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

Page 215

leaders, “are your special concern. I want you to look them over with me and see if they are fair, and, if they are, that they be fairly enforced. We will have no dead-letter laws. If there is anything wrong that you know of, I want you to tell me of it. If we need more legislation, we will go to the legislature and ask for it. If we have enough, we will see to it that the laws we have are carried out, and the most made of them.”
  And during two years there was no disagreement in that quarter that was not gotten over fairly. Sometimes the facts were in dispute. Then he went to those who were in position to make them plain and asked them to do it. On two or three occasions he made me the umpire between disputing organizations and the Factory Department, and I had again a near view of the extraordinary faculty of judging quickly and correctly which habit and severe training have developed in this man. Cases to which I gave weeks of steady endeavor to get at the truth, and then had to bring to him, still in doubt, he decided almost at a glance, piercing the husks with unerring thrust and dragging out the kernel that had eluded