John George Nicolay (Nikolai)

John George Nicolay (Nikolai)

Male 1832 - 1901  (69 years)
Person ID: I2548 


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  • Name John George Nicolay (Nikolai)  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Relationshipwith Jeffrey Scott Vitter
    Name Johann Georg, Nico 
    Born 26 Feb 1832  Essingen, Sudliche Weinstrasse, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    • Possibly Essingen, a small town in Bavaria near Landau in the Rhenisch Palatinate.
    John George Nicolay (Nikolai) Essingen, Germany
    John George Nicolay (Nikolai) Essingen, Germany
    Gender Male 
    Died 26 Sep 1901  Washington, District of Columbia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Buried Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    • Van Ness, lot 273 east
    Notes 
    • It is said that the Nicolay brothers changed their name from the original spelling (Nikolai) because people thought they were Russians. The family name originally came from a noble family during the so called "ancien régime" in France.

      John George Nicolay was 14 years old when his father died. He worked in a store in White Hall and then on a newspaper in Pittsfield, Illinois, ultimately becoming editor in the 1850s. He worked in the office of Illinois Secretary of State, where he became acquainted with Abraham Lincoln. He served as Lincoln's secretary from 1861 to 1865. He served as U.S. Consul to Paris form 1865 to 1869 and then Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court until 1887.
    Siblings
     1. Frederick Lewis Nicolay (Nikolai) (ID:I2545),   b. Abt 1817, Essingen, Sudliche Weinstrasse, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Jan 1872, Montezuma, Pike, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 55 years)
     2. John Jacob Nicolay (Nikolai), II (ID:I2472),   b. 26 Nov 1818, Essingen, Sudliche Weinstrasse, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Jun 1889, Fairfax, Osage, Kansas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)
     3. Catherine Nicolay (Nikolai) (ID:I2546),   b. 14 May 1821, Essingen, Sudliche Weinstrasse, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Oct 1866  (Age 45 years)
     4. John Nicolay (Nikolai) (ID:I2547),   b. 1826, Essingen, Sudliche Weinstrasse, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1866, St Louis, Missouri, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age < 39 years)

    Parents

    Family ID: F1065 Group Sheet  |  Family Chart  
    Father Johann Jakob Nicolay (Nikolai) (ID:I2474),   b. 2 Aug 1788, Essingen, Sudliche Weinstrasse, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1846, White Hall, Greene, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 57 years) 
    Mother Maria Helena Mueller (ID:I2475),   b. 17 Nov 1797, Pfalz, Bavaria, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1839, Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 41 years) 
    Married 1816  Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Reference Number 17705 

    Family

    Family ID: F1101 Group Sheet  |  Family Chart 20 Jan 2021   
    Wife Therena Bates (ID:I2584),   b. 31 May 1836, Pittsfield, Pike, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1885, District Of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 48 years) 
    Married 15 Jun 1865  [2, 3
    Reference Number 17967 
    Children 
      1. Helen Nicolay (ID:I2586),   b. 9 Mar 1866, Paris, Île-de-France, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Sep 1954, Washington, District of Columbia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years)
      2. George Nicolay (ID:I50182),   b. 1867, Paris, Île-de-France, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1867  (Age 0 years)

    Other Personal Events

    Event 1851  [2, 3
    Met John Hay, with whom he would develop a lifelong personal and professional friendship 
    Occupation Inventor, received patents for a rotary printing press, an improvement to widow sash fasteners, an improvement in springboard buggies, an exercise machine, and a folding camp chair.  [2, 3
    Occupation Between 1846 and 1848  White Hall, Greene, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Worked in a dry good store 
    Occupation 1848  Pittsfield, Pike, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Occupation Between 1857 and 1860  Springfield, Sangamon, Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Secretary of State for Illinois, where he developed a friendship with Abraham Lincoln 
    Occupation Between 1861 and 1865  Washington, District of Columbia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Secretary to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln 
    Painting of Nicolay (seated) with Abraham Lincoln and John Hay
    Painting of Nicolay (seated) with Abraham Lincoln and John Hay
    Painting from photograph. Report ordered by JGN becase he didn't like photo backround. Pres. White House office. Painting at Hay Library, Brown University. Artist unknown. Library reported that donor is unknown.Year of donation about 1960s. Donor found in newspaper office in Pitsfield Ill.
    Occupation Between 1865 and 1869  Paris, Île-de-France, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    U.S. Counsul to France 
    Occupation Between 1869 and 1887  Washington, District of Columbia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court 
    Occupation 1890  [2, 3
    Author (along with John Hay) of the 10-volume, 14,000-page biography, Abraham Lincoln: A History 
    NicolayVolumes
    NicolayVolumes
    Reference Number 2589 
    Residence Aft 1887  212 B Street SE, Washington, District of Columbia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Now called Independence Avenue SE; Lived with his unmarried daughter Helen in his later years 
    Medical Note Aft 1863  [2
    He had a progressive condition of asthenopia (eye strain) that lasted throughout the rest of his life 
  • Event Map

    Link to Google MapsBorn - 26 Feb 1832 - Essingen, Sudliche Weinstrasse, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Between 1846 and 1848 - White Hall, Greene, Illinois, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - 1848 - Pittsfield, Pike, Illinois, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Between 1857 and 1860 - Springfield, Sangamon, Illinois, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Between 1861 and 1865 - Washington, District of Columbia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Between 1865 and 1869 - Paris, Île-de-France, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Between 1869 and 1887 - Washington, District of Columbia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Aft 1887 - 212 B Street SE, Washington, District of Columbia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 26 Sep 1901 - Washington, District of Columbia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
  • Photos
    John George Nicolay
    Painting of Nicolay (seated) with Abraham Lincoln and John Hay
    Documents
    B181 - John George Nicolay autograph Document
    B181 - John George Nicolay autograph Document
    B181 - John George Nicolay autograph
    Headstones
    B161- Commemorative marker in front of Pike County, Ill Courthouse Headstone
    B161- Commemorative marker in front of Pike County, Ill Courthouse Headstone
    B161 - Commemorative marker in front of Pike County, Ill Courthouse
    Histories
    George Nicolay: The German-Born Secretary Who Made Abraham Lincoln Great
    George Nicolay: The German-Born Secretary Who Made Abraham Lincoln Great
    Sharon (née Weaver) Vitter's 4th great uncle George Nicolay played what is essentially today's crucial role of chief of staff to the President of the United States — and that president was Abraham Lincoln. Nicolay later became U. S. consul to France, Marshal of the U. S. Supreme Court, and Lincoln biographer.

  • Source Citations

    1. [S1251] Find A Grave, John George Nicolay (Nikolai).
      https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/10959080/john-george-nicolay
      Nicolay John George Headstone
      Nicolay John George Headstone


    2. [S1424] George Nicolay — The Man in Lincoln's Shadow, Allen Carden and Thomas J. Ebert, (Name: University of Tennessee Press; Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Date: 2019;).
      https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41840038-john-george-nicolay

    3. [S1425] The German-Born Secretary Who Made Abraham Lincoln Great, Allen Carden and Thomas J. Ebert, (Name: Zocalo; Location: ZocaloPublicSquare.org; Date: 12 Feb 2020;), John George Nicolay Devoted Himself to Burnishing the Memory of the 16th President—and Kept Him From Carrying Papers in His Hat.
      https://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2020/02/12/how-john-george-nicolay-made-abraham-lincoln-great/ideas/essay/

    4. [S307] Family Database of Vitter-Weaver Family, Jeffrey & Sharon Vitter, (Name: Self; Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Date: Since 1996;), George Nicolay: The German-Born Secretary Who Made Abraham Lincoln Great.
      Sharon (née Weaver) Vitter's 4th great uncle George Nicolay played what is essentially today's crucial role of chief of staff to the President of the United States — and that president was Abraham Lincoln. Nicolay later became U. S. consul to France, Marshal of the U. S. Supreme Court, and Lincoln biographer.
      https://vitter.org/familytree/histories/GeorgeNicolay.php