Peary Josephine Dibich

(22.05.1863 – 19.12.1955) 


Arctic traveler and famous writer, wife of Robert Peary.

Born on a farm near Louisville, Maryland, in a family of German immigrants. Her father was a linguist who worked at the Smithsonian Institution. She received her education in the District of Columbia and performed her duties during her father’s last illness.

Josephine first met her husband in 1885 while visiting a dance school, and after 3 years they got married. Robert Peary was obsessed with reaching the North Pole and devoted his whole life to it. And all these years, Josephine was his faithful support. She accompanied him on six Arctic voyages, which were actually stages of preparation for the pole voyage. Josephine was called "the first woman to participate in Arctic research" and "the first white woman to winter in the Arctic". Their daughter Marie, nicknamed the Snow Maiden, was born in 1893 in Greenland.

In 1900 the Windward ship, on which she traveled to the Arctic to meet her husband, was damaged by an iceberg, got stuck, and she, her daughter and the crew of the ship spent the winter in a camp 300 miles south of her husband. In 1902 she again went north. 
During Peary’s last decisive march to the pole, Josephine stayed at their home on Eagle Island in Casco Bay.

Josephine outlived her husband by 35 years, defending his honor and name to the end.


House Peary family on Eagle Island in Casco, Maine

Josephine is also known for her literary activity. She is the author of the book “My Arctic Journal” about her experience in the expedition of 1891-1892, “Snow Child” and “Children of the North”.

Her personal achievements were recognized in 1955 by the National Geographic Society, which awarded her the highest award, the gold medal of achievements.

Died in Portland, Cumberland, Maine. Buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Large granite monument with the image of the depth and the star on the pole point. On the one side of the base of the monument is an inscription dedicated to Robert Peary, on the other hand - Josephine. Urns with ashes buried in the ground near the monument.

Bay in the south of the island of George Land in the archipelago of Franz Josef Land. Opened and called on May 4, 1897  by F. Jackson.


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