July 26, 1899: “Newsboy Leaders Quit.”

Newsboy Leaders Quit.

Rank and File Would Not Submit—Restoration Attempted—The Strike Still On—An Accounting for Moneys Collected Demanded—The Parade To-night.

Word that Kid Blink and Dave Simons, who have posed as leaders of the newsboys’ strike, had turned “scab” was brought to newspaper offices in breathless haste this morning by Little Fisher, Blink’s right-hand man; Jo Meyers, whose position in the leadership Blink usurped on the first day “wid his big mout'”; and Charles Solomon, who “pulled Blink out of the World office and made a striker of him,” when the strike was first declared on.

These lads were regretful and indignant near to the point of tears. They belived themselves and their thousands of fellow workers to have been betrayed for money at a time when corruption could hurt their little cause most; and they talked of a concerted attack upon Blink, at least, who is not so capable of taking care of himself as Simons, the “President of the Newsboys’ Union.”

It seemed to the boys that Blink’s falling away was a great blow, and they were greatly excited. As a matter of fact he went into the Journal office this morning and was observed by half-a-dozen pickets. When he came out he had a bundle of papers under his arm and he at once took up a position.

Before he had made a sale he was surrounded by a threatening crowd. He was badly frightened, dropped his bundle of papers, and took to his heels. He was proclaimed a “scab,” and he has been going around with a hang-dog look ever since, trying his best to cringe himself into favor again. He says he thought the strike was over.

Ugly rumors—so considered by newsboys generally—are in circulation. It is said that the recognized leader, on whom the strikers depended most for guidance and support, has “resigned.”

The first conference during the newsboys’ strike was held last night between their representatives and the managers of one of the boycotted papers.

When asked what was done at the conference between the strike leaders and the newspaper management, Blink, when he was still “regular,” this morning, said: “Well, me an’ ‘Dave’ Simon was de fellers what spoke fer de stsrikers, and we told ’em true. We said we’s wanted de papes tu fer a cent, and de manjer said his concern would go broke at date rate. He said he’d ha’ t’ see Mr. Hearst ‘fore makin’ us any proposition. De me and Simon told him t’ hurry up, fer we’d keep de strike movin’ till our demands was met. Wid dat we quit! Nutting was done, but it means lots to be recognized.”

Young Monix, helped by Little Fisher, has taken charge of the strike. Kid Blink protests that he is loyal, having been thoroughly intimidated, and Dave Simons, upon whose head wrath descended all morning long, is doing his best to “square” himself. The strikers are suspicious, and, though Simons went to “de White House (city hall) to see the Mayor about to-night’s parade, they will not trust him. Nothwithstanding all the strike is to go on. Young Monix has declared that the morning editions of the boycotted papers will also be boycotted to-morrow, as a “clincher.”

An employee of the World was arrested this afternoon, charged with assaulting a newsboy, called Blind Diamond, after enticing him into the office. The employee, Oppenheimer, was taken to the Centre Street police station.

Since yesterday afternoon, when the boys obtained the permission which Chief Devery refused them, they have been very busy securing subscriptions to their fund for parades and meetings. The money is coming in all denominations, from dimes to dollars.Yesterday Charles Bacigalupo, the Mulberry Street undertaker, contributed $50, two open coaches, and four horses for to-night’s parade. Young Monix will ride at the head instead of Kid Blink. He says there will be fifty horses, ten carriages, and a brass band. The parade will form in Newspaper Row, and the line of march will be up Park Row to the Bowery, to Third Avenue, to Fifty-ninth Street, to Fifth Avenue, down Fifth Avenue to Washington Square, across Eighth Street to Second Avenue, where the parade will be dismissed and refreshments served on the spot.

Source: “Newsboy Leaders Quit.” Evening Post, 26 July 1899, p. 1.