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

Page 374

of postponement, had his personal interests weighed heavier in the scale than the public good. To me, sitting by and watching the strife of passions aroused all over the land, it brought a revelation of the need of charity for the neighbor who does not know. From the West, where they burn soft coal, and could know nothing of the emergency, but where they had had their own troubles with the miners, came counsel to let things alone. Men who thought I had the President’s ear sent messages of caution. “Go slow,” was their burden; “tell him not to be hasty, not to interfere.” While from the Atlantic seaboard cities, where coal was twelve dollars a ton, with every bin empty and winter at the door, such a cry of dread went up as no one who heard it ever wants to hear again. From my own city, with its three million toilers, Mayor Low telegraphed to the President: I cannot emphasize too strongly the immense injustice of the existing coal situation to millions of innocent people. The welfare of a large section of the country imperatively demands the immediate resumption of anthracite coal mining. In the name of the City of New York I desire to protest through