An archive of manuscript documents, letters, and indentures dating between 1735 and 1829 from the Alden family, descendants of a Mayflower passenger, the Hon. John Alden, who was the seventh signer of the Mayflower compact and arrived with the Pilgrims in 1620, serving as one of the Governor’s assistants. He settled in Duxbury and was one of the original proprietors of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, a town 20 miles from Plymouth and 26 miles from Boston, where his descendants settled as farmers and leaders in the community.
The collection contains a total of 48 documents relating to a variety of members of the Alden family. Among the earliest documents are four legal documents dated between 1735 and 1737 concerning the sale of land by Daniel Alden (1691–1767) to his brother Seth (1710-84). Their great grandfather was Mayflower passenger John Alden. Seth lived all his life in Bridgewater, while his brother became a magistrate and moved to Connecticut. An additional five documents in the collection record the purchase of property in Bridgewater by Seth Alden from other family members.
Other documents show that members of the Alden family were involved in military activities before and after the American Revolution. The collection contains a contemporary copy of a letter addressed to Captain Seth Alden and dated February 27, 1756, ordering him to make a list of “the several persons in the regiment under your command that have been employed in his Majesty’s service within the two years last past.” A second document, dated September 25, 1755, includes a list of names with the heading: “Capt. Seth Alden having drafted those that are here after.” Two additional documents, one dated 1790, are related to Captain Joseph Alden, likely Seth’s son, and provide names of the whole “train-band” in his company. An additional 11 undated documents list soldiers by name and their return of arms and ammunition, while three more documents consist of lists of names, one which is labeled “A list of the 2nd Company, 3rd Regiment.”
Another small segment of this collection contains four documents, two which are printed with holographic annotations, concerning the collection of taxes between 1818 and 1829 for repairing and amending Bridgewater highways. Thomas Alden was listed as the surveyor of highways in Bridgewater, and it appears he compiled these lists showing the amount of the assessment for each resident. There are also two letters to Thomas from Cyrus Alden, then living in Boston. Cyrus complains about the condition of a horse he left with Thomas and in the other letter, attempts to convince Thomas to set up a store in Bridgewater, which he is willing to fund.
The documents are toned, with general wear to some, and creasing from prior folds. All are legible and together represent a rich resource of local history and genealogy concerning an American founding family. Item #73838