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The Mayflower Compact

The Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower were supposed to land in northern Virginia in November of 1620, but they landed farther north near what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. Realizing that they would not have a government over them, they drafted the Mayflower Compact as a guide to living so as to avoid anarchy.

As you read the Mayflower Compact you'll see how the Pilgrims gave their devotion to and assumed their rights and responsibilities from God.

Below is the direct transcription of the original Mayflower Compact followed by a modern translation...

The Mayflower Compact
(direct transcription)

In ye name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwriten, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord King James by ye grace of God, of Great Britaine, Franc, & Ireland king, defender of ye faith, &c. 

Haveing undertaken, for ye glorie of God, and advancemente of ye Christian faith, and honour of our king & countrie, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly & mutualy in ye presence of God, and one of another, covenant & combine our selves togeather into a civill body politick; for our better ordering & preservation & furtherance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue hearof, to enacte, constitute, and frame shuch just & equall lawes, ordinances, acts, constitutions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete & convenient for ye generall good of ye Colonie: unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witnes wherof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cap-Codd ye .11. of November, in ye year of the raigne of our soveraigne lord King James of England, France, & Ireland ye eighteenth, and of Scotland ye fiftie fourth. Ano: Dom .1620.

The Mayflower Compact
(modern translation)

"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 England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, e&.

Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the 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 Politick, 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 hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620."

Note: This interpretation of The Mayflower Compact is courtesy of Dep. Alfa-Informatica University of Groningen.

The subscribers to The Mayflower Compact included:
  • John Alden
  • Isaac Allerton 
  • John Allerton 
  • John Billington 
  • William Bradford 
  • William Brewster 
  • Richard Britteridge 
  • Peter Brown 
  • John Carver 
  • James Chilton 
  • Richard Clarke 
  • Francis Cooke 
  • John Craxton 
  • Edward Doten 
  • Francis Eaton 
  • Thomas English 
  • Moses Fletcher 
  • Edward Fuller 
  • Samuel Fuller 
  • Richard Gardiner 
  • John Goodman 
  • Stephen Hopkins 
  • John Howland 
  • Edward Leister 
  • Edmund Margeson 
  • Christopher Martin 
  • William Mullins 
  • Digery Priest 

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