Only ice and a bottomless ocean

Peary searched for land with a telescope. They checked in all directions for any hint of land that might exist near the Pole—but saw only ice. Peary photo-graphed 4 views looking away from the Pole as a record.

 

Here they are lowering a metal weight on piano wire. It went down 9,000 feet without finding bottom. No one had expected the ocean to be that deep. In fact, it was later learned that parts of the ocean trench under the Polar regions is 3 miles deep.

"When we halted on April 6, 1909,...Commander Peary... pulled out...his old silk flag,...“This, my boy, is to be Camp Morris K. Jesup, the last and most northerly camp on the earth.” He fastened the flag to a staff and planted it firmly on the top of his igloo. For a few minutes it hung limp and lifeless in the dead calm of the haze, and then a slight breeze, increasing in strength, caused the folds to straighten out, and soon it was rippling out in sparkling color. The stars and stripes were “nailed to the Pole.” A thrill of patriotism ran through me and I raised my voice to cheer the starry emblem of my native land. The Esquimos gathered around and, taking the time from Commander Peary, three hearty cheers rang out on the still, frosty air, our dumb dogs looking on in puzzled surprise. As prospects for getting a sight of the sun were not good, we turned in and slept, leaving the flag proudly floating above us.
 

[Matthew Henson, A Negro Explorer At The North Pole, 1912]


Home | Table of Contents | Email page | Contact

© 2003. For use of this material see: Terms