The Dunbar Apartments Plaque
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Excellent link about Dunbar Apartments history:
Matthew A. Henson, Arctic explorer, lived here at the Dunbar apartments with his wife Lucy from 19[?] until his death in 1955. Before the age of 21, he sailed the worlds as a seaman aboard the merchant ship, Katie Hines. Between 1891 and 1909, Mr. Henson and Rear Admiral Robert E. Peary made seven attempts to reach the North Pole. They finally achieved this goal April 6th, 1909, Matthew Henson arriving first. Mr. Peary and their four Inuit guides, Egingwah, Ootah, Ooqueah and Seeglo, became the first humans to actually stand at the top of the world - there Henson planted the American Flag.>

During the years in the Arctic with Peary, Henson became indispensable to the expeditions. An expert handler of the dog and sledge teams and the only expedition member fluent in the Isooktituk [sp?], the native language of the Inuit people. Henson was an essential member of all of Peary's arctic voyages.

Despite the years of relative obscurity this remarkable man suffered, and the continued questioning both of his role in the expedition and the success of his and Peary's ultimate achievement, Matthew Henson's courage, strength of character, integrity and perseverance speak for themselves.

Matthew Henson died in New York City on March 9th 1955, and was buried in Woodlawn cemetery, The Bronx, New York. However, on April 6th 1988, befitting his status as a national hero, his body was interred, together with his wife Lucy at Arlington National Cemetery, to rest beside Peary's.


Matthew Henson Plaque, designed by Actor, Delroy Lindo.

Paul Lawrence Dunbar Apartments, Harlem, New York 1989

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Copyright 1999, Bradley Robinson