Signature of the seventh signer of the Mayflower CompactJohn Alden Document Signed With a Second Signature by Governor Thomas Prence. One page, 8" x 12.25", January 23, 1663. An indenture between Edward Rew and William Halstone, both of Canton [Massachusetts], was written and signed on October 20, 1647. In part: "This indenture made the twentieth day of the tenth month in the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred forty seven. Between Edward Rew: inhabitant of Canton . . . & William Halstone inhabitant of the said town of Canton . . . witnesseth that I Edward Rew aforesaid . . . have sold unto William Halstone . . . my house & lands standing & lying in the bounds & limits of the aforesaid plantation of Canton." The indenture continues with the location of the land and the price ("thirteene pounds"). Following the signatures of the involved parties and witnesses ("Oliver Purchib" and "Aaron Knaps") is the added docketing which includes the signatures of Alden and Prence and the 1663 date.
John Alden (1599-1687) arrived in North America on the Mayflower in 1620. He was the seventh signer of the Mayflower Compact, living to be the last survivor of the signers. Alden was not a Pilgrim; he was hired as a cooper for the voyage and decided to stay and help found Plymouth Colony. He was popularized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1858 poem, The Courtship of Miles Standish, about the love triangle between Alden, Priscilla Mullens, and Miles Standish. In the poem, the maiden interrupts Alden as he delivers a marriage proposal from Standish with the famous retort, "Why don't you speak for yourself, John?" Alden and Mullens did marry in 1623, shortly after both arrived on the Mayflower.
Thomas Prence (1599-1673), the son of an English carriage maker, arrived in the Plymouth Colony in November 1621 aboard the Fortune. A leader in the settlement, he later served as the governor of Plymouth Colony three different times: in 1634, 1638, and from 1657 to 1673. While governor, Prence developed an important relationship with the powerful Wampanoag sachem Metacomet. On the death of the governor in 1673, Metacomet, known to the English as King Philip, was left to work with the new governor, Josiah Winslow, who he hated. The Wampanoag-English relationship soon broke down and the bloody King Philip's War followed in the mid 1670s.
This document is handsomely matted and framed to an overall size of 14.5" x 22". Although it has not been examined outside of the frame, it shows some separation at the folds, as well as some very minor stains and ink burn; with stitching around the border. Near very good.
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