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

Page 435

  Theodore Roosevelt was a glass importer in Maiden Lane, having taken over the business after his father, Cornelius. The Roosevelts had always borne an honored name in New York. Two of the sons of Jacob Roosevelt, who in the early part of the last century bought land “in the swamp near the cripple bush” and had the street that still bears the family name cut through, were Aldermen when the office meant something. Isaac Roosevelt sat in the Constitutional Convention with Alexander Hamilton. He had been the right-hand man of Governor Moore in organizing the New York hospital corporation, and President of the Board of Governors. Organizers they ever were, doers of things, and patriots to a man. It was a Roosevelt who started the first bank in New York and was its first president. Theodore came honestly by the powers which he turned to such account for his city when it needed him. He had in him the splendid physical endurance, the love of a fight in the cause of right, and the clear head of his Dutch ancestors, plus the profound devotion that “held himself and all he had at the service of humanity.” With such an equipment a college