Brother Robert E.
Artic Explorer -
Brother Robert Edwin Peary was the Artic
Explorer who discovered the North Pole. He was a member of Kane Lodge No. 454 F.
& A.M. of New York. This FDC was sponsored by the Masonic Stamp Club of New York
and was cancelled on April 6th, 1959 in Cresson, Pa. It is listed in the Scott catalog as
number 1128 and 397,770 were made.
10,000 Famous Freemasons
Robert E. Peary (1856-1920) Discoverer of the North Pole. b. May 6, 1856 in
Cresson, Pa. Graduate of Bowdoin Coll. in 1877 and 1894. He entered the U.S.
Navy as a civil engineer in 1881. From 1887-88 he was engineer in charge of the
Nicaragua Canal surveys, and invented the rolling lock gates for the canal. He
started his Artie explorations with a voyage to the interior of Greenland in
1886. In 1891-92 he made a voyage to northern Greenland; in 1893-95, a third
voyage, which was intended toreach the North Pole, failed in its objective. In
1897 he was granted five years' leave of absence from the Navy and was presented
with a ship, the Windward, by Lord Northcliffe, which had been used by a British
expedition. On his fourth voyage of 1898-1902, he reached 84° 17' N., the
farthest north in the American Arctic. Granted another three years' leave in
1903, he sailed in the specially equipped Roosevelt in 1905-1906, and reached
within 174 miles of the pole before being forced back. His final and successful
expedition in 1908-09 reached the pole on April 6, 1909. When announcing the
success of the expedition, he learned that Dr. Frederick A. Cook, who had been a
surgeon on the 1891 expedition, had claimed he reached the pole on April 21,
1908—a year before Peary. Cook's claim and Cook himself, were later discredited,
and Peary's attainment recognized. A member of the explorers' lodge, Kane No.
454 of N.Y.C., he received his degrees, Feb. 4, 18, and March 3, 1896. To this
lodge he presented the Masonic flag that was displayed at Independence Bay,
Greenland, on May 20 and 25, 1895. On March 30, 1920 this lodge presented his
widow with a special medal in honor of her distinguished husband. Peary also
presented two specimens of the great meteorite weighing 90 tons, which he
discovered in North Greenland, to the Grand Lodge of New York. d. Feb. 20, 1920.