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

Page 123

  The outcome of it all? Figures convey no idea of it. To say that he found 14,000 government officers under the civil service rules, and left 40,000, does not tell the story; not even in its own poor way, for there are 125,000 now, and when the ransomed number 200,000 it will still be Roosevelt’s work. President Cleveland put it more nearly right in his letter to Mr. Roosevelt regretfully accepting his resignation.
  “You are certainly to be congratulated,” he wrote, “upon the extent and permanency of civil service reform methods which you have so substantially aided in bringing about. The struggle for its firm establishment and recognition is past. Its faithful application and reasonable expansion remain, subjects of deep interest to all who really desire the best attainable public service.”
  That was what the country got out of it. The fight was won—wait, let me put that a little less strongly: the way to the victory is cleared. Just now, as I was writing that sentence, a man, an old friend, a teacher in Israel, came into my office and to him I read what I had just written. “That’s right,” he said; “I