Mr. Rockwell is an exceptionally minor character with few speaking lines who appears only at the story’s conclusion. Nevertheless, it is through his generosity and sense of fairness that Dick is able to make his final transition from homeless bootblack to the successful businessman Richard Hunter. Rockwell is an incredibly successful entrepreneur who owns a counting house: a place where a person’s accounts (and sometimes their actual money) were kept. One day, while taking the ferry to Brooklyn with his family, Rockwell’s son tumbles overboard into the river. Rockwell proves an ineffective rescuer, as he can only stand helplessly on the boat, crying for help. Dick jumps overboard, quickly coming to the son’s rescue. Rockwell rewards the boy lavishly with new clothes, but also takes a personal interest in him and learns his life story. Because he recognizes that Dick is a moral, hard-working young man, he gives the boy a job with a higher salary than he deserves with the promise of future promotion.
Mr. Rockwell Character Timeline in Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks
The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Rockwell appears in Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 26: An Exciting Adventure
...the children—a boy—falls into the water, screaming on his way down. The boy’s father, Mr. Rockwell, is unable to swim and yells for help, offering lavish monetary rewards for whoever saves... (full context)