James Alden, Jr. (March 31, 1810 – February 6, 1877) was a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. Born in Portland Maine, Alden became a midshipman on April 1, 1829 and was promoted to a passed midshipman on June 14, 1834. After serving in the Mediterranean and in Boston, Alden was assigned to the U.S. Exploring Expedition under Charles Wilkes where he served on the USS Porpoise. Alden never quite got along with Wilkes, the expedition's leader. Following the U.S. Ex. Ex.'s successful return Alden was promoted to Lieutenant (February 25, 1841) and assigned to the USS Constitution. He later served in the Mexican American War and participated in the captures of Veracruz, Tuxpan and Tabasco. In 1849, after the close of the war, Alden took a position with the United States Coast Survey. From 1849 to 1851 he commanded surveys along the Eastern Seaboard. Later he was reassigned to the Pacific and was responsible for most significant Coast Survey work on the west coast. At the outbreak of the American Civil War he participated in a number of naval battles and sieges. Late in his career he was prompted to Commodore, the highest rand then achievable in the U.S. Navy. He died in San Francisco on February 6, 1877.

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