Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
Hamlin Garland and Dr. Alexander Lambert were along. In the midnight hour we stopped at a peanut-stand in Rivington Street for provender, and while the Italian made change Roosevelt pumped him on the economic problem he presented. How could he make it pay? No one was out; it did not seem as if his sales could pay for even the fuel for his torch that threw its flickering light upon dark pavements and deserted streets. The peanut-man groped vainly for a meaning in his polite speech, and turned a bewildered look upon the doctor.
How, said he, coming promptly to the rescue,how you make him paycashpan outmonish?
The Italian beamed with sudden understanding. Nah! he said, with a gesture eloquent of resentment and resignation in one: Wat I maka on de peanút I losa on de dam banán.
Did the police hate Roosevelt for making them do their duty? No, they loved him. The crooks hated him; they do everywhere, and with reason. But the honest men on the force, who were, after all, in the great majority, even if they had knuckled under in discouragement