusetts
Middleborough is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 21,117 as of 2008.For geographic and demographic information on the village of Middleborough Center, please see the article Middleborough Center, Massachusetts....

, who had come to Salem to live with her sister. He was raised in Warsaw, Illinois
Warsaw, Illinois
Warsaw is a city in Hancock County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,793 at the 2000 census. The city is notable for its historic downtown and the Warsaw Brewery, which operated for more than 100 years beginning in 1861...

, and educated first at the private school of the Reverend Stephen Childs, an Episcopal clergyman. In 1851 John went to an academy at Pittsfield
Pittsfield, Illinois
Pittsfield is a city in Pike County, Illinois, United States. The population was 4,211 at the 2000 census.-History:The city was named after Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It is the county seat of Pike County...

 in Pike County
Pike County, Illinois
Pike County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 16,430, which is a decrease of 5.5% from 17,384 in 2000...

, where he met an older student, John G.