Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
The whole tenement flat in the stony street could easily have been packed into one of those rooms. They saw them eat and play and skip about in happiness such as their life had been stranger to before,these children of few opportunities; and the President turned to me with a joyous little laugh:
Oh, Jacob! what monument to man is there of stone or bronze that equals that of the happiness of these children and mothers?
That was a great day, indeed. Twin Island, the home of wealth and fashion till the city made a park alongshore and gave us the use of the deserted mansion, never saw its like.
The Christmas bells are ringing as I write this, and they take me back to that holiday season, half a dozen years ago, when I was mistaken for Mr. Roosevelt with startling results. It happened once or twice, when he was Police Commissioner, that people made that mistake. They could not have been very discerning; but, whether or no, it did me no harm. I was glad of the compliment. This time I had gone to see the newsboys in the Duane Street lodging-house get their Christmas dinner. There were six or seven hundred of them, and as they