7 December 2017
HENSON, Matthew A. (1866-1955). A Negro Explorer at the North Pole. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1912.
A very fine copy of the first edition account of the first African-American polar explorer, Matthew Henson, who took the first steps at the North Pole. A landmark of both Arctic exploration and African-American history, this work has a forward by Peary and an introduction by Booker T. Washington. Henson accompanied Peary on six expeditions, including the final sledge journey to the pole. The first to break the color barrier at the Explorer’s Club, Henson was also the only member of Peary’s party to master the Inuit language and method of driving dog sleds. His only descendants are through his children with an Inuit woman, Akatingwah. Not in Arctic Bib.
Octavo (189 x 125mm). Frontispiece, 3 double-sided leaves of plates. Publisher’s original decorated blue cloth, with portrait of Henson on upper board. Provenance: High Latitude, Bainbridge Island.
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