July 28, 1899: “Newsboys Get New Leaders”

Newsboys Get New Leaders.

Tear Up Boycotted Papers by the Thousand—Mob Kid Blink—He Is Arrested.

The striking newsboys raised Cain yesterday in Frankfort street, between William street and Park row. The World and Journal had hired a lot of boys at $1 a day to sell papers and the rumors that leaders of the strike had been bought off were renewed. It was reported that in the afternoon Worlds and Journals would be given away at Frankfort street to anybody who would proclaim to sell them.

A mob of newsboys numbering about 500 collected. Dave Simons, a leader called Dufsky and several others were seen coming around from William street into Frankfort staggering under bundles of Journals. At the same time several big boys came out from the World building and began to give away papers. The strikers charged them, buffeting and pummeling them and tearing the papers to pieces. The air was full of the fragments. Two policemen tried to stop the onslaught and were nearly carried off their feet. The small strikers swarmed around them like ants and worried them front and rear, while others attended to the boys who were arriving with Worlds and Journals. Word was sent to the Oak street station, and half a dozen reserves came along swinging their nightsticks. By the time they arrived, five or six thousand papers had been torn up as fast as the bundles were untied, and the block was covered a foot deep with paper. Some of the strikers, having heard that the papers were given away, and gone and got more and brought them to Frankfort street, where they tore them up.

The police hustled the boys away and in about ten minutes had the place clear of boys. Then Kid Blink appeared in a new suit of clothes. He was taxed with being in the pay of the boycotted papers. He denied it and some of the crowd believed him.

Kid Blink and Dave Simons have been announcing a parade for several days, and finally declared positively that it would take place last night. It didn’t take place, however, and 2,000 boys who assembled around Printing House Square at night began to talk again about Blink’s new cloths and Simons’s desertion, and resolved to get a new leader. They were in such numbers that the police had all they could do to keep the boys moving. Finally the crowd got under the bridge arch on North William street and elected new leaders, known as Yak Egg and Niney. Kid Blink hove in sight. Some of the boys cheered him and others hooted. At the noise five policemen chased away the crowd. The boys ran through William street towards Chambers street pursuing Kid Blink. Two detectives who came from the direction of Chambers street found the Kid leading the rush and arrested him. At the Oak street station the prisoner described himself as Louis Ballatt of 179 Park row. An agent of one of the boycotted papers offered bail for him, but his mother appeared with a bondsman.

Blink admitted that he had been selling boycotted papers. He returned to Park row, which forthwith became the theatre for incursions and alarums. The boys chased him, the police chased him, and there was a noisy time.

While the chasing was going on, a delegation of newsboys from Newark appeared looking for the parade. Finding none, they had a parade of their own as far as Baxter street before the police discovered that they had no permit. The Newark delegation was halted and ordered to go home. Then a big van filled with boys from the Grand Central Station came along to join the parade. The police turned the wagon into Mail street and sent it uptown by way of Broadway.

PROVIDENCE, July 27—The Newsboys’ Club had a meeting yesterday at which it was voted that the newsboys of Providence will not handle either of the boycotted papers until the demands of the New York newsboys are granted. When the papers arrived here this afternoon the boys with the exception of three refused to handle them. After some rough persuasion the three joined the majority. Neither paper was for sale on the streets to-night.

Source: “Newsboys Get New Leaders.” The Sun [New York], 28 July 1899, p. 2.