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

Page 161

responded hotly to Senator Hanna pleading for peace for the sake of the country’s commerce and prosperity, that much as he appreciated those blessings, the honor of the country was of more account than temporary business prosperity. It has slipped my mind what was the particular occasion,—some club gathering,—but I have not forgotten the profound impression the Naval Secretary’s words made as he insisted that our country could better afford to lose a thousand of the bankers that have added to its wealth than one Farragut; that it were better for it never to have had all the railroad magnates that have built it up, great as is their deserving, than to have lost Grant and Sherman; better that it had never known commercial greatness than that it should miss from its history one Lincoln. Unless the moral overbalance the material, we are indeed riding for a fall in all our pride.
  So he made ready for the wrath to come. And now his early interest in naval affairs, that gave us his first book, bore fruit. When the work of preparation was over, and Roosevelt was bound for the war to practice what he had preached, his chief, Secretary Long, said, in