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

Page 438

saw that she got it. But it was not plain sailing to get the bill passed. The men who were robbing the soldier denounced it as a swindle. Congressmen rated it a “bankers’ job,” unable to understand why any one should urge a bill at much personal inconvenience when “there was nothing in it” for him. The bill provided for unsalaried commissioners. But Mr. Roosevelt persisted. In the end, after three months of hard work, he got his bill through. President Lincoln, who understood, appointed Theodore Roosevelt, William E. Dodge, and Theodore B. Bronson the commissioners from New York. They went to work at once.
  It was midwinter. During the first three months of 1862 they traveled from camp to camp, visiting the eighty regiments New York had in the field, and putting the matter to them personally. In the saddle often all day, they stood afterward in the cold and mud sometimes half the night, explaining and persuading, bearing insults and sneers from many of those they wished to benefit. The story of that winter’s campaign is a human document recommended to the perusal of the pessimists and the head-shakers of any day. They had soon