Matthew Henson 1866-1955

Early Life

Matthew Henson a brave, smart and curious person. He was also, a very important part in history. Though his accomplishments occurred later in his life, his early life had a big inpack on it. Mathew was born on April 8th, 1866 in Charles Country, Maryland. Slavery had just ended which gave black people such as Matt's family more freedom. As a young child, Matt, had not have much time to do things he enjoyed. The Henson family had been going through hard times. When Matt was 7 years old Mr. Henson moved the family to Washington, D.C. That same year Matt's mother pasted and his father could no longer care for him. He was sent to live with his uncle. A few years later his father died as well and his uncle could not afford to care for him, so Henson was forced to find a job.

Job Surching

At 11 years old Henson was hired to wash dishes at a restaurant. But, Matt wanted more. He had herd story's from a sailor named Jack. Now he could picture himself in a bigger and better job. His dream was to explore and sail. He decided to walk to Baltimore, Maryland to look for a better fit. After the long hike, Matt met the captain of the ship. His name was Captain Childs. After meeting Matt for the first time, Childs was very impressed! He loved all of Matt's bravery and smarts and hired him right away on the Kaite Hines [his ship]!

Matt at a younger age

Learning and Growing

For five years Captain Child's taught Henson every thing he needed to know about sailing. Matt became a great sailor and started teaching his younger ship mates all his skills. He went to many places with the Captain. Child's took Matt under his wing like the father Matt had never had. Henson loved his life as a sailor but, sadly, when he was 18 the Captain died. Henson lost interest for sailing and decided to look for a job in the United States.

First Exporation

After searching the united states for a job, Matt found the better jobs were more for white people then blacks. He moved back to Washington and found a job in a store called the B.H.! One day, a man named Robert Peary came to buy clothes for a trip. Robert had been sent on a trip by the United States government. He had not only come for clothes but, for a servant to be by his side. Although, Matt was not thrilled about being a servant, he was glade to have work again.


During the Exploration 21 year old Matt did very little chores. Washing clothes was the main thing he had to do. Robert decided to have Matt to help with his duty's other then chores. Soon after there first Exploration, Robert called Matt back for a bigger adventurer. On June 6th, 1891 they set sail to find, Greenland.

Second Exploration

In 1902, from the ship deck, Matt could feel the air getting colder. He could also see all the new animals Robert had promised. He saw walrus heads poking out of the ice and polar bears catching fish by the side of the ocean. But, thankfully the sailors new what else waited for them on the island, a tribe of Indians that called them self's the Inuits.

Henson's Rote


Thankfully, the sailors did not need to fear, for Matt made a trusting friendship with the Inuits right away. The main reason for this was Matt could speak their language. The Inuits were the sailors main trading score. The men would trade knives, guns, pots and pans for coats, pants and mittens.

Dearest Lucy,

I have found the Arctic! It was nothing like one of us expected. Its very cold hear and there is barely anything to eat! Oh how I miss your home cooked meals and that sweet smile of yours that woke me up every morn. The sorrow that it brings me to think about you can not be written, at lest, not in this language. The day I will come back to you will truly be the best day of my life,

Forever yours, Matthew

Finale Years

There were about two other Explorations but, are our records state that Matthew Henson was the first man to reach the Arctic. Sadly, in one of his quest's an ice beg fell and damaged his nee. This prevailed him of moving forward during that journey. After finding the Arctic, Matt married Lucy Ross 1906. The couple had already been living together before finding the Arctic! On March 9th, 1955 Henson died in New York city. When Lucy died she was barred right by him. What would it have been like without Matthew Henson? Would we still know nothing about the Arctic?

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