Matt's North Pole Post Office - archive
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Subject: <no subject>

Where was Matthew Henson when he died?

We are beginning a series on Five Brave Explorers, one of
which is M. Henson. Any info. you could send to us would be great.
The students that will be reading the story are 4th and 5th grader, but
are only reading at a 2nd. grade level. Thank you for your help Ms.Thank you for your reply. I am just new at this email and this school
computer. I am a teacher .... I need this information for a lesson on Weds. Nov. 12,
1997. We do not have school on Tuesday. I will check my mail later


Subject: Re: penguin web page

consider if you will the following...
if you shift the position of a grain of sand , you change thecourse of all time....

had you not gone into the pemmican crevice, you would have had me believing the tale...but now this poor child, will stand before the class....and with abject honesty, relate the tale of the sweet bird of meat that could have been the one to reach the pole....

the teacher, not knowing any better, will of course believe it as well.

the children with nary a guide, will take this fractured fairy
tale as historically accurate.

they will grow up, have families, and tell the tale and a new legend will be born.....

you are a destroyer of history, a maker of myths

Subject: penguin web page
Date: Sun, 09 Nov 97


My name is Rhys Hatch and I'm in 6th grade. Last year I did a report on penguins and found that none of them live in the Arctic. Why do you have them on your web page.

Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997
From: Kevin (Auckland, NZ)"
Subject: SITE

I've been really busy lately and not been able to report back on your WEB site. To me it is what I think most sites should be. I can't stand all of those whistle and bells that some sites have.
Your site is easy and simple to move around to where one wants to go and that to me is the main thing (apart of course from the info on board).
I've had some bad experiences lately with web sites trying to sort out our xmas trip to Vancouver/Disneyland (my 6.5 yo daugther has been thinking of that last bit for the last 6 months). Some car hire sites. for example. I believe turn people away towards
the opposition (its just happened to me) because the info
that one requires is not that easy to get (all I want to know
is how much are they going to charge me to rent a
and how much per day etc....but you try gleaning these figures
out of some sites, it is unbeleivable !!!)
So as I say, your site is a relief: easy to drive.


I have finely been able to go to my grandmas see what you've done on
the inernet, I read the first chapter of Dark Companion.I like it
very much!

I was surprised to see my name on Read Matt's mail. My
teacher was so excited about the book! So was I. Well got to go.

Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 21:18:59, -0500
Subject: Matt Henson Site is up!

Dear Bradley,
Baili is my granddaughter and she has been working on the report for
school about Matthew Henson. She will be at our house again tomorrow
night to write you a note herself. She called me tonight and asked
that I send you a quick note. Here is what she asked me to write:

THANK YOU! I got Dark Companion yesterday at school. My teacher
thought that was really cool. I took it to the school librarian and
she wanted me to put my name on the book with yours. That was neat.
I want to write more but I will come type it myself tomorrow night.
Thanks again for the book.

Your friend,


Thank you from me too. What a wonderful experience for a child who
has so much trouble reading to get excited about a book and want to
read it. Baili is a beautiful young girl who loves to ride horses
(and does each weekend at an aunt's house) but has lots of trouble
with reading. I'm sure that she has dyslexia and other minor
learning disabilities. Her father (our son) did also. So to have
conversations with you and read every word from your website is very
special. THANK YOU for taking the time to respond to her so quickly.


Baili's grandma Bonnie

Subject: school project

I am interested in learning more about Matthew Henson and Robert Peary. I am having difficulty loading the pictures from the internet from the Dark Companion website. If you have any special information about these 2 men, would you please send it. I am doing a special project on them.

Thank you. Baili
Subject: Thanks for your reply

Thank you for writing me back so soon. I am in the 5th grade at Flint Lake Elementary School in Valparaiso, IN. We read a book called Arctic Explorers. Our teacher told us to do a report on
Matthew Henson and Robert Peary.

I know that my school would love a copy of your dad's book. I thought the book Arctic Explorers was very interesting so I will be especially interested in reading Dark Companion. I found information on the internet about Peary but not on Henson. Please do some more work on it.

Thank you again for writing back. Baili

Thanks for taking the time out to reply, I really appreciate it, As you might have gleaned my interest has been that of an amateur (i.e. I work by day and live by night, or something like that). The history of polar
exploration has very much been a personal interest for me from my youth on hearing of heroic deeds of Shackleton and the like. As I grew into adulthood this interest waned as general living and getting on with life
took over. About 5 years ago my interest in early polar exploration exploded and was rekindled when I finally got around to reading Roland Huntford's "Scott and Amunsden". The hardships endured and the risks and
thus adventure that these early explorers experienced has always amazed me. There seems to have been an innocent naivetÈ combined with a focused determination that one does not often find.

With Matthew Henson it has always seemed to me that unlike the Scotts', Amunsdens'and Pearys' of this world who have been virtually household names, Matthew Henson's achievements have generally only really been appreciated by a much smaller audience. I think to live the life he lived he must have been a wonderful person. Which is why a movie has interested me, he deserves far greater recognition. From where I stand it seems that
without Henson there would have been no Peary, I wonder what you think of that ?

(I also wonder what you think of Wally Herbert's convincing thesis about Peary not actually getting to the pole (to me this in no way diminishes Henson's stature or achievements, and in fact upon reading Herbert's version of events if anything it enhances Matthew Henson)) ?

You mentioned Matthew's own book. Yes I am aware of it but I have never been ableto track down a copy (not even the local public library, which has an excellent collection of writings on polar exploration - especially the Antarctica, which is understandable given New Zealand's proximity to
Antarctica and history of involvement there). If you knew how I might track down a copy I would be interested.....maybe with a movie release this book might get re-released anyhow.

Alan Counter of Harvard, no I do not have that info, I would also be interested in tracking this down, if you could help here that would be wonderful.

As I indicated to you I have been interested in writing a quality screen play (as opposed to a Hollywood "pop" screen play) based on Matthew Henson's achievements. However the fact that one is in the wind does not diminish my interest in the man or desire to know more about him. So once again thanks for replying to my e-mail -I would have loved to have met the man, but I guess the next best thing is to read asmuch as possible about him and through that means get to know him.

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