Athropolis HOME   |   Maps   |   Arctic Links   |   Arctic Library
Click to go HOME
From our library of things you should know about the Arctic


Matthew Henson: With Peary to the Pole

Although Robert Peary is credited as the first to reach the North Pole (1909), he did not do it alone. He was accompanied to the Pole by Matthew Henson and four Inuit (referred to as Eskimos at that time).

Henson's skill, loyalty and dependability had been proven over many years of exploring with Peary (he had saved Peary's life on one occasion), but although Peary received many honors, Henson, as a black man, got little recognition.

In fact, upon returning to their ship, Peary appeared to shun Henson. Henson later wrote: "Not once in all that time did he speak a word to me... Not a word about the North Pole or anything connected with it."

Peary's expedition had started with six white men, one black and twenty-one Inuit. For the last leg to the Pole, he took only Henson and four Inuit, apparently so he could claim the honor as the only white man. At the beginning of the 20th century, a black man and Eskimos apparently didn't count.

It wasn't until 1937, at age seventy, that Henson got some of the attention he deserved when he was made an honorary member of the famed Explorers Club in New York. In 1946 he was also honored by the U.S. Navy with a medal, but his most-prized award was a gold medal from the Chicago Geographic Society.

Today, Henson is honored with a monument in America's Arlington National Cemetery (Picture: Right).

MORE...
Click pictures for more information and credits.
Library: Arctic, Exploration
Explorers, Sled Dogs
Links: Arctic, Inuit
Maps: Explorers' Routes
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports


Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

Search for more on this topic...from Athropolis!
(1) Click the button for Web (below) to search the World Wide Web
(2) Click button for
WWW.ATHROPOLIS.COM to search this web site

 
Web WWW.ATHROPOLIS.COM
Icy Cold Jokes | Icy Games | E-mail | Athropolis HOME
Copyright 2005 Athropolis Productions Limited. The content of web sites that this site has links
to is the property of their respective owners, and Athropolis is not responsible for their content.