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, USA
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

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.


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)


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.

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John Alden, Jr.'s Timeline

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