July 27, 1899: “Boys Eloquent in Brooklyn”

Boys Eloquent in Brooklyn

Strikers Cheered On To Victory By Their Leaders At A Meeting

Nearly five hundred people thronged Washington and Johnson sts., in front of the Postoffice, in Brooklyn, last night, to listen to the eloquence of newsboy spellbinders. “Eddie” and Walter Murphy, Timmy Kelly, the “Black Wonder,” and “Buck” Farly, 2d, were the principal speakers.

“Eddie” Murphy was the first speaker, and he said in part:

Felly hustlers in de field of newspapes, youse all knows wot youse is here fur. W’en a bloke swipes de last dime youse has in yer cloze, you don’t have to kinsult a city directory or a cop t’ know dat youse is a loser. Some folks is thick ’nuff ter say, “Oh, it’s only a matter of 10 a hundred papers, an’ it’ll blow over in a few days.” Well, who’s got a right to dat 10 cents—de blokes wot ride in coupys or de boys wot git a hustle on and wolk fur der butter cakes? Dat’s wot I’d like ter know. No, we is goin’ ter win dis strike. Don’t get discouraged. De peepuls is wid us.

“Why didn’t we go to de parade?” asked a boy in the crowd.

“Jes financial depresshun, dat’s all,” said Murphy, with a grin. “eW [sic] couldn’t git a band fur $6.25, an’ it’s a good deal better to stay out o’ debt and sing low, dan it is to put on a hell of a lot o’ hugs an’ go hungry. We’s got $6.25 in dough, an’ de nickels is comin’ in faster all de while, but we can’t buy a steam yot yet.”

Walter Murphy and Timmy Kelly spoke briefly, and choked a good deal, and then Buck aFrley [sic], 2d was said to be ready to lick any newsboy found guilty of selling the two paers [sic].

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