From the Publisher
"When Commander Robert Peary reached the North Pole on April 6, 1909, one other American was with him - Matthew Henson, a black man from Maryland who has been Peary's faithful companion through twenty-two years of polar exploration. In fact, were it not for the lower status that Henson was forced to accept because of his race, he would be seen as the true hero of that successful journey. It was Henson who learned to speak the native tongue of the Eskimos (they called him "Matt the kind one"), Henson who handled the dogs and broke the trail, Henson who built the sleds they traveled on. Due to a failed expedition a decade earlier, during which Peary lost nine of his toes to frostbite and had to be carried two hundred miles to safety by Henson, Peary was nearly a cripple for the final North Pole expedition and could do little more than ride on his sled behind the main party."--BOOK JACKET.