New York: The Outlook Company, 1904. First Edition. Hardcover. Second Printing, in publisher's original decorated cloth. Illustrated with plates. This copy virtually unique as it is INSCRIBED and SIGNED by both the author and the subject, as President. Riis's inscription is dated 5 August 1908. Roosevelt writes: "with the best wishes of/Theodore Roosevelt/The White House/Jan. 18th 1909." The addition of "The White House" by Roosevelt is notable as prior to his administration, the residence was known as the "President's Palace," the "President's House," and the "Executive Mansion." It was Roosevelt who officially named it "The White House" in 1901. Of the many books signed by Roosevelt we have both handled and seen, we have never before encountered one in which he has noted his official residence along with his signature. Hinges cracked and neatly repaired. Still Near Fine. Item #014375
Jacob Riis, among the most dedicated advocates for America's oppressed and downtrodden, arrived in New York from his native Denmark at the age of 21 in 1870. A pioneer in photojournalism, Riis photographed and wrote about the slums and tenements of a New York in the dawn of a new century. Riis came to Roosevelt's attention through his 1890 book HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES. As Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, Roosevelt accompanied Riis on his evening travels through the slums and witnessed firsthand the inhumane conditions endured by many of New York's inhabitants. In his 1901 book MAKING OF AN AMERICAN, Riis wrote of Roosevelt: "It could not have been long after I wrote HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES that he came to the Evening Sun office one day looklng for me. I was out and he left his card merely writing on the back of it that he had read my book and had 'come to help'. That was all, and it tells the whole story of the man. I loved him from the day I first saw him; nor ever in all the years that have passed has he failed of the promise made then. No one ever helped as he did. For two years, we were brothers on Mulberry Street." Roosevelt, in turn, wrote of Riis after his death: "It is difficult for me to write of Jacob Riis only from the public standpoint. He was one of my truest and closest friends. I have ever prized the fact that once, in speaking of me, he said, 'since I met him he has been my brother.' I have not only admired and respected him beyond measure, but I have loved him dearly…and I mourn him as if he were one of my own family."