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The condition of women in industry interested many writers of the period, and McClure's and Everybody's published numerous articles on the subject. The subject of child-labor attracted even more attention, however, and enlisted the sympathies of Edwin Markham and John Spargo. Markham, who has been called "the poet of the muckrakers," was born in Oregon, and, after receiving his education in San Jose and at Christian College at Santa Rosa, where he majored in modern literature and Christian sociology, taught in various capacities in a number of California towns and cities. It was while living in Oakland that he wrote his most famous poem, "The Man With the Hoe," which Charles Edward Russell calls "the greatest poem of the age--the most splendid of all utterances for man." At a time when the majority of Victorian poets were clinging to the conventional Victorian subjects, Markham made an effort to bring verse into some kind of relation with contemporary life, and in this respect he is regarded as having been an important force in contemporary poetry. He is still writing, and his poetry and prose still bear witness to the staunch sympathy with the oppressed which led him to ally himself with the muckrakers.
Markham's one direct contribution to the literature of exposure is the series of articles which he wrote for the Cosmopolitan in 1906 and 1907, under the title, "The Hoe-Manin the Making." in the Making." He described the conditions under wnich children were working in mills, glass factories, sweatshops, coal mines, candy factories, and box factories, filling his articles with dramatic appeal, laying hold of his reader's emotions, and rousing the desire for fair play. John Spargo also wrote about children, estimating that there were three million underfed school children in the country. His articles, which originally appeared in the Independent in 1905, were expanded into a book, The Bitter Cry of the Children, for which Robert Hunter, author of Poverty ( 1905) wrote the introduction.
Another subject that interested the muckrakers was the industrial status of the Negro. The increased sensitiveness to injustice led various writers to see that the black race had not been miraculously freed from all its burdens merely because it had been released from slavery. Thomas Nelson Page wrote on the Negro for McClure's in May, 1904, and Ray Stannard Baker for McClure's and the American in 1907 and 1908. In the Cosmopolitan, March, 1907, Richard Barry surveyed the conditions under which Negroes worked in the South.