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

Page 269

seemed really great it turned out, upon looking at it closely, that it was only just the right thing to do.” I would not want a finer thing said of me when my work is done. I am glad I thought of it, for I know that he would not, either. And it comes as near as anything could to putting him just right.
  Perhaps a good reason why he grasps things so quickly and correctly is that he looks for and tries to get at the underlying principles of them; deals with them on the elementary basis of right and fitness, divested of all the conceit and the flummery which beset so many things that come to the Executive of a great nation. I had gone out to see him at Oyster Bay, heavy with the anxieties of mothers all over the land who had sons soldiering in the Philippines. There was news of fighting every day, but only the names of the killed or wounded officers came by cable. There was a War Department order against sending those of the privates who fell, or who died of cholera; and it resulted that when, say, Company H of the Fifteenth Regiment had been in a battle, every mother who had a boy serving in that command went shivering with fear for six long