Portrait of John Hay 
John Singer Sargent -- American painter  
1903, Washington D.C. 
John Hay Library,  Brown University,  
Providence, Rhode Island 
Gift of Hay's grandson, John Hay. 
Jpg: Brown University

John Hay was the U.S. Secretary of State. 

From: Brown University 

During the month of February, 1903, John Singer Sargent painted John Hay's portrait.  In a letter written to his daughter, Helen Hay Whitney, Hay wrote facetiously: "It is an odd thought that most of my reputation will depend on this picture." The following year, Augustus Saint-Gaudens began his bust of Hay and completed it just before Hay's death on 1 July 1905. . .  
 * * * 

In July of 1905, John Hay, Class of 1858, perhaps the most famous Brown graduate of his day, died in office as U.S. Secretary of State. The following year his widow, Clara Stone Hay, presented 400 books and manuscripts from Hay's personal library to Brown. These books, still maintained as a separate collection, contain many volumes which are inscribed to John Hay.  

By the early 1890's, the library had so little room for books that lesser used materials had to be    stored in the basement. Repeated requests for a new library were unavailing until 1906, when   Andrew Carnegie contributed $150,000 toward a new library building honoring his late friend,   John Hay. A matching amount was raised, ground was broken in 1908, and the new building was dedicated in November, 1910. 

  • Notes:
  • See the year in review 1903
    Created 2000