Author(s): Matthew A. Henson
Some expedition members questioned Peary's decision to take a black man on the final leg of the journey. Others defended it, citing Henson's popularity with the Inuit, whose language and skills he'd mastered. Upon their return, Peary received wide recognition from the National Geographic Society and the U.S. government for his attainment of the Pole, but Henson was largely ignored, except in the Black community. In later years, Henson received much deserved acclaim for his twenty-three-year contribution to Peary's expeditions. This definitive 100th anniversary edition will be enhanced with material from The Explorer Club's archives, including reference to Henson's correspondence with the club and photographs of Henson ephemera. It also contains a list of Henson's honors and a bibliography of celebratory accounts of his achievements.
"The fascinating and exciting diary of an extraordinary explorers." --"Commonweal" "An original document. . . . One of the giants of polar exploration, Henson had the graceful modesty of genuinely big men. . . . The world would know even more about him now if his commander, Peary, had been less an egotist and more generous in sharing credit for his discovery of the North Pole." --"Book World"
Matthew A. Henson (1866-1955), who was orphaned at age eleven and eventually found employment as a cabin boy on a ship, met Robert Peary in 1887 and later served as his assistant on seven expeditions over nearly a quarter of a century. Later in lifeHenson was elected to The Explorers Club in New York, and in 1988, his remains were re-interred in Arlington National Cemeterynear Peary's monument.