Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
Central Labor Union of the District of Columbia resolved that to reinstate Miller was an unfriendly act. The big leaders, including Mr. Gompers and Mr. Mitchell, came to plead with the President. Miller was not fit, they said.
That was another matter, replied the President. He would find out. As to Millers being a non-union man, the law he was sworn to enforce recognized no such distinction. I am President, he said, of all the people of the United States, without regard to creed, color, birthplace, occupation, or social distinction. In the employment and dismissal of men in the government service I can no more recognize the fact that a man does or does not belong to a union as being for or against him than I can recognize the fact that he is a Protestant or a Catholic, a Jew or a Gentile, as being for or against him.
The newspapers did not tell us that the White House rang with applause, as did Clarendon Hall on that other occasion when he met the labor men as a police commissioner. I do not know whether it did or not, for I was not there. But if in their hearts there was no response