Sept. 11, 1909
EXPLORERS PEARY AND COOK RACE TO NYC TO MAKE THEIR CLAIMS:
In the few days since the news exploded on the world that Robert Peary evidently got to the North Pole -- in April-- Globe readers are being treated to two unfolding stories. One is the tale of Peary's trip, in which he covered the final leg of his trip with his longtime companion Matthew Henson (the "Negro" mentioned in the headline above). The paper also includes stories about the efforts Peary and fellow explorer Frederick Cook are making to describe their respective journeys to the pole to authorities in the United States. This dispute will linger for a century.
The sketchy news report about Peary's trip is based on wireless reports emerging from Canada as Perry makes his laborious return along the Canadian coast.
The reports don't directly say but clearly imply that Henson (right) was with Peary when he made his last dash to the Pole. A caption under a photo of Henson in the Globe identifies him as the "Colored Man Who Appears to Have Been Only English-Speaking Person with Peary on His Final Dash."
An article about Henson quotes from Peary's description of his longtime companion, as contained in his book, "Nearest the Pole," which came out in 1907. Here's the excerpt:
"Matthew Henson, my personal attendant was a colored native of the district of Columbia, 29 years of age, 5 feet 6 1/2 inches high, and weighed 145 pounds. In my employ in one capacity or another most of the time since I took him to Nicaragua with me in 1898 and a member of all of my Arctic expeditions, his qualities and capabilities were fully known."
The map below -- a modern one -- shows the routes of the explorers.
EVIDENCE PINS BLAME FOR HOUSE FIRE ON BIRDS: About $2,000 damage was done to the home of Maj. H.B. Philbrick on Sept. 9 in Harford, Conn. Initially, authorities thought faulty electrical wiring was to blame. Now, the city's building inspector and electrical inspector have a new theory -- which is totally for the birds.
They announced the the trouble is the work of "birds who built their nests under the eaves of [the]house in large numbers and MUST HAVE CARRIED UP A MATCH, WHICH, in the HOT SUN of yesterday, became IGNITED" [emphasis added].