Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
never was a first-class writer, I have felt it as a personal injury and as if something had come between me and the day that cannot love Natty Bumppo and Uncas and Mabel Dunham. And so I say it was with a real pang that I asked him if he did not also like them.
He whirled round with kindling eyes.
Like them, he cried, like them! Why, man, there is nothing like them. I could pass examination in the whole of them to-day. Deerslayer with his long rifle, Jasper and Hurry Harry, Ishmael Bush with his seven stalwart sonsdo I not know them? I have bunked with them and eaten with them, and I know their strength and their weakness. They were narrow and hard, but they were mighty men and they did the work of their day and opened the way for ours. Do I like them? Cooper is unique in American literature, and he will grow upon us as we get farther away from his day, let the critics say what they will. And I was made happy.
Afterward I remembered with sudden apprehension that he had spoken only of the white men in the books, for it came to me that he had lived in the West, where the only good Indian is