Home  »  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen  »  Page 225

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

Page 225

had appointed reported that Mrs. Place was as sane and responsible as any of them, and public clamor had no power to move him from it.
  I like to set over against her case another in which my argument prevailed, for it shows the man’s heart, which he had often no little trouble to hide under the sternness imposed by duty. I knew the soreness of it then by the joy I saw it gave him to make people happy. Policeman Hannigan had been sent to Sing Sing for shooting a boy who was playing football in the street on Thanksgiving Day. He ran, and the policeman, who had been sent with special orders to clear the ball-players out of the block, where they had been breaking windows, ran after him. In the excitement of the chase he fired his pistol, and the bullet struck and slightly wounded the boy in the leg. The policeman was “broken” and sent to the penitentiary, and of the incident we made a mighty lever in the fight for playgrounds where the boys might play without breaking either windows or laws. And then I thought of the policeman in the prison, a young man with a wife and children and a clean record till then, and I asked the Governor to pardon him. Of