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Mayflower Compact

 

41 men, who were passengers on the Mayflower, signed the following compact on arrival at Cape Cod.  Edward Doty is one of the signers, and "made his mark."  The original document has been lost.  Governor Bradford's copy (which had no signatures) is below.  A more readable version follows.

  

Note that the Compact is only two sentences long.  However, the essence of the Compact is "...do enact, constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony...", making the colony independent of English law.  That is why historians feel that the Mayflower Compact influenced the writing of the Declaration of Independence over 150 years later.


Mayflower Compact

 

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 honor 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 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 do 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, AD 1620.


Mayflower II
Mayflower II