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This article contains plot details.
The shadow over Salem requires more light than either of us can provide alone.

The relationship between Salem's reverend Cotton Mather and the hardened war veteran John Alden.

At first, their relationship started out antagonistic, since Cotton stoned John's old friend, Giles Corey, to death for a confession of practicing witchcraft. The pair eventually joined forces to combat the witches that were terrorizing the town of Salem.

They soon developed a friendship despite their differences, to the point that Cotton defies his own father and vows to defend his friend in Cat And Mouse.

Early History

Both are firstborn sons in the new world but very little is known of their past history together. It was revealed in The Vow that they knew each other briefly as children.

Throughout The Salem Series

Memorable Quotes

John Alden: "So, you learned your hunting from books. Well, that's a bit like learning the facts of life from your maiden aunt but never mind. You're here now and you're the expert on witches, so let me ask you. What do these awful witches want?"
Cotton Mather: "The same thing we all want a country of their own."
John Alden: "And here I've been wasting my time fighting mere Indians."
The Vow
John Alden: "Why does my house smell like a pack of wild dogs pissed all over it? What is this?"
Cotton Mather: "Canis urinam. Dog piss, plus some medicinal plants. [...] Ingenious, eh? We live in remarkable times, captain. New discoveries, new Inventions every day. New weapons to fight an old enemy."
The Red Rose and the Briar
John Alden: "Well, you came into these woods a bookworm. You're walking out a hunter.
Cotton Mather: A hunter without a catch."
John Alden: "Ah, yeah, but that's good a hungry hunter. That's the most dangerous kind."
The Red Rose and the Briar
Cotton Mather: "I admire your sangfroid. French for cold blood. It's a compliment.
John Alden: Thanks. I admire your...Hey, don't hurry me. I'll think of something."
The Red Rose and the Briar
John Alden: "They say it's the first sign of folly, talking to oneself."
Cotton Mather: "I wasn't talking to myself but to God or my father. If there is a difference."
Our Own Private America
Cotton Mather: "You're right. No man should be asked to humble himself before my father. I have been in Salem for months. I've made allies and enemies in scores, but the closest thing that I have come to a friend is you. So I ask you, I beg you to appeal to my father, if there is some small part of you who can call me a friend, too."
Ashes, Ashes


  • John commented that Cotton had dressed and fought like a girl when he was a child.
  • Cotton had expected John to join him in Harvard but he had enlisted into the militia.




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