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

Page 38

teacher made stern inquiry. “Jim” somebody, it appeared, who sat beside his sister, had been pinching her all through the hour, and when they came out they had a stand-up fight and he punched him good, bearing away the black eye as his share. The verdict was prompt.
  “You did perfectly right,” said his teacher, and he gave him a dollar. To the class it was ideal justice, but it got out among the officers of the school and scandalized them dreadfully. Roosevelt was not popular with them. Unfamiliar with the forms of the service, he had failed at times to observe them all as they thought he should. They wished to know if he had any objection to any of them. No, none in the world; he was ready to do anything required of him. He himself was Dutch Reformed—he got no farther. The idea of a “Dutch Reformed” teaching in their school, superimposed upon the incident of the black eye, was too much. They parted with some-what formal expressions of mutual regard. Roosevelt betook himself to a Congregational Sunday-school near by and taught there the rest of his four years’ course in college. How it fared with Jim’s conqueror I do not know.