Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
you, against the continuance of the existing situation, which, if prolonged, involves, at the very least, the certainty of great suffering and heavy loss to the inhabitants of this city, in common with many others.
Governor Crane of Massachusetts came on to Washington to plead the cause of the Eastern cities, whose plight, if anything, was worse. The miners stood upon their rights. Organized capital scouted interference defiantly, threatening disaster to the Republican party if the President stepped in. The cry of the cities swelled into a wail of anguish and despair, and still the mines were idle, the tracks of the coal roads blocked for miles with empty cars. In the midst of it all the hasty man in the White House wrote in reply to my anxious inquiry:
I am slowly going on, step by step, working within my limited range of powers and endeavoring neither to shirk any responsibilities nor yet to be drawn into such hasty and violent action as almost invariably provokes reaction.
Long after it was over, Secretary of the Navy Moody told me of what was happening then in Washington.