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A Negro Explorer at the North Pole

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Overview

One of the first questions which Commander Peary was asked when he returned home from his long, patient, and finally successful struggle to reach the Pole was how it came about that, beside the four Esquimos, Matt Henson, a Negro, was the only man to whom was accorded the honor of accompanying him on the final dash to the goal.

The question was suggested no doubt by the thought that it was but natural that the positions of greatest responsibility and honor on such an expedition ...

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A Negro Explorer at the North Pole (Illustrated)

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Overview

One of the first questions which Commander Peary was asked when he returned home from his long, patient, and finally successful struggle to reach the Pole was how it came about that, beside the four Esquimos, Matt Henson, a Negro, was the only man to whom was accorded the honor of accompanying him on the final dash to the goal.

The question was suggested no doubt by the thought that it was but natural that the positions of greatest responsibility and honor on such an expedition would as a matter of course fall to the white men of the party rather than to a Negro. To this question, however, Commander Peary replied, in substance:

"Matthew A. Henson, my Negro assistant, has been with me in one capacity or another since my second trip to Nicaragua in 1887. I have taken him on each and all of my expeditions, except the first, and also without[xvi] exception on each of my farthest sledge trips. This position I have given him primarily because of his adaptability and fitness for the work and secondly on account of his loyalty. He is a better dog driver and can handle a sledge better than any man living, except some of the best Esquimo hunters themselves."

In short, Matthew Henson, next to Commander Peary, held and still holds the place of honor in the history of the expedition that finally located the position of the Pole, because he was the best man for the place. During twenty-three years of faithful service he had made himself indispensable. From the position of a servant he rose to that of companion and assistant in one of the most dangerous and difficult tasks that was ever undertaken by men. In extremity, when both the danger and the difficulty were greatest, the Commander wanted by his side the man upon whose skill and loyalty he could put the most absolute dependence and when that man turned out to be black instead of white, the Commander was not only willing to accept the service but was at the same time generous enough to acknowledge it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Robert Peary is remembered as the intrepid explorer who successfully reached the North Pole in 1909. Far less celebrated is his companion, Matthew Henson, a black man from Maryland. A Negro Explorer at the North Pole: The Autobiography of Matthew Henson, first published in 1912 and now re-issued, tells this unsung hero's story in his own words. Henson, who was paid only minimum wages throughout two decades of his association with Peary, was indispensable to the famous explorer's journey; he learned the language of the Eskimos, was an expert dog-sled driver and even built the sleds. But after they reached the North Pole, Peary stole the black man's photographs, barely spoke to him and refused to recognize his importance to the expedition. This edition contains rare photos of the journey and an introduction by S. Allen Counter, author of North Pole Legacy: Black, White, and Eskimo ( May) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781503257788
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/17/2014
  • Pages: 152
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author

A Negro Explorer At The North Pole [1912]. By Matthew A. Henson.
Introduction by Booker T. Washington. Forward presented by Robert E. Peary.

"I am reminded in this connection that Matthew Henson is not the first colored man who by his fidelity and devotion has made himself the trusty companion of the men who have explored and opened up the western continent. Even in the days when the Negro had little or no opportunity to show his ability as a leader, he proved himself at least a splendid follower, and there are few great adventures in which the American white man has engaged where he has not been accompanied by a colored man.

"For the sake of my race as well as the truth of history; I am proud and glad to welcome this account of his adventure from a man who has not only honored the race of which he is a member, but has proven again that courage, fidelity, and ability are honored and rewarded under a black skin as well as under a white.

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON.

Principal, Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2014

    Not your buissness

    It is a great book matthew henson is one of the coolest people i know if he needded my help i would give it to have he is a wonderful person i mean the north pole how many people do you know that traveled to the north pole if i could do the i would be super excited and happy this is a GREAT book and i emphasis on great

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

    A pitter is heard

    A Tom kit is sitting at the clan ground entrance. It is grey with black and red fur scattered around his body. He mews, clumsily falls over, and sleeps. There is a note on his neck saying, "Please take him. Someone is about to kill me. Please take my baby." The name is faded and cannot be read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2014

    Neonkit

    Aww man! *A kit about 5 and 3/4 moons old pads in.* I found my courage too late!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    Ambertail

    She touched noses with Talonpaw.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2014

    TO ALL OF NORTHCLAN!

    Are you going to attack Sandclan? They are at sander res one, if you are!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2014

    Black -&- White

    Black pads in, her sleek body full with lilac-lavender point fur, her dark, cream brown eyes glinting with nothingness. She had no emotions. White, her brother, slips in beside her, his dark green eyes bored and exhausted. His fur was sleek and amber-colored, with black plack paws and ears. With a sigh, he stands beside his sister protectively, "I am White and this is my Sister, Black. Might we be able to join?"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2014

    Whisperpaw

    Smiling, she bounds up to Lighningfoot and touched noses with him. Postpost

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2014

    Cherryfrost and Lightbingfoot

    Cherryfrost toiched noses to Kamipaw
    <p>
    Lighhtningfoot touched noses to Whisperpaw

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2014

    Spiritfern

    The ashclan she pads in, nervously scenting the air.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    Petalstorm

    [It's so hatd to POST because B&N is giving us this LAG. I gtg early, bbt]
    <p>
    The tortoiseshell nodded thoughtfully,"I see. We should wait for Aurorastar. How about this; if Aurorastar does not return in 2-3 weeks, you or I will take over leadership. I clan can't got that long without a leader, temporary at least," ~Petalstorm

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    Lilywolf's Lives post post post

    The five lives of Lilywolf look down at Northclan with dismay in their ice blue eyes. <br>
    "It's so empty." Whispers the third life to her sisters. The others nod solomnly. <br>
    "What has become of Aurorastar? And Petalstorm?" Crys the second life in horror. <br>
    The first life shrugs. "All leaders go. Some die like Sunnystar." Her eyes mist at the name of her leader. "Others, like us, become lost and when we return, the clan has changed." <br>
    The fourth life bows her head sadly, being the last one to remember being Lilystar. <br>
    The fifth life looks at the other four leaders gently. "But you know why we had to give it up. The clan must come first. How could we take away Velvetstar's leadership when we didn't even know the clan anymore? Every leader should do what is best and at the time Velvetstar was for the best, no matter how much it hurt us. The prophecy had spoken. Cats must be willing to give up what is rightfully theirs if it will help the clan." <br>
    The four leader lives nod sadly. They couldn't deny missing their leadership but they all knew it was the right choice. <br>
    "It seems Northclan may be facing a similar problem now." Meows the second, with a sad look at the clan. <br>
    "Should we guide them? Send them a sign I mean?" Wonders the fourth. <br>
    "We can't do that. It's not our place to decide the fate of another clan. Horseclan is our responsibility. We have to trust that those of Northclan will act wisely. After all, ultimately it is their path to walk and not ours." Murmers the first. <br>
    The rest of the lives nod solomnly. <br>
    With a sigh, the fifth rises to her paws. "Come we can do no more here." <br>
    As the five identical light gray tabby shecats head out to return to their part of the sky overlooking the prairie, the third life halts. With a soft sweep of her tail, she wisks away the clouds covering the moon. It shines down on Northclan, as if promising a possible better future but one that is shadowed in uncertainty. Then she races after her sisters and soon the five lives have vanished from the Northclan sky. ~ Lilywolf's Lives post post post

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2014

    Kamikit

    Okbhebmews the blind kit pads back to camp

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    A cat looks at th tom and thinks......

    He curls around the kit her name is greypaw.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Waterkit

    A female kit about 3 moons old is clinging to a tree. She had no mom. Her fur is gray and she has a blueish tint to it. her eyes are stormy blue.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    Darkclaw

    Here

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    ♚<_>AuroraStar ~~ Ceremony

    She bounds up the rock and mews "CATS OF NORTHCLAN GATHER AROUND THE HIGH LOG"
    <p>
    "We gather today to annouce five kits into apprenticeship. Bluekit, twilightkit, kamikit, whisperkit, and talonkit please step forward, until you reach warrior age you will be know as bluepaw, twilightpaw, kamipaw, whisperpaw, and talonpaw. Bluepaw your mentor will be LostSpirit, lostspirit pass on your knowledge and strength to bluepaw" she pauses to smile slightly " twilightpaw your mentor will be BrownStripe, Brownstripe pass on your courage and loyalty to twilightpaw. Kamipaw your mentor will be CherryFoot(sorry if spelled wrong), cherryfoot pass on your honour and trust to kamipaw" she smiles then continues
    <p>
    "Whisperpaw you mentor will be lightning?, lightning? Pass on your loyalty and bravery to whisperpaw. Talonpaw your mentor will be AmberTail, AmberTail pass on your courage and wisdom to talonpaw"
    <p>
    "I would also like to announce a deputy change, since petalstorm hasnt been very active lately i now make LostSpirit to deputy." She jumps off the high log and mews "MEETING DISMISSED"
    <p>
    P.S sorry if i am not active ask lostspirit for details

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    LostSpirit

    "Yes, you both may join. But camp is next result."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Bloodhack

    Who attacked Blackheart? We can tell when one another is fighting.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2012

    Great read

    Terrible title but fascinating book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews

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