Matthew Henson Artic Explorer(1866-1955)

Matthew Henson Artic Explorer(1866-1955)


By OV Staff

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Matthew Henson



Notorious for discovering the North Pole, Matthew Henson was the first African-American Arctic Explorer. Born on August 8, 1866, in Charles County, Maryland, Henson became a cabin boy at the age of 12 where he learned to read, write, and navigate the seas- later becoming an admirable seaman. With a vast thirst for knowledge, Henson sailed around the world, visiting Europe, Asia, Africa, and Russia, before taking a keen interest in the Arctic region. After eight voyages and 23 years of expeditions, on April 6, 1909. Henson left a permanent mark in history planting an American flag on the North Pole- the first man to ever do so. In 1912, Henson published a memoir entitled “A Negro Explorer at the North Pole”, in which he received remarkable recognition and praise.