A Negro Explorer at the North Pole
New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1912. First printing. Black and white plates. Cloth over boards. Octavo. xxii, 200 pages. Very good. Bound in blue cloth over boards with spine and upper board title in white, small photographic portrait of Henson laid down on upper board. Slight rubs to binding extremities, a touch of sunning to spine, and white titles are slightly rubbed. Hinges sound.
Matthew Henson was an African American explorer who was Robert Peary's indispensable right-hand man on his seven Arctic expeditions over nearly 23 years. It is now generally acknowledged (as he claims herein) that Henson was the first of the party to reach the spot claimed as the geographic North Pole by Peary's 1908-1909 expedition.
Henson was a native of Charles County, Maryland, born to free sharecroppers. He was greatly influenced as a young boy when he heard Frederick Douglass speak at a ceremony honoring Abraham Lincoln. Douglass urged African Americans to pursue equal educational opportunities and fight racial prejudice.
Foreword by Robert Peary. Introduction by Booker T. Washington. An important and elusive piece of African Americana.