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Small, Jonathan ('Jot')



  • Existence: 1876-



Jonathan “Jot” Cook Small (born April 1, 1876, Provincetown, Massachusetts—died unknown) spent much of his working life with Donald MacMillan, the arctic explorer and leader of the Crocker Land Expedition. In 1912 MacMillan recommended him as the “general handy-man” on the Crocker Land expedition(1, p. 64). Small was the chief mechanic and cook of the expedition, but his roles expanded throughout the team’s four years in the Arctic.

Biographical Note

On the Crocker Land Expedition, Jonathan Small was the cook and chief mechanic. He led the construction of the expedition basecamp, the Borup Lodge.He stayed in the Arctic with MacMillan till the summer of 1917, even after most of the team left by dog sled to return south (4). Small’s role continually expanded throughout the expedition, and he quickly began hunting and traveling throughout the Arctic with the expedition team (2, p. 109, 193). He learned the Inuit language, and often acted as a translator and assistant for the Inuit guides. Small went back to Provincetown after the expedition where he opened a boat building shop. He joined MacMillan on several other ventures north throughout the Arctic explorer’s career (5).


(1)"Forty-Fourth Annual Report, 1912," American Museum of Natural History, accessed March 19, 2018,

(2) MacMillan, Donald B. 1925. Four Years in the white North. Boston and New York, The Medici Society of America.

(3)"Forty-Fifth Annual Report, 1913," American Museum of Natural History, accessed March 19, 2018,

(4) Freed, Stanley A. "Fate of the Crocker Land Expedition," Natural History Magazine, accessed March 22, 2018 from

(5) "A Crocker Land Expedition Who's Who." Bowdoin College, 13 June 2012, Accessed March 29, 2018.



Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Crocker Land Expedition field photographs

Identifier: PPC .C76
Scope and Content Note This collection is a small subset of copies of prints from the larger Photographic Collection no. 14 – Crocker Land Expedition field photographs. The photographs in this collection are individually sleeved and arranged in four series. Folder 1 consists of 4 photographs that were taken prior to departure for the Arctic and include images of the S.S. “Diana” in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and group portraits of the expedition team.Folder 2 is divided into two sets. The...
Dates: circa 1913-1917

Crocker Land Expedition papers, 1907-1922.

Identifier: Mss .C76
Dates: Majority of material found within 1907 - 1922