To the hordes who wanted time with Lincoln, the gruff and efficient Nicolay was the “grim enforcer.”
Hay lived to be 66, Nicolay to 69, so they came of age before the Civil War and lived into the twentieth century.
Perhaps because of his wealth, Hay became more conservative in his politics than Nicolay, but they were friends to the end.
Occupying the position of what would now be Chief of Staff, Nicolay and his assistant were a complementary team.
In return for exclusive access, Nicolay and Hay gave Robert the right to edit their copy, which he did.
I wish you'd help Nicolay choke that Committee off a little while—and you come with them when they break in—will you?
Mr. Nicolay could have been about twenty-five, and Mr. Hay nineteen or twenty.
In this passage Mr. Nicolay refers especially to Lincoln's second inaugural address.
"Nicolay wants me to take some people to see Stanton," he said.
Nicolay's relations with the President were more intimate than those of any other man.