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Mayflower Compact

Updated: Feb 24, 2020

The Mayflower Compact was an agreement written as the Mayflower sailed toward what they thought was their destination, the Colony of Virginia. A storm blew the ship off course, however, causing them to land near Cape Cod, in present day Massachusetts instead. Some of the non-Pilgrims or "Strangers" as they were called, began speaking of a mutiny. Realizing lawlessness and freedom are two separate matters, the wise men on board drew up the Mayflower Compact, shown here in part. It was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. The agreement established the goals and rules expected of all who planned to settle in the New World.

"In ye name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord King James, by ye grace of God, of Great Britain, France, & Ireland, King, defender of ye faith.

Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of ye Christian faith and honor of our King, Country, a voyage to plant ye first colony in ye northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in ye presence of God, and one of another, covenant, and combine our selves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of ye 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 ye general good of ye colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

In witness thereof, we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod ye 11 of November in the year of ye reign of our Sovereign Lord King James of England, France & Ireland ye 18th and of Scotland ye 54th, Ano. Dom. 1620."

List of Mayflower Compact signers:


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