Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks


Horatio Alger

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Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks Characters

Richard “Ragged Dick” Hunter

Ragged Dick is the nickname of Richard Hunter, a bootblack who lives on the streets and scrounges a living by shining people’s shoes with the help of his bootblacking box. He’s been living this… read analysis of Richard “Ragged Dick” Hunter

Henry Fosdick

Henry Fosdick is a homeless bootblack like his friend Ragged Dick, but he lacks his comrade’s amiable, outgoing nature. As a result, Fosdick struggles to find customers and has to endure more nights on… read analysis of Henry Fosdick

Frank Whitney

Frank is the nephew of Mr. Whitney, a businessman in New York City whom Frank visits one day. He is a student at an expensive boarding school in Barnton, Connecticut, where he studies the… read analysis of Frank Whitney

Mr. Rockwell

Mr. Rockwell is an exceptionally minor character with few speaking lines who appears only at the story’s conclusion. Nevertheless, it is through his generosity and sense of fairness that Dick is able to make his… read analysis of Mr. Rockwell

Mr. Greyson

Mr. Greyson is a businessman and Sunday School teacher who first meets Ragged Dick when the boy offers to shine his shoes. Dick is unable to provide Greyson with the proper change, and Greyson suggests… read analysis of Mr. Greyson
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Mr. Whitney

Mr. Whitney is Frank Whitney’s uncle and a successful New York City businessman. He hires Ragged Dick to show Frank around the city. Mr. Whitney takes a keen, philanthropic interest in Dick, noting his… read analysis of Mr. Whitney

Mrs. Mooney

Mrs. Mooney is Ragged Dick’s, and later Fosdick’s, landlady. She is frazzled and overworked, often struggling to make ends meet. Her financial situation is such that she’s willing to take less rent from… read analysis of Mrs. Mooney

Micky Maguire

Micky Maguire is a homeless bootblack like Ragged Dick. However, whereas Dick yearns for a better life and ultimately earns one, Micky seems content with his lot in life and actively dislikes ambitious boys… read analysis of Micky Maguire

Jim Travis

Jim Travis is a bartender who rents the room next to Ragged Dick and Fosdick. Much like many of the bootblacks Dick encounters, Travis is a lazy man, always looking to get rich quick… read analysis of Jim Travis

Tom Wilkins

Tom Wilkins is a bootblack, who like Fosdick and Ragged Dick, is honest and hardworking. Unlike Fosdick, and like Dick, Wilkins makes good money for himself. However, Wilkins is not homeless, as he lives… read analysis of Tom Wilkins

Johnny Nolan

Johnny Nolan is a bootblack with little ambition who hangs around with similarly unmotivated bootblacks. Johnny openly admits that he’s lazy, but he also doesn’t believe that working hard will save him. Rather, he sees… read analysis of Johnny Nolan