Robert E. Peary
PEARY, Robert E. American Arctic explorer. Typewritten Letter Signed, one page, quarto, Eagle Island, South Harpswell, Maine, November 5, 1909. To an old acquaintance, R. F. Wormwood.
Writing from his home in Maine, Peary alludes to the bitter controversy that had just erupted between himself and Frederick A. Cook over which of them was the first to reach the North Pole. He begins his letter by sending thanks for "your kind wishes and very friendly expressions. Believe me I deeply appreciate the interest that has led you to follow my movements since those early days at Fryeburg [Maine]. You can rest assured that the entire truth will out in this matter and that the time is not far distant when this whole country will recognize what fools the people have made of themselves, and what a National disgrace recent occurances here have been."
On September 5, 1909, after reaching Labrador on his return from his last Arctic expedition, Peary announced that he had attained the Pole in April. Five days earlier, however, the explorer Frederick A. Cook had released the news that he had arrived at the Pole a year before. A long, public quarrel between the two men and their supporters followed, in which Cook, the more likable personality, initially fared more favorably.
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