Hello. This is one of Unearthed Ohio’s infrequent “themed” posts. It combines images that feature migrant farm labor housing in the “muck lands” area near Willard and Celeryville, Ohio. Photos from two trips are combined here, and much of the text is taken from those entries. People who are curious about migrant farm labor in Ohio might find these photos interesting.
Daily Archives: July 4, 2017
Excursion 63, Part 3 (The Mud Rakers)
We all have heard the term “muckraker” and to most of us it conjures up journalistic images—perhaps writers like Upton Sinclair or Ida Tarbell who engaged in early investigative journalism. Many people credit Theodore Roosevelt for popularizing the term and the term itself to a reference from John Bunyon’s 17th-century novel The Pilgrim’s Progress. Of course, Bunyon did not use it to refer to journalists. It was an agricultural term—as was the closely related “mud rakers”—and it referred to people who literally raked the mud, i.e., who tilled wet soil growing produce. It only came to have a (pejorative) association with journalism in the early 1800s in Great Britain. And even then it was still being used, in the United States as well as in Great Britain, in its agricultural sense. And that brings us to Ohio…