July 22, 1899: “Newsboys Strike A Great Success”

Newsboys Strike A Great Success

Hold Out Against Evening Papers and Cause a News Famine.

But Few Boys Dare Sell

“Mickey the Face,” Leader, Explains the Grievance of the Boys and the Remedies Needed.

“Mickey the Face,” who has been appointed walking delegate for the striking newsboys, called at The Morning Telegraph office last night and asked to have the matter put before the public in the right light.

“I fears,” said Mickey, picking up a castaway cigarette off the floor, “dat de public ain’t next to what is de real t’ing in dis affair. Well, you sees, we guys what wuiks for Hearst and Pullits, gets forty blinkers on de hundred spot for de reds we well. De edder papes gives us 40 cents, so wese struck against de inhumity of de gois what ruins de Woirld and Choinal.

“I goes to de main gazabo what runs de Woild and suz: ‘Say, cull,’ suz I, ‘we wants what’s on de lev’ in dis biz, an’ no kiddin’, see?’

“‘Well, if youse’ll wait a minit’,’ suz de goi, ‘we’ll see what can be done for yez.’

“I aboided me time while de guy goes up and insults Mr. Pullits, and when he comes back he tops me under de shirtwaist in de rear and says take to de dumps. Me, wid me right flings a cazzazaer at his coller, and de guys what runs de joint cuffs me to de concrete wid some hard swings.

The beginning of Trouble.

“Say! What’ell did I care. Wuzn’t de gang on de outside waiting fur me? ‘Well, boys,’ suz I to de gang, ‘de fly guy fance me,’ and de chincilla face mug from Cherry street suz we’ll go out on de stroid. Den dat aft’noon none of us guys takes out de red sheet, but collars de blokes what does and socks ’em in de kisser. One guy suz, ‘Well, not fur mine huzzus,’ and he cops de waterneck guy from Water street wid a hard swing on de left.

“At de outset I suz, suz I to de push, dare won’t be no violens used, so we dumps de gazabo frum Water street and goes de stroik alone.

“Wid me influens I sees dat de rest of us blokes goes out and dat’s all dere is to it. Dat’s jus’ why you can’t git de Woilds and Choinals. I’m willing to compremizer de game but I’ll insist dese blokes gives us de fair play. See? Dat’s all dere is. Put it in de pape, see. T’anks. Gives us a cig’rette, will yez?”

Mickey had evidently sized the situation up right, for fully seven hundred boys were out during the day. Some newspapers said there were ten thousand, but there was as much truth in a statement of that nature as there is in most of the Evening World and Evening Journal’s strike reports. At any rate, it was a hard matter to get a copy of the continuous sheets uptown, and around Park Row it became necessary to utilize the services of several big policeman from the Oak street station to quell the disturbances which occurred almost every minute. The drivers of wagons carrying the two-minute news posters were mobbed on every hand, and boys who came out with light waists and pretty knickerbockers on to take the places of the strikers went home covered with mud.

A hundred of the strikers caught the driver of a delivery wagon on the Bowery and made it so hot for him he ran in hast back to Poverty Row. Another driver fared badly at Forty-second street and Broadway, while a third who ventured up Fourth avenue had several hundred of his papers torn up and went back downtown without supplying a single newsboy. The strikers declare they will stay out until the two newspapers in question agree to sell them their product at 50 cents a hundred and guarantee the price will not be raised as soon as the strike is at an end.