Peary Land in northern Greenland was named for Robert E. Peary.


Robert E. Peary, the most famous of all Arctic explorers, is best remembered for his several attempts to be the first person to reach the North Pole.  Whether he did or didn’t accomplish this goal in 1909, he leaves a rich legacy of twenty-three years of Arctic exploration. Peary Land in northern Greenland is a lasting geographic memorial to the exploits of Robert E. Peary. His name, found on ever map of Greenland, continues to remind the world of his Arctic accomplishments, even today.

As Robert E. Peary traversed Greenland’s northern coast in 1900 he considered the possibility of turning north and heading for the Pole. A short foray out on the sea ice convinced him that this was neither the time nor the place for such an attempt.  The departure point for this northern foray was, however, very significant. He had just determined that cape he was at was the northernmost bit of land along the Greenland coast, and thus the northernmost land in the world. Robert E. Peary subsequently named the cape for Morris Jesup in recognition of Jesup’s financial support, and for the next 69 years Cape Morris Jesup was recognized as the world’s northernmost point of land.

After deciding against an attempt to reach the Pole, Robert E. Peary continued traveling east along the Greenland coast for another hundred miles or so..  As the coast line gradually turned toward the southeast he ascertained that Cape Morris Jesup was indeed its northernmost point. Some twenty miles beyond Cape Morris Jesup, Robert E. Peary noticed a small island about a mile off shore.  He drew the island on his chart, but did not make the effort to sledge out to the island.  That island later became known to the world as Kaffeklubben.

My book Beyond the Edge relates the role that Robert E. Peary played in the exploration and mapping of northern Greenland, particularly his role in the charting of Cape Morris Jesup and Kaffeklubben Island.                    

Interested in learning more about Robert. E. Peary?  Get your copy of Beyond the Edge today!