Home  »  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen  »  Page 448

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

Page 448

culture, and of leisure in the community, to a more active participation in public affairs” as a means of saving the State.
  Four years later his son Theodore was elected to the Assembly, and entered upon the career of public service which, by his exercise of the qualities that made his father beloved, set him in the Governor’s Chair of his State. Other monument the people have never built to the memory of the first Theodore; but I fancy that they could have chosen none that would have pleased him more; and I am quite sure that he is here to see it.
  This is the Story, not of a people in its age-long struggle for righteousness, but of a single citizen who died before he had attained to his forty-eighth year, and it is the material out of which real civic greatness is made. I know of none in all the world that lasts better, prophets of evil and pessimists generally to the contrary notwithstanding. I have been at some pains to tell it to this generation, out of charity to the prophets aforesaid. Let them compare now the son’s life as they know it, as we all know it, with the father’s, point for point, deed for deed, and tell us what they think of it.