Awards ceremony honors Priscilla Mullins Alden and exceptional women

According to legend, Mayflower Pilgrim Priscilla Mullins Alden was a woman who spoke her mind. Today, her descendants are paying tribute to her with a special event that honors exceptional women in Priscilla's honor– the Speak for Thyself Awards. 

The awards ceremony is named for a line in the narrative poem, "The Courtship of Miles Standish" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – an Alden descendant –  in which Priscilla Mullins encouraged John Alden to "speak for thyself" when it came to courting her, rather than trying to convince her to court his friend, Captain Standish.

Priscilla by George Boughton

Priscilla 1879 by George Boughton. 

Whether or not this conversation ever transpired is the stuff of legend, but Priscilla and John were married and had 10 children together. They were also among the founders of the town of Duxbury, home of the Alden House Historic Site, which you can visit today!

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Now in its 13th year, the Speak for Thyself Award recognizes exceptional women who, in the spirit of Priscilla Mullins Alden, make their own choices. The five recipients of this year's awards are: Michelle Cully of Randolph; Lynn Dale and Patti Ryan, both of Duxbury; Sue Salvemini of Shrewsbury; and Melissa Gates of Fremont, New Hampshire. Click here to review the honorees' biographies.

“The award recognizes strong, capable and independent women who choose their own paths, thereby creating better lives for themselves and their communities in the spirit of Priscilla,” said Desiree Mobed, Executive Director of the Alden Kindred of America and the Alden House Historic Site.

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The 2019 Speak for Thyself award honorees, from left to right: Sue Salvemini, Patti Ryan, Melissa Gates, Lynn Dale and Michelle Cully.

The award honorees are business entrepreneurs, community advocates and non-profit board leaders. Tonight's awards dinner is being held at the Jones River Trading Post in Kingston, from 6-9 p.m.

If you would like to attend, tickets are $75 and reservations are required. Proceeds benefit the Alden House Historic Site, a National Historic Landmark. For more information, please call 781-934-9092 or email

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AKA board president Pauline Kezer poses with Alden "Rink" Ringquist, founder of the Speak Award, at last year's event.

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