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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 112

telegraph lines and railways of the country. Before that question can be so much as discussed, it ought to be definitely settled that, if the Government takes control of either telegraph line or railway, it must do it to manage it purely as a business undertaking, and must manage it with a service wholly unconnected with politics. I should like to call the special attention of the gentlemen in bodies interested in increasing the sphere of State action—interested in giving the State control more and more over railways, over telegraph lines, and over other things of the sort—to the fact that the condition precedent upon success is to establish an absolutely non-partisan governmental system. When that point is once settled, we can discuss the advisability of doing what these gentlemen wish, but not before.”
  Single-handed, I said. At least we heard from him only in those days. But afterward there came to join him on the Commission a Kentuckian, an old Confederate veteran, a Democrat, and withal as fine a fellow as ever drew breath—John R. Procter—and the two struck hands in a friendship that was for life.