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

Page 434

at home who loved the wildwood well. Father and son, they bore but one name, known to us all—Theodore Roosevelt. There came to my mind the pronunciamento of some one which I had read in a New York newspaper, that Theodore Roosevelt’s day was soon spent, and other less recent deliverances to the same effect. And it occurred to me that these good people had probably never heard the story of the other Theodore, the Governor’s father, or else had forgotten it. So, for the benefit of the prophetic souls who are always shaking their heads at the son, predicting that he will not last, I tell the story here again. They will have no trouble in making out the bearing of it on their pet concern. And they will note that the father “lasted” well, which was giving the community in which he lived a character to be proud of. He did more. “He grew on us continually,” said one who had known him well, “until we wondered with a kind of awe for what great purpose he had been put among us.” The people “resolved” at his untimely death that it “involved a loss of moral power and executive efficiency which no community can well spare.”