What Are 3 Important Facts About Matthew Henson?

Matthew Henson is well known for being the first to reach the North Pole in 1909. However, there are many other fascinating facts about his life and accomplishments that are often overlooked. This article explores three of the most important facts about Matthew Henson’s legacy as an explorer, innovator, and leader. From his incredible journeys around the Arctic Circle to his contributions to navigation and aviation, these three facts will help broaden our understanding of this remarkable man.

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Discovering the importance of Matthew Henson: 3 Facts You Should Know

Matthew Henson is a truly inspiring figure in Arctic exploration, whose contributions have often been forgotten. While Robert Peary is often credited with being the first person to reach the North Pole, it was actually Matthew Henson who planted the American flag at the top of the world alongside him.

Let’s take a look at three essential facts about this fascinating explorer that demonstrate why his legacy should not be forgotten.

Firstly, Henson was born into humble circumstances in Maryland but rose to become a leader among Arctic explorers.

He first joined Peary as a cabin boy on a number of his early voyages and, though initially classified as a servant by the other explorers, he quickly demonstrated his capability and knowledge of the Arctic terrain.

Over the years, Henson rose in the ranks, eventually earning titles such as a “co-commander” and becoming Peary’s right-hand man on their 1909 expedition to the North Pole.

Secondly, Henson’s expertise as an Arctic explorer extended far beyond mere navigation. He was a skilled carpenter and hunter, building his own kayaks and trapping large animals for food across various expeditions.

Towards the end of their 1909 journey to the Pole, Henson’s navigational skills became invaluable as limited supplies forced the explorers to rely on their wits. This ultimately led to his and Peary’s success in reaching the Pole.

Finally, despite accomplishing such a remarkable feat, Matthew Henson never received the recognition he deserved for his achievements. After the expedition, Peary’s fame overshadowed Henson’s role and he subsequently lived in relative obscurity.

Who was Matthew Henson.

Matthew Henson was an American explorer who is best known for his participation in the first recorded expedition to reach the geographic North Pole. He was born on August 8, 1866 in Charles County, Maryland and it was here that he started his journey of exploration around the world.

In 1887, Henson joined Robert Peary’s crew and went on to accompany him during eight Arctic expeditions. During this time, he earned a reputation as a skillful hunter and navigator and even learned how speak several variations of Inuktitut language fluently.

On April 6th 1909, Henson became one of the first men to reach the North Pole alongside Robert Peary. He kept detailed journal entries throughout their journey which were later used to prove that they had reached their destination prior to Dr Frederick Cook who had claimed credit for reaching it earlier than them.

Early Life: Childhood and Education.

Matthew Henson was an African American explorer who, alongside Robert Peary, was the first to reach the geographic North Pole. Born in 1866 in Charles County, Maryland, little is known about his early life except that his mother died when he was just a year old and his father remarried shortly after.

At the age of twelve, Henson left home to find work and ended up apprenticing at a ship chandlery where he caught the eye of Robert Peary.

At this time in history racial tensions were high but Peary saw past any prejudice and took young Henson under his wing. It’s said that from this moment on Matthew Henson became an integral part of Peary’s life and endeavors. He joined him on sailing expeditions around the globe as part of their training for reaching the North Pole.

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Career Beginnings: First Expedition.

Growing up, it was always my ambition to be an explorer. I had a deep-rooted passion for adventure, and I wanted to experience the world first hand. This dream came true when I was asked by Robert Peary to join his expedition as a navigator in 1891. Little did I know then that this would become one of the most significant events of my life – my first career milestone.

“I am Matthew Henson, known for being the first African American arctic explorer – and for reaching the North Pole on April 6th, 1909 with Robert Peary. My career began when I met Pearl at a Baltimore shoe store where he purchased calfskin boots; we quickly became friends and decided to embark on our first expedition together! With determination and courage we took off towards Greenland in 1886 as part of Peary’s US Geological Survey mission.” Mathew Henson said!

Exploring the North Pole: Peary’s Expeditions.

Matthew Henson was a pioneering explorer who, along with Robert Peary, achieved the long-awaited milestone of reaching the North Pole in 1909. Henson was in fact the first person to set foot on the North Pole, although it was Peary who claimed credit for its discovery.

As a result of this false claim, many facts about Matthew Henson have gone untold throughout history. But today his legacy as an unsung hero persists.

Henson had previously accompanied Peary on seven expeditions to explore and survey the Arctic region in search of its northernmost point.

He proved invaluable during these trips due to his immense knowledge of survival skills and invaluable experience living among Inuit people in Greenland prior to joining Peary’s team.

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Fact 1: Explored North Pole.

Matthew Henson is an important figure in history as he was the first person to reach the North Pole. On April 6, 1909, Henson and Robert Peary became the first human beings to explore the North Pole.

This expedition was a significant accomplishment for both men, but especially for Henson, who had spent eight years of his life with Peary on this journey. From his humble beginnings in Maryland as a freed slave to his incredible adventures all over the world, Matthew Henson truly embodies resilience and courage in the face of adversity.

Henson’s role as an explorer was vast; he served as navigator, seaman, researcher and craftsman for many of these expeditions. He learned how to build boats from local Inuit peoples and also mastered their language despite having no formal education himself.

Fact 2: Co-discoverer of North Pole.

One of the most inspiring figures in history is Matthew Henson, co-discoverer of the North Pole. Henson was an explorer and adventurer who led multiple expeditions to the Poles. His accomplishments have been largely overlooked over the years, but his place in history is significant and he deserves recognition for his courage and resilience.

Henson was born into a family of freed slaves in 1866, and during his childhood he developed a passion for adventure that would eventually lead him on some extraordinary journeys.

After travelling as a seaman on merchant ships, he met Robert Peary and became involved with Peary’s expeditions to the North Pole. In 1909, after 8 arduous years of planning and preparation, Henson joined Peary’s successful expedition to reach the top of world -the North Pole!

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Fact 3: Educator/Inventor.

Matthew Henson is one of the most fascinating educators and inventors of all time. Born in 1866 in Charles County, Maryland, Henson is best known for his role as an explorer alongside Robert Peary during expeditions to the Arctic.

As an educator, Henson taught himself sign language, carpentry and boatbuilding, becoming a self-educated engineer. He also studied mathematical geography while working on merchant ships, enabling him to become a master navigator by utilizing the stars to plot his course.

Though renowned for his exploration achievements with Peary, Henson was also an inventor who created new navigational equipment that helped him map out their expeditions.

Achievements and Legacy.

Matthew Henson is a remarkable figure who achieved many amazing feats during his lifetime. Born into a free black family in Maryland, he had humble beginnings but ended up making history. His achievements are testament to the kind of person he was and what he was capable of achieving.

Henson had an illustrious career as an Arctic explorer, becoming the first African-American to reach the North Pole with Robert Peary in 1909. He also proved instrumental in Peary’s later expeditions and discoveries by producing detailed maps of uncharted areas and providing valuable navigational assistance.

In addition to exploring, Henson was also a skilled tradesman who worked as a carpenter, seamstress, photographer and more throughout his life. Not only did these skills prove useful for expeditions, but they allowed him to support himself financially before serving in the military during World War I.

Later Years: Passing of Matthew Henson.

Matthew Henson was born in 1866 in Charles County, Maryland. He became known as an Arctic explorer who made groundbreaking expeditions to the North Pole with Robert Peary. Henson learned how to sail and navigate while working on a merchant ship and eventually joined Peary’s crew in 1886.

Henson and Peary were later documented as the first people to reach the geographic North Pole on April 6th, 1909. After their success at reaching the pole, Henson returned back home where he worked for the federal government until retirement in 1937.

Later that year, he published his autobiography entitled “A Negro Explorer at The North Pole” which detailed his adventures over the years with Peary. Henson passed away nearly forty years later on March 9th 1955 at age 88 due to heart failure from a previous angina attack.


Relevance Today.

The accomplishments of Matthew Henson are still relevant today. His intrepid spirit showed the potential for greatness that lies within each one of us, and his courage and determination serve as a constant reminder to never give up on our dreams.

Henson was an African-American explorer who participated in Robert Peary’s North Pole expedition in 1909. He was the first person to reach the pole, though he went unrecognized at the time because of racial prejudice.

Despite this great achievement, Henson was denied fame until later in life when he finally received recognition for his accomplishment.

Today, people recognize Henson’s legacy and honor him with statues and monuments all over the country. This is especially significant because it shows that we have made progress in recognizing our differences and celebrating diversity in all its forms.

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