Source: The Life and Letters of John Hay
Source type: book
Document type: letter
Document title: “To Henry Adams”
Author(s): Hay, John [letter]; Thayer, William Roscoe [book]
Volume number: 2
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Place of publication: Boston, Massachusetts
Year of publication: 1916
|Hay, John. “To Henry Adams.” The Life and Letters of John Hay. By William Roscoe Thayer. Vol. 2. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1916: pp. 267-68.|
|full text of letter; excerpt of book|
|John Hay (correspondence); William McKinley (death); John Hay (retention by Roosevelt).|
|Alvey A. Adee; George B. Cortelyou; Theodore Roosevelt; Elihu Root.|
|Bracketed (explanatory) text added by Thayer to the letter has been removed below.|
To Henry Adams
September 19, 1901.
The President’s death was all the
more hideous that we were so sure of his recovery. Root and I left Buffalo on
Wednesday convinced that all was right. I had arranged with Cortelyou that he
was to send a wire the next day telling me if the Doctors would answer for the
President’s life. He sent it, and I wrote a circular to all our Embassies saying
that recovery was assured. I thought it might stop the rain of inquiries from
all over the world. After I had written it, the black cloud of foreboding, which
is always just over my head, settled down and enveloped me, and I dared not
send it. I spoke to Adee and he confirmed my fears. He distrusted the eighth
day. So I waited—and the next day he was dying.
I have just received your letter from Stockholm, and shuddered at the awful clairvoyance of your last phrase about Teddy’s luck.
Well, he is here in the saddle again. That is, he is in Canton,  and will have his first Cabinet meeting in the White House to-morrow. He came down from Buffalo Monday night—and in the station, without waiting an instant, told me I must stay with him—that I could not decline nor even consider. I saw, of course, it was best for him to start off that way, and so I said I would stay, forever, of course, for it would be worse to say I would stay a while than it would be to go out at once. I can still go at any moment he gets tired of me, or when I collapse.