Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 258
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 258
are alive to their responsibilities, and are actively striving to help their less fortunate fellows to help themselves. The Cooper Union building, a gift to the city for the use of all its citizens, in the widest sense, keeps alive the memory of old Peter Cooper, a man whose broad generosity and simple kindliness of character, while not rendering him fit for the public life into which he at times sought entrance, yet inspired in New Yorkers of every class a genuine regard such as they felt for no other philanthropist. Indeed, uncharitableness and lack of generosity have never been New York failings; the citizens are keenly sensible to any real, tangible distress or need. A blizzard in Dakota, an earthquake in South Carolina, a flood in Pennsylvania,—after any such catastrophe hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised in New York at a day’s notice, for the relief of the sufferers; while, on the other hand, it is a difficult matter to raise money for a monument or a work of art.
  It is necessary both to appeal to the practical business sense of the citizens and to stir the real earnestness and love of country which lie underneath the somewhat coarse-grained and not always attractive surface of the community, in order to make it show its real strength. Thus, there is no doubt that in case of any important foreign war or domestic disturbance New York would back



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