African American explorer Matthew Henson had been traveling with Robert E. Peary and his team in the arctic by dog sled for weeks. The temperature was almost sixty degrees below zero. After years of trying to reach the North Pole, would their quest end because of frigid conditions? And who would receive acclaim for being the first person to accomplish such a difficult goal? Henson was born not long after the Civil War, when life in the United States, especially for African Americans, was changing quickly. As a young man, he toured the world while working on a boat, where he experienced freedom and kindness from the captain, but faced racism from crew members as well as other people on shore. After leaving seafaring behind, Henson was to meet Lieutenant Robert E. Peary, a man who would alter the course of his life forever. He would accompany Peary on dangerous, exciting expeditions to Nicaragua, Northern Greenland, and finally the perilous North Pole. Book jacket.