Matthew Henson by Michael GilmanA superb study of of the explorer who, with Robert Peary and their Eskimo assistants, were the first men to reach the North Pole. Hensons life story is far more interesting than just this one notable achievement. Because he was an African-American, Henson regularly encountered overt racism and his contributions to the success of the expedition were not appreciated until late in his life. Gilman gives us a full picture of a man of tremendous intelligence, patience, and desire for adventure and gives a feeling of the times in which he lived and the people he knew. The book credits in large part Hensons good relationships with the native people and his ability to master from them the skills necessary to live in this unforgiving environment as the keys to accomplishing the drive to the Pole. Accompanied by a b/w photograph (or map) on every page, this title would be useful for pleasure reading as well as for school reports.
FLASHBACK: Remembering Jim Henson, 25 Years After His Death
They spent a total of 18 years on expeditions together. Henson said he was the first of their party to reach the pole. Henson was born in Nanjemoy, Maryland , to sharecropper parents who were free people of color before the Civil War. He spent most of his early life in Washington, D. He later returned to Washington and worked as a salesclerk at a good department store. One of his customers was Robert Peary, who in hired him as a personal valet. At the time, Peary was working on the Nicaragua Canal.
All rights reserved., Matthew Henson was an American explorer who accompanied Robert Peary, most famously on an expedition intended to reach the Geographic North Pole in
Explorer Robert Edwin Peary hired Henson as his valet for expeditions. Henson died in New York City in The son of two freeborn black sharecroppers, Henson lost his mother at an early age. When Henson was 4 years old, his father moved the family to Washington, D. His father died there a few years later, leaving Henson and his siblings in the care of other family members. At the age of 11, Henson left home to find his own way. Its skipper, Captain Childs, took Henson under his wing and saw to his education, which included instruction in the finer points of seamanship.
Peary on most of his expeditions, including that to the North Pole in Orphaned as a youth, Henson went to sea at the age of 12 as a cabin boy on the sailing ship Katie Hines. Later, while working in a store in Washington, D. In Peary and Henson, accompanied by four Inuit , became the first men to reach the North Pole , the rest of the crew having turned back earlier. The following year, by order of Pres. William Howard Taft , Henson was appointed a clerk in the U.