Matthew Alexander Henson (August 8, 1866 – March 9, 1955) was an African American explorer and associate of Robert Peary during various expeditions, the most famous being a 1909 expedition which claimed to be the first to reach the Geographic North Pole.
Henson was born on a farm in Nanjemoy, Maryland on August 8, 1866. He was still a child when his parents Lemuel and Caroline died, and at the age of twelve he went to sea as a cabin boy on a merchant ship. He sailed around the world for the next several years, educating himself and becoming a skilled navigator.
Read Project Gutenberg's A Negro Explorer at the North Pole, by Matthew A. Henson.