August 2, 1899: “Newsboys Strike Up the State”

Newsboys Strike Up the State

In Poughkeepsie and Rochester they Boycott the World and Journal.

POUGHKEEPSIE, July 31.—The strike of the newsboys against handling the Worlds and Journals at the prevailing rates spread to this city to-day, and for an hour this afternoon about a hundred boys engaged in a demonstration which had for its features a parade around town and the destruction by fire of scores of the papers snatched from newsdealers and their agents. The strike started downtown, where the papers are received, and the leaders in it appeared to be two newsboys named “Nink” Nugent and George Burlingame. Robert Alexander, a dealer, who attempted to carry a package of Worlds and Journals uptown on his bicycle, was knocked down and his papers taken away from him. He was injured by the fall and attempted to retaliate, but was hemmed in by such a crowd of youngsters that he was forced to retreat. The tires of his wheel were cut. The contraband papers were taken to Bullard alley, where a bonfire was made of them, and there was great rejoicing among the victorious strikers as they watched the flames eat up the sheets.

While the parade was passing through the town dealers who had Worlds and Journals exposed for sale on their stands hurriedly gathered them up and took them into their stores to save them from destruction. The police followed the boys until their demonstration was ended to see that no damage was done to property. Max Eisner tried to dispose of a small stock of papers he had purchased, but was forced to give them up. He is a little chap, and his whole capital was invested in his papers. His tears aroused the sympathy of John G. Collingwood, a broker, who paid him twice the value of every paper torn up by the strikers. The boys are determined, and say they will continue the strike until their demands are granted. They now pay 60 cents a hundred for their papers; the price formerly was 40 cents.

ROCHESTER, July 31—True to their promise, when the New York Worlds and Journals came this afternoon the newsboys, who had collected in a big crowd at the New York Central station, refused to take any of them. The papers were dumped off in a large pile, 3,000 in all, and nobody stirred toward them for a space of several minutes. The carmen held the packages out toward the boys, but they only jeered. One boy pluckily started to get some papers, and the others pitched on to him and hammered him with the clubs they carried. He fell in a faint and was carried to his home in a helpless condition.

A youth named Milenthal, who handles the Journal, and another named Manson, who handles the World, speedily got into trouble with a lot of the boys by trying to get possession of their papers. Several hundreds of the offending publications were taken from them and torn to pieces. There were few Worlds and Journals sold.

YONKERS, July 31—The newsboy strikers of Westchester county, representing Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and Mamaroneck, parade through this city to-night, headed by a “Rough Rider” as grand marshal, mounted on a bronco, in company with a fox terrier. The boys were accompanied by a brass band and a fife and drum corps. There were fully one thousand in line. The newsdealers sat in open wagonettes. At Getty Square about two thousand citizens greeted them. Red lights flared and skyrockets were sent up. The boys cheered and yelled themselves hoards all along the line of march.