September, 1909 Newspapers
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"...even if he is a negro, is an American..."

This refers to Bartlett begging Peary. It's not accurate - just newspaper people playing up an angle to sensationalize it.
The origin of Peary hatred and Henson racism begins in September, 1909 when the public learned that Henson had gone to the Pole. Without going into all the details of this here, one can see the inherent racism in the reports. Soon they would be saying that Henson was not a "reliable witness".

Henson is not presented in these news clippings as a person, but rather as a "Negro". He is also referred to as Peary's servant, even though Matt had been listed as Peary's assistant for many years. In one paper (not shown here) he is incorrectly listed as Peary's cook.

The bottom clipping "Henson Ordered to Rear..." is part of another interesting aspect of this historical event. See the restored Boston American article.

Bradley Robinson, January, 2002

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