Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
rats in a railroad round-house. I saw what they meant, and I have no difficulty in making out their stamp upon his ardent spirit when I read such comments as this on the draft riots in his history of New York, though written more than a dozen years after:
The troops and police were thoroughly armed, and attacked the rioters with the most wholesome desire to do them harm;… a lesson was inflicted on the lawless and disorderly which they never entirely forgot. Two millions of property had been destroyed and many valuable lives lost. But over twelve hundred rioters were slainan admirable object-lesson to the remainder.
Perhaps they had more to do with shaping his later career, those cruel riots, than even he has realized, for I should not be surprised if, unconsciously, he acted upon their motion in joining the militia in his own State, and so got the first grip upon the soldiering that stood him in such good stead in Cuba. I wanted, he said to me after he had become President, to count for one in the fight for order and for the Republic, if the crisis were to come. I wanted to be in a position to take a mans stand