Arctic Explorers This project was done to celebrate the under publicized adventures of Matthew Alexander Henson, (1866 – 1955), the first African-American Arctic explorer. Henson traveled with fellow explorer Robert Peary, who is often given most of the credit for the teams success. Henson's skills were numerous and included map making, sailing, nautical navigation, fluency in the Inuit language, hunting, Igloo construction among many others. For many years following the teams expeditions Henson received little to no attention. It was not till many years later did people begin to recognize the essential role he played to the success of the many expeditions he was a part of. In 1912, Henson published his memoir, A Negro Explorer at the North Pole. Henson’s 6 major expeditions spanned over a period of nearly 23 years.