July 26, 1899: “Seek To Help the Newsboys”

Seek to Help the Newsboys

Meeting of Those Interested in Movement to Better Their Condition.

There was a meeting last night to begin a movement for the permanent improvement of the condition of newsboys. It was in Room 217 of the Broadway Central Hotel, and was called to order by Rufus W. Frost. Fourteen men and four women attended. Thomas Campbell Copeland and Miss Mary S. Lester have given much time to the problem, and the results of their labor were presented to the meeting in condensed form.

They find that there are in Greater New York 2,500 newsboys, ranging in age from six to sixteen years, and that, apart from the lodging houses, there is no systematic effort to regulate or help them. The authorities of scores of cities have been written to, and their answers show that, while a few of them have municipal regulations for the benefit of the boys, most of them are eager to follow New York’s lead in some such movement.

Mr. Copeland’s idea is that boys under ten years old should be forbidden the streets after 9 o’clock at night; that the consent of the parents or guardians of all boys be required before they are permitted to sell papers, and that they be regularly licensed, badged, and uniformed. He says his general idea has the support Dr. Lyman Abbot, Congressmen Cummings and Sulzer, Adjt. Gen. Andrews, Randolph Guggenheim, the Rev. S. P. Cadman, Aldermen McGarry, Minsky, Glick, Okie, and Schneider, Councilman Hart, Mrs. William Tod Helmuth, and many others.

Alderman McGarry was present and was called to the chair after the report had been read. At his suggestion the appointment of committees was postponed until another meeting. The Rev. James Le Baron Johnson, who is a Chaplain of the Fire Department, was among those present, and expressed his strong sympathy with Mr. Copeland’s general purposes.

Source: “Seek to Help the Newsboys.” The New York Times, 26 July 1899, p. 3.