Cod Fishing in the Strait of Belle Isle Cabinet Card Incl. Matthew Henson, 1909

Cabinet card, image 3.5 x 4 in., with manuscript label in lower margin "Cod Fishing in Strait of Belle Isle." Instructions in red along left side to reduce the size a bit; along the right side, "Pt. 2 Ch. 1."

The renowned explorer Matthew Henson (1866-1955) is pictured second from right. Henson was born in Maryland to parents who were "free people of color" before the Civil War. He left school at twelve to work as a cabin boy and returned to Washington DC, taking a position as salesclerk in a department store. One of his customers was Robert Peary who hired Henson as a personal valet and assistant. They made their first Arctic expedition together in 1891-1892. During the 1908-1909 expedition, Henson claimed to be the first to reach the geographic North Pole. Peary's location has been disputed, but it would have been a computational error, not an expedition failure, that kept them from reaching the pole. Along the way, both men studied the survival methods of the local Inuit. Henson published a memoir in 1912, A Negro Explorer at the North Pole.


Other calculations and identification numbers on verso. Image a bit light, but overall good condition.

Estimate: $1,200 - $1,800
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