July 27,1899: “Newsboys Are Weakening”

Newsboys Are Weakening

Trouble in the Ranks of the Strikers and More Papers Are Sold.

The newsboys’ strike against The Evening World and Journal showed signs of weakening yesterday. More boys sold those papers without molestation, and there was some dissatisfaction among the strikers themselves.

A little before noon the strikers held a meeting in a saloon in Park Row to consider charges that “Kid” Blink and David Simonds, two of the leaders, had turned traitors, and has received as much as $400 from the managers of the boycotted newspapers to break the strike. Simonds made his appearance and asked the boys to search him to see if he had any money about him. He turned his pockets inside out and pulled his shirt out of his breeches to show that there was nothing concealed in his bosom.

A committee accompanied Simonds to ascertain whether he had really been bribed and on its return reported that Simonds was honest. Thereupon Simonds, who had been elected President of the Newsboy Union, resigned his office, and said he would work as a private in the ranks, and then made a speech advising the boys to “stick together.” He was elected Treasurer, and Morris Cohen was elected President in his place.

A committee came in and reported that the business manager of The Journal has offered to compromise by charging only 50 cents instead of 60 cents per 100 papers, but the meeting decided not to accept the offer. Nevertheless a short time afterward more boys than ever were selling both Worlds and Journals.

The parade of the newsboys, which was to have taken place last night, was postponed until to-night. The reason, so Morris Cohen, the new President of the Newsboys’ Union, says, is that Chief Devery did not sign the permit that Mayor Van Wyck granted. The Chief claimed six hours’ notice, which under the law he is entitled to. This the boys did not give him, and he did not consider that he had sufficient time to make the necessary police arrangements.

Source: “Newsboys Are Weakening.” The New York Times, 27 July 1899, p. 3.