John Alden, Jr.

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John Alden, Jr.

Also Known As: "Sailor"
Birthdate: (74)
Birthplace: Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
Death: March 14, 1701 (74)
Boston, Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Boston, Middlesex County, MA, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Alden, "Mayflower" Passenger and Priscilla Mullins, "Mayflower" Passenger
Husband of Elizabeth Alden
Father of Mary Alden; John Alden; Elizabeth Alden; William Alden; Capt. John Alden and 9 others
Brother of Elisabeth Pabodie; Joseph Alden, Sr.; Sarah Standish; Capt. Jonathan Alden; Ruth Bass and 4 others
Half brother of Joseph Alden, Sr.; Capt. Jonathan Alden; Ruth Bass; Zachariah Alden; David Alden and 1 other

Occupation: Sea captain, merchant, Soldier, sailor, and survivor of the Salem Witch Trials
Managed by: Carol Ann Selis
Last Updated:

About John Alden, Jr.

Son of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins of the Mayflower

Captain John Alden Jr. (c.1623 - 4 March 1701) was the son of John Alden Sr. and Priscilla Mullins, who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 and settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He was a 17th-century American soldier, politician, merchant, and sailor. He was a well-known public figure in his time but is now chiefly remembered as a survivor of the Salem witch trials, of which he wrote a much quoted account.

He moved to Boston and married there Elizabeth (Philips) Everill, widow of Abiel Everill. They had 13 children. A sea captain, Boston merchant, and a charter member of Rev. Samuel Willard's Third Church in Boston, he held a military command during King William's war. He was a member of the Old South Church of Boston and his ancient slate headstone is embedded in the wall there.

He sailed to Quebec, February 1692 to ransom British prisoners captured in the Candlemas attack on York, Maine, but perhaps the best known event of his life is when, on a trip to Salem, he was accused of witchraft and spent fifteen weeks in a Boston jail. He escaped shortly before nine of the other victims were executed, fleeing to Duxbury, where he stayed with friends until, as he later said, "the public had reclaimed the use of its reason." When he returned, he was cleared by proclamation along with some 150 other accused.

His vivid first-hand narrative of the witchcraft trials was later published by Robert Calef in More Wonders of the Invisible World. Alden recounts how he appealed to his friend Bartholomew Gedney, one of the judges, to clear his character; Gedney replied coldly that he had always looked on Alden as an honest man, but now must alter his opinion.[6] Alden said that he hoped in time to change Gedney's opinion again: unlike another socially prominent eyewitness, Nathaniel Cary, Alden never cast doubt on the judges' integrity, although he referred to the afflicted girls with contempt as "juggling wenches". As he noted, much of their alleged evidence against him such as claims that he sold whiskey to the Indians and had Indian wives and children was simply gossip which they had presumably picked up from their parents.

Sources

Capt John Alden Sr was born 16 May 1622 in Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts to John Alden (c1599-1687) and Priscilla Mullins (1602-1680) and died 14 March 1701 in Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts of unspecified causes. He married Elizabeth Phillips (1622-1695) 1 April 1659 in Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. Ancestors are from the United Kingdom.

Vital Stats

  • Son of Mayflower Pilgrims, John Alden (c1599-1687) and Priscilla Mullins (1602-1680)
  • 1622-May-16 : Birth at Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
  • 1659-Apr-01 : Marriage at Duxbury, Plymouth Colony to Elizabeth Phillips (1622-1695)
  • 1701-March-14 : Death at Duxbury, Plymouth Colony (ref: Date on Gravestone)

Biography

He was a sea-captain, a merchant in Boston, and a charter member of Rev. Samuel Willard's Third Church in Boston. His tombstone is preserved at the portico there after having been discovered during excavations where it had been dumped after the removal of the graves.


Capt. John Alden Jr. (ca. 1626 or 1627 – March 25, 1702 [O.S. March 14, 1701][1][Note 1]) was a 17th-century American soldier, politician, merchant, and sailor. He was a well-known public figure in his time but is now chiefly remembered as a survivor of the Salem witch trials, of which he wrote a much quoted account.

Contents [hide] 1 Personal life 2 Salem witch trials 2.1 Narrative 3 Fiction 4 Notes 5 References Personal life[edit] John Alden Jr. was the son of Capt. John Alden Sr.and Priscilla Alden (née Mullins), who settled in Plymouth Colony (present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts) in 1620, arriving on the Pilgrim ship Mayflower. He was born in Plymouth in about 1626 or 1627. He and his older sister Elizabeth are listed in the records of the division of cattle among the residents of Plymouth, which occurred on June 1, 1627 [O.S. May 22, 1627].[2]

He was a sea captain, a merchant in Boston, and a charter member of Rev. Samuel Willard's Old South Meeting House and Third Church in Boston, and held a military command during King William's War and was involved in the Naval battle off St. John (1691). He married Elizabeth Phillips Everill in 1660 and they had twelve children:

John Alden III, born 20 November 1660, died young Elizabeth Alden, born 9 May 1662, died 14 July 1662 John Alden IV, born 12 March 1663, had issue William Alden I, born 10 March 1664, died young Elizabeth Alden, born 9 April 1665, had issue William Alden II, born 5 March 1666, died young Zachariah Alden, born 8 March 1667, died young William Alden III, born 10 September 1669, had issue Nathaniel Alden, born 1670, had issue Zachariah Alden, born 18 February 1673, had issue Nathan Alden, born 17 October 1677, died young Sarah Alden, born 27 September 1681, died young Alden Jr. died on March 25, 1702 [O.S. March 14, 1701] in what was then the Province of Massachusetts Bay. His gravestone reads "Here lyeth ye body of John Alden Senior aged 75 years deceased March ye 14 1701∕2"[3] ("Senior" in this context indicates that he was himself father of a third John Alden). The stone is preserved at the portico of the present Old South Church in Boston after having been discovered during excavations where it had been dumped after the removal of the graves.

Salem witch trials[edit] In addition to the troubles at Salem, Massachusetts, John Alden Jr. was involved in a number of scandals and controversies, which featured heavily in his trial for witchcraft. The only one to bring much modern attention, however, occurred in Salem when he stopped there on his return home from Quebec, where he had gone in February 1692 to ransom British prisoners captured in the Candlemas attack on York, Maine. He was subsequently accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials in May 1692. He had been inclined not to make much of the matter, but was prevailed upon by some friends and broke out of jail. He escaped to Duxbury, where he stayed with friends until, as he later said, "the public had reclaimed the use of its reason".[4] When he returned, he was cleared by proclamation. The authorities do not seem to have searched for him with any diligence; one of the judges, Samuel Sewall, an old friend, is known to have expressed doubts about his guilt, and attended a prayer service at Alden's house in the hope of receiving guidance.[5]

Narrative[edit]

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) His vivid first-hand narrative of the witchcraft trials was later published by Robert Calef in More Wonders of the Invisible World. Alden recounts how he appealed to his friend Bartholomew Gedney, one of the judges, to clear his character; Gedney replied coldly that he had always looked on Alden as an honest man, but now must alter his opinion.[6] Alden said that he hoped in time to change Gedney's opinion again: unlike another socially prominent eyewitness, Nathaniel Cary, Alden never cast doubt on the judges' integrity, although he referred to the afflicted girls with contempt as "juggling wenches". As he noted, much of their alleged evidence against him — such as claims that he sold whiskey to the Indians and had Indian wives and children — was simply gossip which they had presumably picked up from their parents.


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John Alden, Jr.'s Timeline

1626
June 1, 1626
Plymouth, Plymouth Colony
1659
December 17, 1659
Age 33
Boston, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
1660
November 20, 1660
Age 34
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
1662
1662
Age 35
1663
March 12, 1663
Age 36
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
1663
Age 36
1665
April 9, 1665
Age 38
Boston, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
1666
March 5, 1666
Age 39
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
1667
1667
Age 40