North Pole Legacy: Black, White and Eskimo

S. Allen Counter, Author University of Massachusetts Press $25 (222p) ISBN 978-0-87023-736-2
In 1986 the author, a neuroscience professor at Harvard, went to northern Greenland to conduct a study of ear disease in Eskimos as well as to interview them about early American explorations in that area. And he had yet another goal: black himself, Counter had long admired black explorer Matthew Henson, who accompanied Robert Peary to the Pole. Familiar with rumors that each had fathered children in Greenland, the author traced ``dark-skinned'' Eskimos to two remote settlements, where he found Anaukaq Henson and Kali Peary, octogenarians who had never met their American relatives. Counter, who subsequently arranged a three-month trip to the U.S. for both men, here offers a charming account of their meetings with kinfolk in Massachusetts, New York and Maine, visits to their fathers' gravesites--Henson's in Brooklyn, N.Y., Peary's in Arlington, Va.--and tours of national monuments. The book, an intriguing postscript to polar exploration, also examines the Peary-Henson collaboration and supports the claim that they indeed reached the Pole. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 236 pages - 978-0-87023-842-0
Paperback - 254 pages - 978-1-931229-09-8
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-5107-2637-6
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