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U.S. Secretary of State John Hay began his career as Abraham Lincoln’s private secretary, and was later known for promoting an "Open Door" policy in China.
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Hay issued the statement in the form of circular notes to Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Russia. The "Open Door" policy was extremely well-received in the United States and became a cornerstone of American foreign policy for decades to come.
Hay continued to work as secretary of state for the Theodore Roosevelt Administration until his death—the cause of which was possibly pulmonary embolism,
but never officially determined—on July 1, 1905, at his summer home in Newbury, New Hampshire.
Hay married Clara L. Stone in 1874.
Hay continued to write throughout his life. His literary work includes Pike Country Ballads and Other Pieces, a book of poems; the novel The Bread-Winners; and Abraham Lincoln: A History, a historical fiction book co-written by John Nicolay.
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