Matthew Henson and Robert Peary By Yves Dakey Acopa

The event that made Matthew Henson and Robert Peary famous was their exploration of the North Pole. They were the first men to reach the exact point of the "top of the world." These two men had some some grand adventures before they met each other.They had very different backgrounds, I'll start with Matthew Henson's early life.

Matthew Henson and Robert Peary.

This video contains facts about Matthew Henson. If you want more information keep reading the text below this video.

The humble cabin boy we know as Matthew Henson was born in Charles country in Maryland on August 8 , 1866. He had a sad start, when he was born his parents were both free Africans but after a few years his mother died and Matthew was left with his father and siblings. When he was 4 his father decided to move to Washington for a job, but after a few years his father died like his mother which left him to care for his siblings.When he was 11 he left to find his own way and work briefly at a restaurant and found work on the ship known as the Katie Hines. He traveled throughout the world to places like Asia, Europe, Africa, and other countries. In 1884 his captain died so he opened the shop that would eventually bring his partner, Robert Peary, into the picture. That's the start of Matthew Henson life and how he learned the skills that he'd need for the long hard journey ahead in his life.

Robert Peary was a naval explorer. The start of Roberts life was in Cresson, Pennsylvania May 6,1856.Three years later his family moved to Maine. His father died a few years later after they moved to Maine. In 1881 he joined the U.S. Navy civil engineers corps . That's when he started his new career as assistant captain on a surveying expedition to Nicaragua. During this trip he got the idea of going to the North Pole. To learn more about Robert Peary, follow the link titled "Robert Peary facts."

This a poster of Roberts' achievement.

Next, you will learn about the beginning of Henson and Peary's attempts to travel to the North Pole.

Once they met, Matthew and Robert had there first journey to Greenland. Henson and Peary learned skills that would help them on their way to the North Pole. They needed money to fund themselves on there expedition. So they collected meteorites that had landed in Greenland, then sold them to museums and got money after giving the meteorites to the museums. Both of these two men would not get fame on their first attempt to the North Pole. They had to make many attempts the had also made achievements before they got to the North Pole. They had the legendary ship that was called the ''Roosevelt''. This ship was the first ship to go the farthest into the North Pole. Even though it went far it didn't go far enough for them to reach their goal. They made many attempts but none of them were a success of reaching the North Pole. They would make there last attempt on April 6, 1909.Peary and Matthew had reached the North Pole and started Peary's new system for their last attempt. The Peary system was for their crew to be divided into groups. Each group would a certain amount of miles, make a little base, leave supplies and then would turn back and the next group go to the little base and grab what they need and would repeat what the last group did. After all the teams did what they were suppose to do, Peary and Henson started their way to their final destination the North Pole. On that day they had done it, Matthew and Robert reached the exact top of the world as you can see in the background . Robert got an award for his achievement and fame. But back then African Americans like Matthew didn't get that kind of nice treatment. Matthew went waited and waited for years. After Those years he finally got an award and got into an explores group. And when they both died they were buried side by side.

That's the historic story about these two brave men who ventured to this amazing continent.


Created with images by Boston Public Library - "Commander Robert E. Peary" • cliff1066™ - "Matthew Hensen"

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