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

Page 28

some of them fell in behind him in the rush up San Juan hill, leaving lives of elegance and ease to starve with him in the trenches and do the chores of a trooper in camp under a tropical sun. It is remembered that Theodore Roosevelt set Harvard to skipping the rope, a sport it had abandoned years before with knickerbockers; but it suited this student to keep up the exercise as a means of strengthening the leg muscles, and rope-skipping became a pastime of the class of 1880. In the gymnasium they wore red stockings with their practice suits. Roosevelt had happened upon a pair that were striped a patriotic red and white, and he wore them, at first to the amazement of the other students. He did not even know that they had attracted attention, but when some one told him he laughed and kept them on. It was what the legs could do in the stockings he was there to find out. Twenty years after I heard a policemen call him a dude when he walked up the steps of police head-quarters with a silk sash about his waist, something no man had been known to wear in Mulberry Street in the memory of the oldest there; and I saw the same officer looking after him