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

Page 370

down!” And I know that the South has no truer and fairer friend in that cause than the President, who believes in “all men up,” and who with genuine statesmanship looks beyond the strife and the prejudice of to-day to the harvest-time that is coming.
  “On this whole question,” he sighed, when we had threshed it over one day, “we are in a back eddy. I don’t know how we are going to get out, or when. The one way I know that does not lead out is for us to revert to a condition of semi-slavery. That leads us farther in, because it does not stop there.”
  Let the South ponder it well, for it is true. And let it be glad that there is a man in the White House to voice its better self. “A nation cannot remain half free and half slave” or half peon. And it can never throw off its industrial fetters and take the place to which it is entitled until it is willing to build upon the dignity of manhood and of labor, of which serfdom, by whatever name, is the flat denial.
  Truly, the world moves with giant strides once the policy of postponement is sidetracked and notice is served that the man at the throttle is willing to give ear. I wonder now how many