Commander Peary & The Roosevelt
Commander Robert E. Peary.
Photo courtesy of Robert Peary Stafford Collection.
The Roosevelt. This is the ship Peary designed and had custom built.  With her they were able to transport the expedition to their Ellesmere Island base camp. Captain Bartlett used her as a 1,500 ton battering ram and crushed great slabs of ice by riding up on them, then letting the weight of the ship split them. It was said to be an exciting experience with Bartlett shouted orders from the crow's nest, laughing, swearing, and having a good time as they forced their way through pack ice to a point farther North than any ship had ever over-wintered. The freezing ice did not harm the ship because Peary had designed her to be forced upward instead of crushing. More..   
Peary commanded the expedition that left New York in 1908. As a US Naval officer he was sent to the Arctic by order of his Commander in Chief, President Theodore Roosevelt. Many people who worked with him were impressed by his leadership qualities—he would ask a person to do something, never ordered them.

Peary had tremendous determination, unending drive and faith that he could reach the North Pole. His will was so strong that he forced himself to march on even when he was in great pain from his feet, the toes of which had frozen and been amputated in 1898. Despite this he hiked 1,000 mile with Henson around the northern tip of Greenland mapping unknown territory. That's Peary!

Peary never let a few missing toes stop him from exploring—he shuffled his legs on snow shoes so powerfully that on the 1909 polar expedition he started the day breaking trail until the dog sledge teams overtook him. Today Peary would be an athlete competing in "Iron Man" type events. He is remembered as was one of the bravest and most determined men in American history.
Peary's safety record
English adventurer Fiennes proved how dangerous it is on the Arctic Ocean.
Peary led expeditions into places more dangerous than you can imagine, an environment that killed or crippled hundreds before him. Peary's discipline, planning, and leadership made sure everyone came back uninjured—a remarkable record of arctic achievement in itself. Recently, for example a Japanese adventurer was killed and an Englishman had his finger tips amputated while trying to reach the Pole, even though they had modern equipment. 
Peary's expedition made everything
they needed according to designs Henson
& Peary perfected from 18 years of field experience. That was a major key to their success. Lightweight hickory sledges, polar bear pants, sealskin boots, and walrus
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hide leather still rival any modern day synthetic material or aluminum alloy sledge. Powerful wolf-like Huskies were the equal or better of any dog bred today. Henson, Peary and their best Eskimo (today called Inuit) men traveled lightly with high-fat, high-calorie canned pemmican food, made their own alcohol stoves to keep warm & brew hot tea; then slept snugly in their fur suits inside igloos.

Why was there controversy over this?
Peary's 1909 dash to the Pole was so remarkable that it was challenged as "impossible" by unqualified but vocal anti-establishment critics themselves deceived by relentless criminal fraud and vindictive sociopath Frederick Cook. His daughter carried on a vendetta against her father's critics as there was no way to redeem his criminal actions. Janet Cook Vetters left a $1,000,000.00 bequest to institutionalize an ongoing anti-Peary & Henson media campaign.

Finally Peary's diary was made a public document at the National Archives, Peary's ocean depth soundings confirmed by the US Navy, and two athletes, Paul Landry and Paul Crowley, matched the dog sledge speeds. These each proved the veracity of what Peary and Henson had accomplished, exactly as they said it was done. In additional Admiral Davies and his son discovered over-exposed negatives which Peary never published. Both images show the sun at Camp Jesup and it is at the correct distance above the horizon to have been taken at 90° North.

Today the denial of Henson & Peary is still advocated by a small clique of ignorant,  racist, or bitterly anti-establishment individuals. These people are often as offensive as hate groups. More enlightened historians celebrate Henson & Peary's accomplishment as a spectacular feat equal to scaling Mt Everest, or reaching the surface of the Moon.
Peary's trip to the North Pole was equaled by Landry & Crowley


Davies Photo

American heroes

Arlington Cemetery

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