BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY
|Matthew A. Henson|
|Born||August 8, 1866|
Nanjemoy, Maryland, USA
|Died||March 9, 1955 (aged 88)|
The Bronx, New York, USA
|Spouse(s)||1) Eva Flint; 2) Lucy Ross|
|Children||Anauakaq (by Akatingwah)|
Early life and education
Representation in other media
- S. Allen Counter's book, North Pole Legacy: Black, White and Eskimo (1991), discusses the explorations, as well as Peary and Henson's "country wives" (Inuit women) and their part-Inuit descendants, and historical race relations. He made a film documentary by the same name, shown on the Monitor Channel in 1992.
- The 1998 TV movie Glory & Honor was about the Peary-Henson explorations and their lives. Henson was played by Delroy Lindo, and Henry Czerny played Robert Peary. The film won a Primetime Emmy and Lindo won a Golden Satellite Award for his performance.
- Henson's role in polar expeditions was included in E.L. Doctorow's novel, Ragtime (1975).
- Donna Jo Napoli's young adult novel, North, is set against Henson's life and role in polar expeditions.
- In 2012, Simon Schwartz's graphic-novel about Matthew Henson, entitled Packeis (pack ice), won the Max & Moritz Prize for the "Best German-language Comic Book."
Legacy and honors
- On October 19, 1909, Henson was the guest of honor at a dinner ceremony held by the Colored Citizens of New York, where he was honored by toasts and given a gold watch and chain.
- In 1937, The Explorers Club, under its "polar" President Vilhjalmur Stefansson, invited Henson to join its ranks.
- In 1948, the Club awarded the explorer its highest rank of Honorary Member, an honor reserved for no more than 20 living members at a time.
- In 1945, Henson and other Peary aides were given U.S. Navy medals for their Arctic achievements.
- Before his death in 1955, Henson received honorary doctoral degrees from Howard University and Morgan State University.
- On May 28, 1986, the United States Postal Service issued a 22 cent postage stamp in honor of Henson and Peary; they were previously honored in 1959, but not by name.
- 1988 Henson and his wife Lucy were reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery, with a monument to his exploring achievements, near Peary's grave and monument. Many members from his Inuit descendants (Anauakaq's children) and extended American family attended.
- In October 1996, the United States Navy commissioned USNS Henson, a Pathfinder class Oceanographic Survey Ship, named in honor of Matthew Henson.
- 2000, the National Geographic Society awarded the Hubbard Medal to Matthew A. Henson posthumously. The medal was presented to Henson's great-niece Audrey Mebane at the newly named Matthew A. Henson Earth Conservation Center in Washington, D.C.; in addition, the NGS established a scholarship in Henson's name.
- Places in Maryland named in Henson's honor include the following: Matthew Henson State Park in Aspen Hill, Matthew Henson Middle School in Pomonkey, and elementary schools named for him in Baltimore and Palmer Park.
- Deirdre C. Stam, "Introduction to The Explorers Club Edition," Matthew A. Henson's Historic Arctic Journey: The Classic Account of One of the World's Greatest Black Explorers, Globe Pequot, 2009, pp. 3–6
- "Historical Information: Matthew Alexander Henson Co-Discoverer of the North Pole with Robert E. Peary.". Arlington National Cemetery. Retrieved 2008-02-05.
- Bradley Robinson, "Matthew Henson genealogy", Matthew A. Henson website, 2012, accessed 2 October 2013
- Stephanie Schorow (AP), "Descendant of Black man and Eskimo woman are unique", in Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), 17 May 1992
- Anna Brendle, Profile: "African-American North Pole Explorer Matthew Henson",National Geographic, 15 January 2003, accessed 3 October 2013.
- "Matt Henson, Who Reached Pole With Peary in 1909, Dies at 88; He Was the Only American With Explorer", New York Times, 10 March 1955.
- "Vote Grants Medals to Peary Aides", New York Times, 20 January 1944.
- "President Greets Last Survivor of Peary Arctic Dash", New York Times, 7 April 1954.
- Counter, S. Allen, "The Henson Family", National Geographic, 174, September 1988, pp. 414–429.
- People: "Dr. S. Allen Counter", Intercultural Issues, 2005–2009, Harvard Foundation, Harvard University, accessed 1 October 2013.
- Dr. S. Allen Counter, "North Pole Legacy: Black, White, and Eskimo" (1991; Invisible Cities Press, reprint 2001).
- "Ahnahkaq [sic] Henson, 80, Dies; A Son of Explorer With Peary", New York Times, 12 July 1987.
- Morris, Christopher; Doctorow (1999). Christopher D. Morris, ed. Conversations with E. L. Doctorow. E.L. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 215. ISBN 1-57806-144-X.
- Napoli, Donna Jo (2004). North. Harper Collins. p. 344. ISBN 0-06-057987-0.
- "International Comic-Salon Erlangen". Kultur- und Freizeitamt Erlangen. RetrievedMay 14, 2013.
- "Colored Citizens of New York and Vicinity". Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- "Peary Aide is Honored: Matthew Henson, 81, Made Member of Celebrated Club",New York Times, 12 May 1948.
- Scott catalog # 2223.
- Scott catalog # 1128.
- "Veterans and the Military on Stamps", pp. 5, 30, found at USPS website. Retrieved September 25, 2008.
- R. Drummond Ayres Jr., "Matt Henson, Aide at Pole, Rejoins Peary", New York Times, 7 April 1988.
- Matthew Henson Middle School.
- "About: Matthew Alexander Henson". Retrieved 2008-02-01.
- "Matthew Henson Elementary School #29". Baltimore City Public School System.
- "Matthew Henson Elementary School". Prince George's County Public Schools.
- Counter, S. Allen, "The Henson Family", National Geographic, 174, September 1988, pp. 414–429
- Henson, Matthew A. (April 1910). "The Negro At The North Pole: The Story Of The Last Dash, Told By Commander Peary's Only American Companion At The Top Of The Earth". The World's Work: A History of Our Time XIX: 12825–12837. Retrieved 2009-07-10.
- Miles, J. H., Davis, J. J., Ferguson-Roberts, S. E., and Giles, R. G. (2001). Almanac of African American Heritage, Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall Press.
- Miller, Floyd. Ahdoolo! Ahdoolo! The Biography of Matthew A. Henson, New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1963, full text online at Internet Archive – no footnotes or sources
- Potter, J. (2002). African American Firsts, New York, NY: Kensington Publishing Corp.
- Robinson, Bradley. Dark Companion, 1947 (biography of Henson)