June 27, 1901 Buffalo Courier
The following, taken from the New York Sun of Wednesday, shows the spread of the Pam American Exposition fever among small boys in New York.
So many small-boy runaways have started for the Pan-American Exposition in the last three weeks that the Albany police are sending them back in batches by boat. Roundsman1Rehan, who has charge of the Information Bureau at Police Headquarters, told about it yesterday. The arrangement of sending back the runaways in batches is a great convenience, he says. They come back tagged as soon as their parents have sent the Albany police cash for the return fare.
"Most of the runaways are 10 or 11 years old," said the roundsman. "Some of them are even younger. They manage to get away on a freight train, but few get farther than Albany. When the Albany police have assembled a batch of ten or fifteen they notify us and we send word to the parents. None of the parents refuse to pay for the return ticket that will bring the boy back, and when the boat arrives the parents are waiting on the pier. We get about two batches a week. The last batch that came down numbered about seventeen. The next batch will be ten. All are boys who started for the exposition. Most of them have comfortable homes, but they want to see the sights.
"Three boys who came down with the last boat load from Albany were the sons of storekeepers. The got at the cash drawer in the store and stole a few dollars. They pooled the cash and they talked so much about it that an Albany tramp advised them it would be best for him to hold the money. He told each that the others might run away and leave him. The result was that the tramp became the banker and eloped with the bank. The three boys returned weeping and promised never to run away again.
"The Prodigal Line from Albany is doing a rushing business," added the roundsman.
ed. note: Roundsman: police supervisor
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