Home  »  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen  »  Page 439

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

Page 439

to give up the plea that they received no pay for their services, “because it aroused only suspicion.” But they did not quit on that account. There was this thing to be done, by such means as they could. They learned, when any one asked how they benefited by it, to tell them that it was none of their business. “The money does not come out of your pocket; if we are satisfied, what is it to you?” They won their fight, as they were bound to, saved thousands of homes, and raised the tone of the army, in spite of snubs and predictions of failure. Even their own city sent rival commissioners into the field at one time, discrediting their work and their motives.
  Other States heard of the great things done in New York, and followed suit. Great good resulted. In New York alone the amount saved to those in dire need of it ran up in the millions. It is recorded of Theodore Roosevelt that through it all he never lost his temper or his sunny belief in his fellow-men whom he had set out to serve. Conscious zeal did not sour him. It is easy to believe the statement that it was he who, with a friend, persuaded President Lincoln to replace Simon Cameron with Stanton