July 24, 1899: “Newsboys Want to Parade.”

Newsboys Want to Parade.

Their Statement—Application for a Permit—Scenes in Frankfort Street.


The following statement was issued this afternoon by the striking newsboys:

“Among the newsboys who have volunteered to speak at New Irving Hall to-night are Kid, Young Mounx, Bob Indianstone, Dave Simonds, Billy de Red, and Abey Tribune, also Yollar dot sells in front of Dolan’s in Park Row. When Abey Tribune was asked what he thought of de meeting he said de meeting is de real t’ing and don’t forget it, see, and when de gang of bums dat is hired by the Woild and Choinal leaves Frankfurt Street we won’t do a t’ing to dem.

“Morris Adelman, known as Articles and Crabbes, quit the strikers’ ranks and started in selling Worlds and Journals. When asked by he quit teh strikers’ ranks, he says: ‘Vat, do you t’ink I’m a fool when de odder fellows ain’t selling. I’ll make all de money, and besides the Voild and Choinel is giving me $2 a day for selling,’ and before he know it he was hit with stones, sticks, and everything the boys could find until the crowd of newsboys were charged by the policemen that were stationed at Park Row and Frankfort Street to quell the disturbance caused by the newsboys’ strike.

“The Woild drivers, 300 strong, went out on strike to-day. When Dub Bamnon was asked why teh strikers went out on strike, he says: ‘Do you t’ink I want to cash in my chips quick. I might as well insure my life as to go on my route to South Ferry to sell Worlds.

“Joe Quinn, a spotter for the N. Y. Yellow Journal was showing a few scabs that were hired what to do and giving directions. He says to a few of them, ‘Now you go to Jersey City, and you to the bridge, and you go to South Ferry,’ and before he knew it he was hit by stones and sticks, so they had to retreat to yellow-paper offices.”

At noon to-day Madison Square looked like a stage after a stage snow-storm; fragments of the offending papers were all over teh square, blowing in the breeze. Two men had arrived with large bundles of papers. In a moment they were surrounded by newsboys, all wearing signs on their caps as, “Don’t ask a decent boy for a World or Journal,” who took the papers forcibly from the men, and tore them up. One man stood in the background with hands demurely crossed over an abnormal chest development; he was eyed suspiciously by the boys. The fact developed that he had a large bundle of the boycotted papers under his coat. He explained to the boys: “Well, I got ter earn me livin’; I don’t want ter sell de tings, but if I stand on de corner wid ’em I get two dollars; see?”

A large crowd of people collected on the scene, but were dispersed by four policemen. At Twenty-first street a large boy also stood, holding about fifty Journals. Suddenly a small arm reached up and grabbed the bundle of papers, and a shrill voice said, “Hey wot yer doin’?” and another confiscation took

Frankfort Street was crowded this morning with groups of strikers jubilant over the fact that over a dozen drivers of World wagons had quit work. “It’s a great think,” said a freckled-faced lad, waving a ragged cap in the air.

“I wuz de one what went ter see Hearst,” said Blink to a bystander, evidently proud of the fact. “An’ he telled me to selecter er committee; we don’t it, an’ they’s ter meet ‘im termorrer at de Broadway Central er quarter ter twelve. When he druv down in his hansom dis morning he went in by de Spruce Street door, an’ I tell you we sissed ‘im good.”

“We’s gettin’ subscriptions,” said Mr. Gaity, the right-hand man of President Blink of the committee. “De papers all guv us something, an’ de fellers in Wall Street hang out’n de winders an’ chuck us nickels an’ dimes.”

The boys have prepared about 300 banners, inscribed iwth appropriate mottos, such as “Help the Newsboys,” “Fair Play is what we want.” “Dey’ll bring ’em down in a tally-ho,” remarked Kid Blink, mindful of the ones which the police had unfeelingly confiscated, “an’ ef we gits the permit, we’se agoin’ down Broadway, an’ down Wall, an’ ter Sout’ Ferry, and bacnk; me right-han’ man is er cryin’, fer de permit, an’ ez soon ez he gits it, we’se off.”

“We’se got ev’ry right ter win,” said one of the strikers, known as “Broken-Leg Morris.” “We wuz a willin’ ter put up wid dem prices, ‘uv sixty cents fer a hundred papers w’ile de war wuz on, but she ain’t on now. An’ we can’t do it no more.”

“We’se got 10,000 circulars on de move,” cried a voice belonging ti Jim Scabooch, “an’ w’en we begin de parade, we’re agoin’ ter meet 2,000 de Brooklyn newsboys.” “An’ Chuck Connors is er comin'” broke in Blink, “you bet your life. I lives in Chinatown, meself, an’ he’d never come out wid me ag’in ef he didn’t turn out at de parade.”

The boys are looking forward to the mass-meeting, called for 8:30 to-night, at New Irving Hall, Broome Street. As President Blink says, “dey is more ter be done by er meetin’, an’ er spechin’ by fellers like Timmy Sullivan, dan by makin’ rows what riles up dem guys in de blue coats. We got ter hev de money interest is wid us,” says President Blink, “an’ dat’s der way we’se er goin’ to do Wall Street in de parade.”

The belligerents refer with glee to the tow wagons, full of Worlds and Journals, which were turned over in Houston Street last night and their contents made into a bonfire, around which the perpetrators danced like cannibals around a war-feast. “Dey tried ter git de papers ter Jersey City done up in brown-paper, so’s we’se can’t git on to ’em,” said Blink, “but dem fellers—de new scabs, I means—dey’ll git dumped in de river if dey tries it on long.”

In one important respect the newsboys have an advantage over other strikers, for persons have to read papers (so the boys declare), and if they can’t buy “yellow” journals they buy other papers, and as the majority of men are in favor of the strike, the boys gather in a large harvest of pennies, nickels, and dimes, which would ordinarily escape them. Meanwhile it is almost impossible to buy a World or a Journal anywhere on the streets. Those which are sold are disposed of at the entrances of the buildings in which the papers are printed, and the vender [sic] is protected by a couple of policemen. According to the boys, the fate of these “scabs” will come upon them later, when “dey will be sat on an’ done t’ings to.”

Source: “Newsboys Want to Parade.” Evening Post, 24 July 1899, p. 4.