July 21, 1899: “Newsboys Turn Out on Strike”

Newsboys Turn Out on Strike

They Boycott Two Afternoon Papers and Do Up all Scabs.

J. P. Morgan With Them

Showed His Sympathy for the youngsters by Scattering Small Change Among Them.

The newsboys are the latest to go on strike. The youngsters turned out yesterday. They claim to have grievances against the Evening World and Evening Journal. Their demand is for 100 papers for 50 cents. The price exacted by the publishers is 60 cents each for 100 papers. There were hostile demonstrations against the delivery wagons in various parts of the city, and boys who did not join in the boycott fared badly in many instances.

J. Pierpont Morgan’s Sympathy.

They were particularly boisterous on Wall Street, and their antics so amused Banker J. Pierpont Morgan he threw up his office window and sent several handfuls of small change among the strikers. His example was followed by others, and soon the youngsters forgot their troubles in the mad rush for money.

The end of the strike is not in sight. Both sides are firm and the boys have decided not to sell any of the papers in question and lick all boys who did. All day they infested the offices of the publishers against which they have grievances and succeeded in doing up many of the scabs as they termed those who had bought the journals at the publishers’ rates.

Strikers’ Headquarters.

The strikers have opened headquarters in “Frankfurter John’s” lunch wagon. There can be found District Master Workman “Muggsy” McGee, and his able lieutenants “Hunch” Maddox, the speculator, and others.

“Muggsy” said that at the beginning of the war the papers put up their wholesale price 10 per hundred, and since had refused to make a reduction. “Now, we’re going to force them to,” declared “Muggsy.”

Fully 300 newsboys refused to take out the papers. They hung around the publication offices and mobbed those alleged to have been imported from Brooklyn and other places to sell papers.

Pandemonium on the Row.

Pandemonium reigned in Park Row. Armed with clubs the strikers threatened dire vengeance on anybody selling Evening Worlds and Evening Journals. Copies of these papers were confiscated and destroyed when seen. Only the tallest of the rebels escaped punishment. The policeman sent to keep the boys in check had his hands full.

Moses Burns, 11 years old, of No. 330 Cherry street, and John J. Alleppo, 13 years old, of No. 58 Mulberry street, who appeared to be the leaders in the crowd, were arrested and taken before Magistrate Cornell in the Centre Street Court. They were remanded to the care of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Policeman Furlong, who arrested them, said that Burns was a perfect demon, and had tried to brain another boy who wanted to sell papers.

Six Months for This Striker.

Louis Kerllow, 16 years old, of No. 159 East Broadway, went into the office of the offending papers distributing department. He carried a stick and began to belabor the boys who were waiting for the editions. He was taken into custody and Magistrate Cornell committed him to the Juvenile Asylum for six months.

According to the strikers, the two papers are badly crippled by the lack of their services. They asserted that the presses were not running on anything like schedule time, and that the 6 o’clock edition was not on the streets before 1 o’clock, because of the large number of unsold copies of the extra double extra special night edition.

The strike is growing and bids fair to extend to Long Island City, Brooklyn and New Jersey. The boys gained a victory over one of the papers in question a little over a year ago, and they have the sympathy of the general public on this occasion.