A few summers ago the Vineyard, and particularly Oak Bluffs, was host to one of the most notable figures in the world of exploration, Matthew A. Henson, who watched Comdr. Robert E. Peary stake out his claim to the North Pole. It was not until many years after that world-shaking event of forty years ago that Henson’s true place in the picture won general acceptance and his heroism on the icy journey became widely known.


Matthew A. Henson, who is visiting the Powell family in Oak Bluffs for a few weeks, proclaims with twinkling eyes that he is too young now to go on Arctic explorations. He accompanied Admiral Peary on eight expeditions, was the first man to arrive at the North Pole and to raise the American flag there. He received an honorary degree of master of science from Morgan University in Baltimore ten years ago, and from Howard University in Washington this year. He also received an engraved watch this year from the Explorers Club in New York.