Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mayflower Compact

Painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris - Library of Congress

On November 10, 1620, while the Mayflower sailed around the the tip of the Cape, looking for a coastal inlet where they could drop anchor, the leaders of the group met in the main cabin. When they were finished, they had what has become one of the more important documents in American history. The main points of the agreement was explained to the passengers, and all adult males were asked to sign the compact before the ship dropped anchor.


In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc. Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.
When they were finished, they elected John Carver as governor of the colony for a one year term.

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