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

Page 223

bill, in which he trod hard on the toes of the politicians. We had a law, but they had succeeded in “taking the starch out of it.” Roosevelt put it back. I think no man living but he could have done it. But they realized that they could not face him before the people on that, of all issues. And to-day my State has a civil service law that is as good as it can well be made, and we are so much better off.
  I never liked Albany before, but I grew to be quite fond of the queer old Dutch city on the Hudson in those two years. It is not so far away but that I could run up after office hours and have a good long talk with the Governor before the midnight train carried me back home. Sometimes it was serious business only that carried me up there. I am thinking just now of the execution of Mrs. Place, who had murdered her stepdaughter and tried to brain her husband. It was a very wicked murder, but there was something about the execution of a woman that stirred the feelings of a lot of people, myself included. Perhaps it was largely a survival of the day of public hangings, which is happily past. But, more than