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The Discoverer of the North Pole

In the early twentieth century, explorers from many countries vied to reach the North Pole first. In 1909 two Americans, Dr. Frederick Cook and Commander Robert Peary, each claimed to have made the “discovery.” Though neither explorer could provide indisputable proof of reaching the geographic pole, Peary’s claim was more credible. In 1911, after holding hearings on Peary’s expedition, Congress honored Peary’s achievement and promoted him to rear admiral in the United States Navy. Today it is widely held that neither man actually reached the North Pole.

Your committee believe. . . . that Robert Edwin Peary has performed a most remarkable and wonderful service, . . . that therefore the American people, through its Congress, shall render him thanks, and bestow upon him the highest rank of the service which he adorns.

House Committee on Naval Affairs, Recognition of Robert Peary, January 21, 1911

 

1 Image Petition from B. G. Freeland to Representative Samuel Beakes,... View All Images
1 Image S. 6104, A Bill providing for the appointment of Commander Robert... View All Images
1 Image Commander Robert Peary’s handwritten calculations at the North Pole,... View All Images
1 Image Commander Robert Peary’s diary, April 6, 1909 View All Images
1 Image Commander Robert Peary’s sledge party posing with flags at the North... View All Images
1 Image Two members of Dr. Frederick Cook's expedition, North Pole,... View All Images
1 Image Dr. Frederick Cook, photograph, 1908 View All Images
1 Image The Claimed Routes of Dr. Frederick Cook and Commander Robert... View All Images
1 Image “A Coldness between Them,” offset color print by L. M. Glackens, ... View All Images
1 Image Commander Robert Peary, photogravure by Donald Baxter MacMillan, 1909. View All Images
2 Images Dr. Frederick Cook’s Diary, 1908 View All Images