July 27, 1899: “Newsdealers and the Boy Strikers”

Newsdealers and the Boy Strikers

West Side Associates Calls Their Demands Just and Asks for Help of Public.

Compromise is Rejected.

One of Boycotted Papers Reported to Have Made Unsuccessful Overtures to Newsboys.

Former Leader Disgraced.
Lad’s Action Results in His Quick Retirement from Prominent Position in the Rank

Despite the efforts of their leaders, the newsboys’ strike against the Evening World and the Evening Journal seemed no nearer settlement yesterday than at any time since it began. The boys are holding their own, and there are rumors that the strike may extend so as to include the morning edition of one or both of the boycotted papers.

The EVENING TELEGRAM, which has become more popular than ever, could hardly be printed fast enough yesterday to meet the unusual demand for the various editions. It appeared with a new and distinctive heading, and the sales reached a total which established a new record. The former “high water mark” circulation of 320,000 was passed and left considerably in the rear.


“Kid” Blink, who was counted as one of the leaders of the strike at the outset, is accused by his fellow strikers with having attempted to end the dispute without recourse to arbitration. The “Kid” appeared in Park row early in the day with five hundred copies of one of the boycotted papers, presumably acting on the assumption that when he made this entry among the strikers the boycott would end and he would be the recognized “king of the newsboys.” That course, one of his friends explained, was thought to provide an opportunity for Blink to “make a reputation,” on the strength of which he might some day become President of the leader of Tammany Hall.

But the “Kid” apparently did not appreciated the spirit of the strikers. The newsboys were angry when they saw what he had done, and they brought the fact home to him in short order. He was quickly separated from his bundle of papers, and, seeing the trend of events, soon capitulated. He returned to the ranks of the strikers, but the honored place of leader was lost to him. Members of the Newsboys’ Union held a meeting soon afterward and elected new officers. Morris Cohen, who had remained true to the cause, was chosen president, the other officers elected being “Race Track” Higgins, vice president; “Dave” Simonds, treasurer, and “Sol” Levy, secretary.

One of the boycotted papers, it was reported, made an offer to compromise with the newsboys yesterday, suggesting that they agree of fifty-five cents a hundred as the price of the papers at wholesale. This is five cents a hundred less than is now charged and five cents more than the boys are willing to pay. The strikers assert that they will not accept a reduction of half a mill on each paper, but must have a cut of one mill.


The West Side Newsdealers’ Association, who is is loyally supporting the boys in their strike, has adopted resolutions explaining its position in the strike. The resolutions are:–

Whereas the newsboys of the city of New York and vicinity are striking against the war prices of the Evening World and Evening Journal, and

Whereas we recognize that the demands of the strikers are just because those ware times are [?] long ago, and, therefore, there is no reason why the prices should not return to their former rates

Therefore be it resolved, That we, the West Side Newsdealers’ Association, call upon every newsdealer of the city of New York to stop handling these sheets until the just demands of the strikers are granted. We also call upon the readers of the papers in question to stop patronizing them until the paper boys have won their strike.

These resolutions were adopted at a meeting held by the association on Monday evening and it is said express the attitude of newsdealers generally.

Two more meetings in connection with the strike will be held to-night. One will be a gathering of the newsboys in a hall, at No. 475 Ninth avenue, and the other, under the auspices of the Brotherhood of Newsdealers and Stationers, will be held at No. 19 Manhattan street.

One of the novel features of the strike yesterday was a petition sent by more than seventy residents of the greater city to the proprietor of one of the boycotted papers. In this petition the signers express their earnest regret at the attitude of the boycotted newspaper i the strike, adding: —

“You seem to both ignore the just demands of the boys and refuse to recognize the principle of arbitration on an important issue between employer and a large body of employees.”

The signers declare that they have agreed among themselves and have made pledges to buy no more copies of the boycotted paper until either the demands of the Newsboys’ Union are acceded to or consent is given to submit the points at issue to arbitration.

In the Enemy's Country


The strike extended yesterday to White Plains, Saratoga, Bayonne and Asbury Park, and became more vigorous than ever in other places. The striking boys in Trenton made a big demonstration, and the men who attempted to handle the offending publications in New Jersey’s State capital soon wearied of their task.

Owing to their inability to obtain a permit from Chief of Police Devery the strikers did not hold the monster parade they had planned for last night. They found Mayor Van Wyck friendly, however, and hope to get the permit from Chief Devery to-day. The boys gathered in small numbers and marched through many city streets, and more than a hundred strikers, led by a policeman who rode in a covered wagon, marched from the Grand Central Station to Broadway and thence through the Tenderloin. Several of the boys had been supplied with silk hats and they made an enthusiastic demonstration. There was another parade in Second avenue early in the morning.

Source: “Newsdealers Aid the Boy Strikers.” New York Herald, 27 July 1899, p. 4.