1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Alden, John

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ALDEN, JOHN (1599?-1687), one of the “Pilgrims” who in 1620 emigrated to America on the “Mayflower” and founded the Plymouth Colony. According to William Bradford's History of the Plimoth Plantation, he was hired as a cooper at Southampton, “where the ship victuled,” just before the voyage, “and being a hopfull yong man, was much desired.” He was one of the first settlers of Duxbury, Massachusetts, where he lived during the greater part of his life, and from 1633 until 1675 he was an “Assistant” to the governor of the colony, frequently serving as acting governor. At the time of his death, at Duxbury, on the 12th of September 1687, he was the last male survivor of the signers of the “Mayflower Compact” of 1620, and with the exception of Mary Allerton was the last survivor of the “Mayflower” company. He is remembered chiefly because of a popular legend, put into verse as The Courtship of Miles Standish by Henry W. Longfellow, concerning his courtship of Priscilla Mullins, whom he married in 1623, after having wooed her first on behalf of his friend, Miles Standish.