By Matthew A. Henson. In 1909, after two decades of strenuous efforts, the Peary Arctic Club expedition team triumphantly arrived at the North Pole. Commander Peary and his African-American companion, Matthew Henson, had endured several failed attempts to cross hundreds of miles of frozen ocean. But with their growing skill and experience, along with the assistance of Inuit guides, the explorers successfully planted the U.S. flag at the top of the world. This is Matthew Henson's firsthand account of the epic adventure—a dramatic tale of danger, courage, and determination. Dover Publications (2008), English, Paperback: 128 pages.
Hailed by The New York Times as a "really valuable addition" to the literature of polar exploration, and by Commonweal as "fascinating and exciting," Henson's story begins with his early years as a sailor. His navigational expertise proved invaluable to the Peary expeditions, and although racism kept him from receiving his rightful recognition a century ago, there is no doubt that his heroism ensured the enterprise's success. Henson not only mastered the Inuit language, but he built and drove the sleds and broke the trails. He hunted game to keep the starving explorers alive, carrying crew members when they were too weak to walk. His compelling narrative recaptures all the glory of the golden age of exploration. This edition features a Foreword by Robert E. Peary and an Introduction by Booker T. Washington, in addition to six historic photographs.