American Patriotic 10
Official Obituary of

Alden T. Vaughan

January 23, 1929 ~ March 19, 2024 (age 95) 95 Years Old

Alden Vaughan Obituary

Alden T. Vaughan, aged 95, died of a heart attack on March 19, 2024 in his home in Worcester, Massachusetts. Survivors include his wife, Virginia M. Vaughan, his son and daughter by his first marriage, Jeffrey A.Vaughan of Marlborough, Connecticut and Lynn E. Vaughan of Hanover, Pennsylvania; grandson David J. Garvey Elliottsburg, PA, and granddaughter Juliette Kirkpatrick of Fort Walton Beach, Florida; and three great grandchildren.


Alden was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and attended the Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in 1950, and after graduation returned to Hackley as a teacher. He then began his military service with the U.S. Navy, eventually retiring at the rank of Commander. He served on active duty from 1951-55, much of the time in Japan.

Alden earned a Masters Degree in Education from Columbia’s Teachers College in 1956, followed by a Masters in American History from Columbia University in 1958. While studying for his Masters degrees, he taught American history at Mount Vernon High School. In 1961 he joined the History faculty at Columbia University, where he completed his doctorate in 1964, and taught until his retirement in 1994, when he moved permanently to Worcester, Massachusetts. There he continued to work on scholarly projects, many researched at the American Antiquarian Society and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C.

Among his many publications were two monographs and several essays written in collaboration with his wife, a Shakespearean scholar. Together they edited Shakespeare’s The Tempest for the Arden Shakespeare, Third Series. However, he is best known for pioneering work on the interactions between Indigenous Americans and British colonists during the 16th and 17th centuries. His first book, New England Frontier (1964), the essay collection, Roots of American Racism (1995), and many of the books and articles he crafted paved the way for younger scholars to offer a more inclusive vision of early America.

Alden will be remembered as a punctilious editor of his own and others’ prose, as a generous host who knew how to make a good Manhattan, and as a loving husband, a caring father, and a good friend. Last, but not least, he loved his corgis.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Contributions in his memory made be made to the American Antiquarian Society or Plimoth Patuxet Museums.

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