Born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Haraden joined the Massachusetts State Navy in July 1776 as First Lieutenant of the sloop-of-war Tyrannicide, fourteen guns. On board for two years, he captured many prizes, becoming her commander in 1777.
In 1778, Haraden began his career as a privateersman, commanding the General Pickering, sloop of fourteen guns. On October 13, 1779, he engaged three British privateers off New Jersey simultaneously and captured a twenty-two gun sloop in the Bay of Biscay. When the larger British privateer, Achilles of forty guns, attempted to recapture the sloop a few days later, Haraden forced it to disengage after three hours' action at close quarters. In 1781, he was briefly captured by Admiral George Rodney in the West Indies, but escaped. Haraden sailed privateer Julius Caesar in 1782.